Sunday, October 06, 2013
Day 9 and 10 Canberra and Canberra to Melbourne 25/09 & 26/09
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.