It’s Official… We’re Moving to Australia!

by Rosemarie John on November 8, 2013

Well… it’s now official. We are moving to Canberra, Australia! We made a short trip to the capital region to make things official before we make our final and permanent move in the next 6 months or so. Our maiden experience of this lovely city was during springtime and we had just missed the Floriade but Canberra, being the city of festivals didn’t disappoint. We managed to experience the Nara Candle Festival on October 26th.

After an entire day of formalities, we headed to the Nara Peace Park and Lennox Gardens situated right behind the Hyatt Hotel. It was after all our first official sight seeing since arriving. The crisp fresh air and the cool winds against our faces was intoxicating. Large coniferous trees doted the park and the merry locals thronged there with their picnic baskets and mats. A festive atmosphere indeed!

The Canberra Nara Candle Festival has been held annually since 2003 celebrating the anniversary of the Sister City relationship with Nara, Japan. The festival was filled with performances, Japanese food stalls and 2,000 shimmering candles. Joseph and I spent time walking along Lake Burley Griffin, soaking in the atmosphere of our new home. It was so serene. A fresh change from the smoke and dust filled air of South-East Asia.

Like Singapore, Canberra is a well thought up city with lakes and tonnes of greenery. Their roads are wide and streets are laden with sweet smelling trees. Interestingly the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin is actually man-made. In the early 6os’ it was fashioned out of the original Royal Canberra Golf course which now lies underneath the lake. The part of the Golf course that was not filled with water was named Lennox Gardens.  The lake is breathtakingly beautiful and serves as a perfect backdrop for the many fun-filled activities that are staged by the city.

So here we were, sampling the awesome Japanese food and taking everything in as we realise how beautiful our new home is going to be!

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The Nara Peace Park and it’s many food stalls!

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It was such a beautiful festival… a happy me!

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The park sits along Lake Burley Griffin

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The Beef Rice was a hit… I was one of the last few to get a helping before it ran out.

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The park begin to fill as the sun set…

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The Canberra Nara Candle Festival shares the values of peace and goodwill and is a celebration of the Canberra Nara Sister City relationship.

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Joseph and I with our first photo together in our new home… Canberra!

The Canberra Nara Candle Festival is held in Canberra around October each year, and has grown in popularity showing the warm regard that Canberrans have for Nara and the lively interest Australians have in all aspects of Japanese culture. Highlights of the festival include Japanese food and cultural activities such as calligraphy, origami, lantern-making, martial arts demonstrations and entertainment. The centrepiece of the festival is a display of 2000 candles which are lit at dusk by festival volunteers. Click here for more information on the event

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