Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Diplomatic Canberra

No, not cocktail parties and espionage - diplomatic Canberra is the name of the walk we intended to do back in July and it started sleeting on us and we all gave up and ran back to the car. Sunday was much better weather so we tried it again. Here we have the Indian High Commission - grandly done in the mughal style and left to get a bit rundown. Much like India, from what I remember of our honeymoon back in 1998.

Over the road from India was the USA - a bit of a contrast. Enormous, spick and span, fences, wires, lights and guards up the wazoo. We didn't get too close in case a Marine came out and shot us. My husband has been there for a meeting but I cannot imagine that I would ever darken its doors! It's allegedly in the Georgian style that was "typical of Virginian architecture during the time of Washington and Jefferson" but it is so well maintained and freshly painted it's hard to see it as anything other than modern. Never mind, the US gets extra points for having a male ambassador who is married to a bloke. Diplomatic circles can be very conservative, and it's good to see a bit of difference.

If I had to pick one of the residences to live in I think this is my favourite - Belgium. You can't really see from this photo but it has beautiful floor to ceiling windows and is set in a lovely garden. This is the residence - the chancery next door is a funny little 1960s building. I can't imagine there would be many Belgian diplomats in Australia? Well what do you know, I just googled and there are five of them; one ambassador, three officers and an executive assistant. Seems like an awfully big house for the boss of four people.

The Spanish Embassy has a little tableau of Don Quixote tilting at windmills on its front lawn. The windmills are about two feet high. The boys and I thought the proportions were a bit off - if Don Q got off his horse he probably wouldn't fit through the front door. 

All in all the walk was about six km and took an hour and a bit - it was interesting and there was absolutely no-one about on the leafy streets of Yarralumla on a sunny Sunday morning so we could wander and stare to our heart's content.


  1. Yarralumla. What a wonderful name.

  2. sheesh, i hope you don't think all of us in america live in houses like that! wow, that's quite a structure my tax dollars are paying for. don't mind me, i'm a bit frosty right now regarding politics since we just had an election yesterday...

  3. LOL. I love that the US embassy looks modern to you. It reminds me of our "historical" themed vacation trips down to Virginia and Maryland, so it seems very old to me. All a matter of perspective I guess.