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A Romantic Weekend Away… in Canberra??

7 Feb

The words ‘romantic’ and ‘Canberra’ aren’t normally ones you would hear in the same sentence. In fact the phrase ‘a romantic weekend away in Canberra’ could be considered an oxymoron. Or – are my husband and I are the morons for thinking it possible?
It was our first weekend away from our baby girl – a chance to be a ‘couple’ for a weekend – not ‘parents’. I love my baby girl with all my heart – but there’s a certain routine nature to raising babies – it’s just nice to break every now and again.
So – the verdict on Canberra – was it romantic?
Indeed – parts were – here’s my verdict.

Romantic High Points

  1. Seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night Over the Rhone’. If there was ever a work that deserved the title ‘masterpiece’ – this is it. Glittering stars over an inky sea, setting the sky aglow with with their light. In the foreground are two lovers, walking along the river bank. It’s gorgeous – definitely the highlight of the National Gallery’s ‘Masterpieces from Paris’ exhibition.
  2. Staying at the Hyatt Canberra. Sitting in the shadow of Parliament House, this art-deco gem deserves its five stars. Porters decked out in 1920s style golf attire (beret, tartan vest, white shirt, long socks, plus fours) bound down the stairs to retrieve our baggage. It’s a great welcome. The rooms are large, the bedding crisp white, the pilows soft and black marble bathrooms complete the slick look. It’s luxurious and elegant.
  3. Saturday night dinner at Ottoman. Now, a Turkish restaurant may not conjour images of elegant romance – but Ottoman is not your standard middle eastern eatery. Think brown suede, soft-covered chairs, white table cloths and cream walls – you have the picture – no belly dancers here! Apart from the food (which is fab – deep fried zucchini flowers filled with goats cheese and pine nuts) it’s a fantastic chance for my husband and I to have proper adult conversation – to discuss the food, the day’s events and discuss life in general. It reminds me of when we first started dating.

The un-romantic low points

  1. The person who farted in the ‘Masterpieces from Paris’ exhibition. There we are, standing in front of world-famous art works – glorious works by the masters of impressionism. And someone let one fly. It stank. It’s hard to appreciate great beauty when your nose is filled with the arial contents of someone else’s back side. Talk about ruining the moment.
  2. Getting lost in car parks. Canberra’s a funny place to drive around. It’s well known for its round-abouts. So, you think you’re heading in the right direction – but no – there’s no way to get off the round-about in that direction – so you’re shot-off in exactly the wrong direction. Being slightly unsure of ourselves, we were paying very close attention to signs. If we saw a sign to turn right – then we damn well turned right – straight away – and usually, into a car park. Turns out, turning right means, ‘turn right after the right hand turn into the car park’.
  3. Our electronic entry card to our room at the Hyatt. How can one little bit of plastic cause so much frustration? We jammed that card in and out of its slot for 10 minutes. Nothing. We man-handled that door handle till it was near broken. Still nothing. Cue an argument between myself and husband about how to do it. Then, we eventually read the instructions. ‘Insert card, take card out, do not touch door handle, wait for green light, then turn door handle.’ What happened to the good old key? Put in lock and turn. Enough said.