Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Biking to the National Museum of Australia

The original plan was for a six day presentation but luckily the client seemed happy with "just" the five so had a day off. Even better the document was meant to be working on next was lost somewhere back in London so really nothing to stop a free day seeing the sights of Canberra.

So I headed down to "Mr Spokes" bike hire by the edge of Lake Burley Griffins. Actually it was Mrs Spokes who fixed me out with helmet and gear speaking slightly quietly as little baby Spokes was sleeping out the back. It was a very friendly, family run business and they also serve excellent ice creams, so big thumbs up.

First up was the National Museum of Australia (above and below) just along the lake. The best bits were:
- Circa, a multi-media story of Australia in a rotating theatre (cool)
- Aboriginal artefacts and history
- the Garden of Australian dreams (below)

This picture below is "the map" - weaving together a standard map of Australia, Horton's map of Aboriginal boundaries, vegetation, soil, geology, electoral boundaries, exploration and road maps all together in a huge plaza in the centre of the museum:

I always like maps, and having one in an art installation where it takes time to work out exactly what you are looking at was fascinating. Actually you can see it most clearly on Google Maps - click here.

This photo and the one above are taken from the "top end" of Australia looking south:

Outside there are these huge modern sculptures curling into the sky like a surfer's dream wave:

I was a bit disappointed there wasn't more on the early explorers and first fleet, but more on that (and other sights of Canberra) later.

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