Lounge Review – Virgin Australia Canberra Airport Lounge

When visited: January 2020
Time of day: Late Afternoon to early evening

Rating: 4.5 / 5

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Destination: Republic of Fiji


Established:
10 October 1970 (from the United Kingdom)
Population
: 912,241 (2018 estimate)
Religion: 64.4% Christianity, 27.9% Hinduism
Language: English, Fiji Hindi
Capital: Suva
Order of Visit: Thirty-Sixth
First Visit
: 1 November 2010
Last Visit: 5 November 2010
Duration: 5 Days
Must Do:  Gardens of the Sleeping Giant, Viseisei Village, Vuda Lookout, Sunset Cruise, Swimming and Relaxing
Cities: Nadi
Fiji Journal Entries

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Destination: Antarctica

Established: 1959 (Antarctic Treaty signed 1 December 1959)
Population
: Approximately 4,000 (in Summer months)
Religion: None
Language: None
Original Treaty Countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America
Order of Visit: 42
First Visit
: 8 November 2012
Last Visit: 18 November 2012
Duration
: 11 Days
Must Do Experiences: Camping on the Antarctic Continent, Walking on a moving iceberg, Antarctica Convergence (where the ocean’s hot and cold currents meet), Enjoy wild zodiac rides, Endure a Polar Plunge, Experience the magnificent wildlife; Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, Macaroni Penguins, Weddell Seals, Humpback Whale, and Killer Whales
Locations: Drake Passage, Beagle Channel, Half Moon Island, Deception Island, Livingston Island, Paradise Bay, Enterprise Island, Peterman Island, Pleneau Bay, Cuverville Island, Jougla Point, Antarctica Continent, Danko Island, Neko Harbour
Antarctic Journal Entries

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Destination: New Zealand

IMG_0101Established: 1840 (Treaty of Waitangi)
Population
: 4.47 million
Religion: Christianity  (47.65%)
Language: English
Capital: Wellington
Order of Visit: Second
First Visit
: 11 November 1999
Last Visit: 21 January 2010
Duration: 31 Days
Must Do: Explore Waitomo Caves, Visit Bay of Islands, Remember Lord of the Rings at Hobbiton, Hike anywhere in New Zealand (but beware changing weather), and have fun in Queenstown.
Cities: Auckland, Bay of Islands, Cambridge, Christchurch, Dunedin, Fox Glacier, Greymouth, Hanmer Springs, Matamata (Hobbiton), Kaikoura, Milford, PictonQueenstown, Rotorua, Turangi, Wellington
New Zealand Journal Entries

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Destination: Switzerland

Established: 1291
Population: 8.3 million (2019 estimate)
Religion: Protestant (51.3%)
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh
Capital: Bern
Order of Visit: 16
First Visit: 31 May 2006
Last Visit: 7 June 2006
Duration: 8 Days
Must Do: Lake Lucerne, Eat delicious Swiss Chocolate, admire stunning Lauterbrunnen Waterfalls, Enjoy the high altitude train to Jungfrajoch (Top of Europe) and stand in awe before the snow capped mountains.
Cities: Lucerne, Lauterbrunnen, Bern
Switzerland Journal Entries

he establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from military successes against Austria and Burgundy.  The Federal Charter of 1291 is considered the founding document of Switzerland which is celebrated on Swiss National Day. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

Since 16th century Switzerland has maintained a strong policy of armed neutrality; it has not fought an international war since the 1815 Congress of Vienna European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality and has allowed  Switzerland to be active in peace-building processes around the world.

There are four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh but the majority of the population are German-speaking. Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product with the major industry being their banking institutions.

Switzerland was not invaded during either of the world wars. During World War I, Switzerland was home to Vladimir Lenin. During World War II, detailed invasion plans were drawn up by the Germans but Switzerland was never attacked.  Switzerland was able to remain independent through a combination of military deterrence, concessions to Germany, and good fortune as larger events during the war delayed an invasion. During the World War II, the Swiss Air Force engaged aircraft of both sides.

Switzerland is part of the European Schengen treaty that allows easy travel throughout the European Union however Switzerland is not a member of the EU.  Women were only given the right to vote at Federal level in 1971.

I only have only visited Switzerland once for 8 days as a backpacker during my 2006 world trip.  It’s an incredibly beautiful and clean country with friendly local who all appeared to speak English as a second or third language, or at least the locals I spoke to.  It is extremely expensive place to visit but luckily the beautiful outdoors are free.

Worth a visit but maybe better to go when you can afford to do more.

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Destination: United States of America

Established: 1776
Population:
308 million (2010 census)
Religion:
Protestant (51.3%)
Capital:
Washington DC
Order of Visit:
1
First Visit: 27 November 1986
Last Visit: 29 August 2019
Duration: 155 Days
Must Do: Grand Canyon, Deadwood, New York Comedy Clubs, The Alamo, New Year’s Eve in New York Times Square, Amusement Parks (LA and Orlando), Jazz in New Orleans
Cities:
 Anchorage, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Deadwood, Denali, Flagstaff, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Redoubt Bay, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Savannah, Sausalito, Seattle, Washington DC, Whittier
Journal Entries

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Destination: Netherlands

Established: 1581
Population: 14.4 million (2018 estimate)
Religion: Non-religious (51%), Catholic (21%)
Language: Dutch
Capital: Amsterdam
Order of Visit: 12
First Visit: 6 May 2006
Last Visit: 10 May 2006
Duration: 5 Days
Must Do: Stunning flowers at Keukenhof, Model Town of Madurodam,  Amsterdam Red Light District, Anne Frank House, Bike ride around Amsterdam, Marijuana Cafes   
Cities
: Amsterdam, Keukenhof, Deft, The Hague, Madurodam 
Netherlands Journal Entries

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