I don’t know, Canberra hasn’t wowed me exactly, and in truth, I probably won’t go back to it without a very specific reason.
Parliament House; it’s big, ugly colours and plain design, and most likely is the safest place in Australia (police and security carrying big guns and wearing shades patrolled everywhere).
Botanical Gardens; a nice, calm walk. I liked this place a lot and would love to go back and spend the entire day wandering the different paths, stopping here and there to inspect the plants closer. But that calm is lost once you leave and enter traffic.
National Library; no true booklover should go there. This place is for researchers mostly, not readers. Nice stain glass windows in the overpriced bookshop and front area, though.
War Memorial; I cried. Didn’t mean to, it just started to happen and I couldn’t stop it. Seeing the faces of those who were dead either because of the war or old age, knowing they had no choice in what happened, glimpsing some of their happy moments in a group picture… and they were displayed in a museum as if they were specimens. Alongside of them, the devices of killing. One image, the moment before a man was beheaded… yeah, that has left an impression.
Quality Hotel Dickson was good. I can nit-pick; out dated bathroom, not enough shelving, tiny car parks, leaking tap in the kitchenette. But it was a really nice place to stay. Clean, spacious rooms, and everything that was promised.
The worst thing, I didn’t realise it was a Little Asia (not little China town) around that suburb. I don’t eat most Asian cuisine (I’m weird). The luck was the Subway, Dominos, and Baker’s Delight all within walking distance.
The special treat was in another suburb called Dobinson and they were fucking epic. The BEST croissants I have ever eaten (I love the butter, you can smell it from its paper bag and when you bite into it the butter overwhelms your mouth). The sausage roll was sooooo tasty. And the best advert for food is if the tradies working nearby eat there. Always follow the tradies.
Now, for the reason I was in Canberra; GAMMA con 2016.
It was a roller coaster and I can definitely say that it all depends on how you approach the event. Day one, I was probably a sulky little bitch (surprised that I wasn’t being overrun by people wanting my books). Day two, I came to reality (I am NOT a best seller, time to get over myself) and relaxed and enjoyed it a lot more. It was great talking to everyone who stopped for a look. And great that I was beside Bagel Hero (no bagels were consumed at the stall, but art was drawn and I got to watch it all happen). Conventions are not about making money and selling out, it’s more about making a connection with a few people who are into the same things you are. I will do another convention, hopefully it will be filled with great people like the ones I met in Canberra.
P.S. Sorry to those who reside in Canberra, I don’t mean to hate on your city, buuuuuut it confused the hell out of me and I got lost a lot and yeah. Sorry. Maybe if it hadn’t been so cold. And thanks to my travel partner for the GPS which saved us when lost.