Off to Canberra for the weekend — and flying up for once! The seven hour drive is just too long for only a two day visit, and cheap (almost) airfares make flying a possibility.

It seemed very strange to be sitting in the bar in the airport departure lounge, sipping a very expensive beer and thinking that in an hour or so we’d be in Canberra — none of the mind-numbing boredom of the drive up the Hume. I barely even had time in the plane to open my book and find my place before we were descending again.

Canberra airport has changed significantly since I last saw it, but that may well have been ten years ago. A mass of buildings, all part of a new business park, has sprung up around the car-parks. Looking just like new office buildings the world over, apparently the ACT government’s planning laws can be bypassed because the airport is on Commonwealth land — this business of Australia having a federal government and eight state governments is only good for duplicating services and empire building, I wish the states could be got rid of!

Exiting the airport, Majura lane has changed too. Previously an almost forgotten back road, it’s now a major thoroughfare from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong. There’s a flyover at the intersection with the Federal highway where used to be just an old gravel turning lane! In true bureaucratic fashion, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in upgrading the road, and the speed limit has been dropped from 100km/hr to 90!