Sunday, October 06, 2013

Day 9 and 10 Canberra and Canberra to Melbourne 25/09 & 26/09

R, there is a petrol station nearby and while you fill up the car, I will take a photo of this old house. If you believe the developer, it will be restored. I rather like it as it is.


The War Memorial was the next place to visit. We had paid nothing to see the works in the National Gallery, nothing to see the Portrait Gallery, nothing for parking at either places, nothing to see Parliament House and park there, nothing to see the War Memorial and to park there.


The gardens and vistas were a delight.


Simpson and his Donkey is a bit like Mother Theresa. You need to read the fine print and they become a bit less enchanting once you are educated about them.


Looking down Anzac Parade to the Old Parliament, with the present Parliament also in view at the rear.


Gattina, there is some history to these guardians at our War Memorial. They came from the Menin Gates in the Belgian village of Ypres. The village was all but destroyed during World War I, but although damaged, the pair of lions at the gate to the mediaeval village were rescued and presented by the Mayor of Ypres to Australia in 1936. In return we gave the village a sculpture called Digger (Australian soldier) with the inscription "In assurance of a friendship that will not be forgotten even when the last digger has gone west and the last grave is crumbled".


This is an eternal flame, bubbling out or the water. You could barely see the flame in the bright sunlight.


There were many war planes in the museum.


It was all very interesting as I dispassionately viewed what was to be seen. That is until I got to this photo, an Aborigine at Gallipoli on Anzac Day in the early light and mist play a didgeridoo. Oops, I got a bit emo. R did not notice but I was a bit of a mess. I think maybe being the principal organiser of the trip and the responsibility had taken a bit of a toll. Luckily R is easy going about what we do and I always try to see things that he will find interesting too.


There was even a sound and light show re-enacting a bombing raid on Germany.


Austere? I like war memorials to be austere.


The Hall of Memory was very special.


In the centre of the room is the tomb of the unknown soldier. It was too dark for my camera to capture.



It all became too much when I saw this photo of a grieving mother and sister or wife. I had to leave. I did get a bit of look at the Vietnam War area, but I was mentally tired by then and could not absorb anything anymore.


It is a truly wonderful memorial to the victims of war. Lucky that we won and can have such a thing.


There was a separate cafe at the memorial so we had something to eat and coffee and guess what? Finally a cup of coffee as good as you would find in Melbourne!

Well, what better to lift the spirits than flowers, and there were a lot of flowers at Canberra's annual Floriade. For once we were rescued by the sat nav who found us a car park with just a short walk over a pedestrian bridge. Golly, another place without an admission fee. It makes Melbourne's Garden Show quite disgusting with something like a $25 entry fee just to see people exhibiting their stuff for sale.





Not quite the size of the duck that visited Sydney Harbour, but it attracted plenty of attention.




The kangaroo is a shiny metal sculpture.


It was quite hot in the sun. We sat for a bit on a bench in the shade. Look Victor, people!


I don't know if kids like stilt walkers or not, but I do.


Bloody heck, not Belgium again. I have seen this before in Cairns, I think. It is made in Belgium and is called 73 key Verbeek Concert Street Organ. Click here to see it playing and here to see the workings at the rear.


Next stop was the cafe area of Kingston and what a civilised place it was. The cafes are spread around an outward facing block and very trendy some of them were too. After a refreshing iced coffee we went back to the motel after a tiring but great day. In the evening we dined at the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan and it was a very nice meal. It's worth clicking here to see the impressive and huge hotel.

I stood on the walkway at out motel and noticed to the right, a funeral parlour.


And to the left a funeral parlour. I hope they aren't omens.


On the left of the sign is a neon wallaby, unfortunately not working. Although it was a twenty minute drive from the centre of Canberra, I would recommend the motel. It has great security, with the friendly owner often walking around the car parking area below the rooms with coffee and a cigarette in his hand.


Tradies were staying in the motel. Now I am sure it means something if you leave your shoes outside your door??? No? I just remembered. It means you want staff to clean them.


It was a seven hour drive home, so the next morning we set off at 6.45. We called in to see a friend in Wangaratta who had made us an early lunch and with a couple more leg stretches, we were home by 3.30. The most stressful driving for the whole time away was on Melbourne's Western Ring Road. However, it is pretty amazing that we could drive from Yass, outside Canberra, to within five minutes of home at high speed and there not be a traffic light.

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed my recount of our short holiday as much as we enjoyed the trip.

32 comments:

  1. I have enjoyed following your trip very much Andrew. I have visited the war memorial at Gallipoli and it is a very moving place. To hear an aborigine playing a didgeridoo there would be quite overwhelming but how fitting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fun60. We have never taken a holiday like that before and we enjoyed it. It is great that so many young people visit Gallipoli and find it very moving.

      Delete
  2. I like that new cafe at the War Memorial. I think the architects did a very good job integrating it with the rest of the complex. It blends in very well and doesn't distract from the main building.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ad Rad, I said to R, this is a very pleasant space. It's very well done.

      Delete
  3. I loved this. Thanks for the tour! The memorials/museum/hall of memory ... very moving. So glad you were able to lighten the visit with those gorgeous gardens and the plastic rubber duck.

    I wonder if that amazing old house will be renovated as the main entrance to the new building. Interesting...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it Mitchell. I doubt the house will be an entrance. It will be interesting to see what really happens to it.

      Delete
  4. Envious envious
    Big blue skies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, we really did well with the weather. It turned to extremely windy as we were returning home and most unpleasant.

      Delete
  5. Ah, brings much such good memories - and great to see that they haven't done anything weird to the surroundings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was good to see Michael, but I can't imagine living there.

      Delete
  6. Yes I did enjoy your trip. I love going along with others on their trips from my study desks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, I think I prefer to stay at home at watch others travel, but at times you do have to do things.

      Delete
  7. I must revisit the War Memorial which I haven't seen since I was a teenager; not even visiting whilst I lived in the city between 1982/87. A poor effort on my part.

    I chuckled at you finding people to photograph in Canberra. It reminded me of a senior locally engaged staff member in Hong Kong who returned from a visit to Canberra in the 1970s and exclaimed they arrived there on Saturday afternoon and thought the city must be closed, such was the absence of any signs of human life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victor, in about 1982 we were in Canberra. We eventually found somewhere to eat. Mine hostess was drunk and very amusing company. I wouldn't have a clue where it was.

      Delete
  8. Great that there are so many free admissions in Canberra ... but I think we'll find that we've paid in other ways!!!! It's been a most interesting tour - thanx for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite so Red, we pay with our taxes.

      Delete
  9. Simpson and his donkey? Is that what that is? We have the same here in Adelaide, but the donkey has his head closer to the ground as he is stepping off a rock. I took a photo but the plaque inscription didn't mention either Simpson or the donkey.
    It's been nice following you around on your holiday, and nice that you finally found a decent cup of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simpson and his donkey are legendary. They come in many poses.

      It was so nice to have a good cup of coffee.

      Delete
  10. I reckon this is the best bit you saw in all your travels:
    " there is some history to these guardians at our War Memorial. They came from the Menin Gates in the Belgian village of Ypres. The village was all but destroyed during World War I, but although damaged, the pair of lions at the gate to the mediaeval village were rescued and presented by the Mayor of Ypres to Australia in 1936. In return we gave the village a sculpture called Digger (Australian soldier) with the inscription "In assurance of a friendship that will not be forgotten even when the last digger has gone west and the last grave is crumbled"."

    Les We Forget!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, the best thing is that Aussie lads will google foreign war before they ever go again.

      Delete
    2. True for every generation, I hope. My husband and one of my brothers both went into the barrel during the Vietnam war and both were balloted out. But my parents had certainly made plans, in case it had worked out differently. Never again!

      Delete
  11. I'd love to go to Floridae some day, looks great. As for that first photo, it was confusing, then I made it bigger, then it was more confusing. Poor little house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fen, the house was real when I took the photo but also surreal. Floriade is not much better than what you saw at the weekend, but free. Quite dazzling really.

      Delete
    2. what I saw on the weekend was $20 to get in, plus whatever you ate and drank! They must make an absolute KILLING!

      Delete
    3. Yes, a few years ago I judged it as being too expensive and we stopped visiting.

      Delete
  12. If one must go and see things that make the eyes water, then beautiful weather, a perfect sky, a decent cup of coffee, and someone else to fill the car seem perfect antidotes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. FC, I would have been quite content to stay home. I like my home. It works well. One does need to be stimulated to do stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for such a great run down. When I say I'm going to Canberra for work, nobody is impressed, most laugh at me! But I actually don't mind the place. I would love to take the kids there for a week or so and get around to the War Memorial and such.
    Coming home from Shepp last week, I have to agree that the most stressful part of the drive was the WRR! Crazy and rude and impatient drivers. And bonus - people who are behind the wheel, but certainly NOT drivers!
    Thanks Andrew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rae. I expect once you know your way around a city, you can appreciate it better. What is about the WRR? I thought they spent millions fixing it but it is still a scary road. You think it is the type of driver?

      Delete
    2. I reckon! They are nuts! A lot appear to think they own the road. Many more courteous drivers on the 110 speed limited Hume and beyond.

      Delete
  15. Your holiday photos definitely made Canberra a lot more interesting than I've heard Canberra actually is Andrew:) One of Aimee's friends has a 'top secret' job there and I think she's becoming more fond of the place..although she does come home to Perth rather a lot :) I definitely relate, there's no place like home..unless its Paris :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grows on you like a wart, Grace? I am surprised that it seems to have a fast growing population.

      Delete