Christmas 2011 is almost upon us and by now huge chrissy trees would have gone up in many cities around the globe. Well, here's our little bush capital's 21-metre tree at Civic Square, Canberra. It's very pretty, but OK perhaps a tiny bit low key compared to the very lavish displays of big cities... but meh.
Update: Perhaps I wasn't standing at the best spot. The tree at 21 metres high, is a lot taller than the nearby light poles but this doesn't quite show in the photo.
Update 2: Please also check out the 2012 version - it's a much sharper photo!
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.