In the native language, Canberra means ‘meeting place’, which seems very apt for the city that was built to be the nation’s capital. We were both pleasantly surprised by it, as most Australians give it a bad press. It’s so well laid out, it appears quite futuristic, with parliament and the war memorial on a central axis surrounded by wide avenues, parks and a lake. However, it still appears soulless, lacking the edginess and character of it’s bigger east coast neighbours. Bill Bryson describes it as a ‘strange city’ and impossible to see on foot. We took his advice and toured the city in the van, visiting Parliament House, the war memorial, the protest tents and Mount Ainslie.