Friday, October 28, 2011

Mount Ainslie and the Telstra Tower

About a month ago, we guess, we got our first really perfect spring day. The sun was shining, the wind wasn't too strong, it was warm. We decided to take the oppurtunity to go out to some of the more picturesque spots of Canberra. First, we headed up Mount Ainslie. The term "Mount" is probably an exagerration, but it is a very pretty look-out spot as Canberra spirals out from it. 

This is officially the highest point on Mount Ainslie, and like any good highpoint in an urban area, there's a telecoms tower there.

This is the best spot. They designed the city so the main line of the city goes directly to where we were standing. This is Canberra's equivalent of the Washington Mall. At the bottom of the picture is the War Memorial, then a long Mall with monuments along the sides until you come to Lake Burley-Griffen. Note the giant fountain off to the right side in the lake. Across the lake is Old Parliament building, which was always designed to be a temporary structure. Just past it is New Parliament with its beautiful, ornate flagpole. Quite a view.

After Mount Ainslie we drove over to the Telstra Tower, the main telecoms point for Canberra. Telstra is a phone/internet/television company that is a virtual monopoly across Australia.We're not wild about them, but don't have a lot of choice. Anyway, here is the tower as we were walking up to it.

As any good company does, Telstra has found alternate ways to monetize its infrastructure. The Tower also doubles as a [paid] look-out point, gift shop, coffee shop, and at nights, a very high-end revolving restaurant.

Laurel and Greg are both mildly afraid of heights, but have very different triggers. Greg's is all about feeling secure on where he's standing. For instance, if we are walking over a huge, swaying bridge across a raging river in Tasmania, that is not okay. This, though is fine. Sure, we're a couple hundred meters off the ground, but he's standing on solid concrete with a firm railing. Nothing is going anywhere. We're good.

Laurel on the other hand, has no problems with things swaying or being generally rickety. She just wants very high railings. These railings do not qualify. There is still a chance that someone could trip and accidentally catapult themselves over the side, or a strong wind could blow and knock you off balance, causing you to fall to your doom. Mountain peaks have this exact same problem.

This is kind of fun. In the elevator there was little electronic sign that would mark your altitude as you went up and down the tower.  Fear of heights aside, it was a very nice day.

1 comment:

  1. When you're Laurel's size, getting blown over by a gust of wind is not totally out of the realm of possibility...