Day 79: Mount Stromlo Observatory, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Today we went to one of my favourite places for a weekend drive on a winter day: Mount Stromlo. When there is snow up on the Brindabella Ranges, it is a beautiful place to see the snow on the mountains. Although there was no snow (despite the cold weather of late), it was a lovely afternoon for taking some photos.
The Mount Stromlo Observatory located just outside of Canberra, is part of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University (ANU).
A bit of background from Mr Wikipedia:
The observatory was established in 1924 as The Commonwealth Solar Observatory. The Mount Stromlo site had already been used for observations in the previous decade, a small observatory being established there by Pietro Baracchi using the Oddie telescope being located there in 1911.
When we first moved to Canberra in 2001, it was a place of wonderment and we had a great day exploring all the telescopes dotted on top of the mountain.
On 18 January 2003, a devastating firestorm hit Canberra and Mount Stromlo (which was surrounded by a plantation pine forest) endured significant damage. The fire destroyed five telescopes, workshops, seven homes, and the heritage-listed administration building.
I have pulled together a little photo essay to present this lovely place, complete with photographs of ruins and some of the existing telescopes.
Day 47: Handmade Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Today I am cheating a bit as I am talking about an event, not a place – but don’t hang me on a technicality.
The Canberra Handmade Market is held four times a year at the Canberra Convention Centre and brings together some of Australia’s most innovative designers and craftspeople. It started in 2008, the brainchild of Julie and Rachel who saw a need for such an event. Since then it has become a massive affair, and the girls now have a shop in Civic – which I wrote about in an earlier post – No, Canberra doesn’t suck!.
Just as a quick aside: Emma Pearse recently reported in the New York Times that Canberra was in fact a cool place to be – and that is not just literally! If you are interested, check out Emma’s article 36 hours in Canberra, Australia for more information.
Back to the market. This time around there were around 150 stalls with a broad range of products including skin care, lighting, jewellery, clothing, and craft. For me there were a few standouts. We loved the fragrant soaps from bodybar and had a lovely time chatting to Steve and Viv, who incidentally come from the Coff’s region. The soaps use lovely natural ingredients like goat’s milk, coconut oil and essential oils. One of the soaps smelt so good I wanted to eat it, which is sort of funny considering I was often threatened to have my mouth washed out with soap, when I was a naughty kid and caught swearing. Anyway, what I really love about this product is the care taken in all stages of the product lifecycle to be sustainable and care for the environment. Their website says:
We take the greatest care in sourcing the finest fresh and natural ingredients and make them with a strong ethical commitment to our environment. We do all the regular stuff, recycling our waste etc, however we also put a lot of work into other aspects of our production cycle. Our bars are made locally from local goats milk, our bags are made by us out of newspapers that we buy and read, and we minimise package and waste wherever possible.
Above is a pic of Steve and Viv and their lovely products. Needless to say, we walked away with some goodies from their stall 🙂
The other stall that had some stand-out work for me was a jewellery stall – John Hablitschek Gems. Most of the pieces on this stall were one-off works of art, featuring very rare gemstones, like Australian Turquoise. Check out some of these beautiful pieces below.
We had a lovely morning checking out the market and look forward to the next time it is on – October 4 and 5. Here are some random images from our travels around the many stalls.