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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Floriade 2009 Experience

This year's Floriade's theme was Mind, Body and Soul which aimed to rejuvenate visitors to Canberra's flower festival. Some of the featured flower beds were Clouds, Water Drop, Music for the Soul, Family and Friends, Love, Yin and Yang and Sunlight.

Our experience this year was quite different compared to last year's. This year, we had moments of hits and misses.

The Flower Beds...most of it a miss, some of it a hit.

The flower beds weren't as spectacular compared to last year although for first timers, they would find the festival amazing nevertheless. For my friends and us (Husband and I) who had seen last year's, we were quite disappointed that the flower beds weren't as rich as before. One thing we noticed was that there weren't that much tulips and most of the garden fillers were just green plants instead of small flowers.

However, there were some flower beds which were still abundant in flowers such as the Sunlight flower bed (see photo above) and they were still beautiful backdrops for photo ops.

Individual Flowers...a hit and a miss.

Due to the dust storm and heavy rains that's been happening in NSW and Canberra, it damaged most of the flowers. Almost all the flowers had red stains due to the dust storm. Photographing individual flowers took a little more patience in finding the not-so-damaged ones.

The Canberra weather...a hit and a miss.

If you would notice, we were in jackets that day (we were in winter clothes!). Simply because it was between 5-10 degrees and really, really windy. It was rain and shine that day, meaning, one minute it would be raining and then it would be sunny the next. Para kaming nakikipag-hide and seek kay Haring Araw.

The Food...a hit!

The foodie that I am, trust me to find the yummiest food in any event and I will surely find it. Upon entrance to the Floriade, I smelled the fragrance of sweet donuts so I followed my senses and found this little amazing and cute Honey Donut Puffs.

I loved it! It was easy to eat and the sweetness was just right. Later in the morning, there was a horde of people waiting in line just to have a taste of these donuts. Good thing, we were there early.

The rides...a hit!

One of the things we weren't able to do last year was to get on a ride. Since my godson Caleb is toddler now, Jackie and I bought tickets to the Tea Cup Ride so Caleb can experience it. The funny thing was Jackie was more scared of it than Caleb while I laughed all throughout the ride, just enjoying and having fun. In fairness to Jackie, the ride was kinda dizzy hehe.

The Lotus Lounge...a hit!

This place was our respite from all the wintry weather we experienced at the Floriade. The Lotus Lounge had this cozy ambience and thanks to the heaters they provided, this place turned out to be the best place to rest from all the walking we did in the morning. This was where we had hot chocolates while we gave our legs a rest.

Shopping...a hit!

A hit because I found this cool, innovative bags made by a Japanese designer based in Hobart. The brand is called Sashiko Design. I will share with you the designer's details in another entry.

Lunch at the Park-ing Lot (hehe)...a hit!

We could have had lunch at the festival. We could have had lunch at the Canberra's City Centre. But despite the crazy weather that day (we knew beforehand that we will be experiencing rains), we insisted on bring pot luck and eat at the our case, at the parking lot hehe. We all shared a very yummy menu: Bopis, Menudo, Adobo and Itlog na Maalat (Salted Egg). And because it was raining during lunchtime, we had to improvise. Ginawa naming Jolly-jeep ang sasakyan nila Jackie hehe. It was one funny and memorable lunch.

Stopover at Bakery of Goulburn on the way home...a hit!

Our Floriade trip won't be complete if we don't have a taste of The Bakery of Goulburn's delicious meat pies. This also became our stopover on our way back, but a long stopver as we took our time savoring our meat pies and coffees and talked some more.

This year's Floriade may have had a couple of misses but we are grateful that we had the company of our friends who made our trip to Canberra worthwhile, memorable and enjoyable. And even if the festival wasn't as spectacular as last year, this gave us the chance to enjoy other stuff at the festival other than just the flowers and flower beds. Yes, the flowers may be the main event of the festival, but there is more to the festival than that.

For more photographs, please check these links:

26 September 2009 - Floriade 2009

Floriade 2009 Collection

Some Tips:

1. Floriade is an event in Canberra, Australia every Spring that runs for 5 weekends (usually starts on the 2nd week of September). To know more about the Floriade before going there, check out its website:

2. Wear sunblock even if it's cold and cloudy. Even if the sun isn't shining, you must protect yourself from UV rays. And don't forget to bring your sunglasses too!

3. Bring a jacket. Whenever you are going to Canberra, always bring a jacket with you. Weather can be unpredictable and when it's cold in Canberra, it can really be cold.

4. Bring an umbrella. You'll never know when it's going to rain.

5. Be early so (1) you can get a parking spot and (2) you can enjoy the festival more when there's not much people yet.

6. Check out Canberra's weather forcast via

7. Check out the stalls that sell local produce--they sell at a lower price during the festival.