Thursday, 2 August 2018

Capital! All the Capital Cities I've Visited

A model of the Houses of Parliament, London,
within the Mini-Europe theme park in Brussels, Belgium.

I was musing the other day about national capitals, those cities in which the government of a country is based.

Often they're the most prominent city of a nation, and thus the most popular destination for international tourists as well: think London, or Paris.

Other times they're not so prominent, though may still draw overseas visitors: Canberra perhaps, or Ottawa. Some capitals are barely known to tourists, who usually visit another part of the country entirely: Suva, Fiji springs to mind here.

Some countries are so big, of course, that you can see quite a lot of them without reaching the capital. I've been to the USA eight times now, and still haven't visited Washington, DC. Nor have I got to Beijing while in China.

Does it matter? Not really, unless you're fascinated by attractions connected with government.

I am, as it goes, because my university degree was in history and politics. So it occurred to me to list in order all the national capitals I've visited, and in what year that visit happened.

Note that I didn't get to the capital of my own nation before visiting that of neighbouring Indonesia. I was living in Perth then, and from there Jakarta was more accessible by air than Canberra in those days!

National Capitals Visited:

1. Jakarta, Indonesia (1981)
2. Canberra, Australia (1989)
3. London, UK (1990)
4. Paris, France (1990)
5. Cairo, Egypt (1992)
6. Budapest, Hungary (1993)
7. Vienna, Austria (1993)
8. Prague, Czechia (1993)
9. Damascus, Syria (1994)
10. Amman, Jordan (1994)

11. Warsaw, Poland (1994)
12. Berlin, Germany (1994)
13. Bangkok, Thailand (1997)
14. Suva, Fiji (1999)
15. Rome, Italy (2001)
16. Vatican City (2001)
17. Wellington, New Zealand (2003)
18. Santiago, Chile (2005)
19. Vilnius, Lithuania (2008)
20. Bratislava, Slovakia (2008)

21. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2009)
22. Ljubljana, Slovenia (2010)
23. Ottawa, Canada (2010)
24. Delhi, India (2011)
25. Dublin, Ireland (2011)
26. Stockholm, Sweden (2012)
27. Seoul, South Korea (2014)
28. Muscat, Oman (2014)
29. Brussels, Belgium (2014)
30. Singapore (2015)

31. Copenhagen, Denmark (2016)
32. Kiev, Ukraine (2016)
33. Pretoria, South Africa (2018)... though South Africa is more complicated, as its Parliament actually sits in Cape Town, and its judiciary in Bloemfontein.

And I'm hoping to be in Tokyo before the end of the year! Capital.