Does anybody know what the capital of Australia is? You might guess Sydney or even Melbourne, but the fair dinkum (that’s Australian for truth) is that it is in Canberra.
We took a break from camping for a day and I got to visit the Parliament House in Canberra! It’s like going to the Capitol Building in D.C., but, of course, in Australia. It also reminded me of our visit to the State House in Boston.
I also got to touch examples of Italian and Danish rocks that were used to construct the new Parliament House and learned about the architecture of the building. In fact, the building’s appearance is sort of strange.
In this picture, you can see the two official animals of Australia — the kangaroo and the emu. This is symbolic because these are the only two animals that can’t walk backwards (at least that is what our tour guide told us). Apparently, according to some kids that I met, Australia is the only country that lets people eat its national animal!!!
One of the best parts was seeing one of four original Magna Cartas! That was probably one of the highlights of my trip. The other original Magna Cartas are in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Does anybody know why the Magna Carta is so important?
Once our tour was finished, we walked into the Senate where there was was a woman giving a speech. Nobody in the whole room was paying any attention to her, but while we were in our car, driving away from the Parliament House, we heard her speech on the radio! So that meant that everybody listening to that radio station was listening to her!
Before we left, we headed up to the roof (luckily there wasn’t some guard dog attacking us on the ‘roof’) of the Parliament House! From up there we could see Chinese people protesting for freedom to practice their religion in China (some were. Why? The Chinese President was visiting the Parliament House that day!
I am glad that I had this introduction to Australian government because a few days later, while we were camping, we met a group of tenth graders and had an interesting conversation about politics with them. They really seemed to know what was going on!