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Published: August 16th 2019
It was another chilly start to the day but, once again, we were lucky with the sky blue and the sun shining. We are staying at the Hotel Kurrajong which is very well-located in Barton for most of the things we have planned to visit/re-visit while we are in Canberra.
After a self-catered breakfast in our room we set out on foot for Old Parliament House which houses the Museum of Australian Democracy. We approached from the side and walked through the Parliamentary Rose Gardens and then beside the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Fountain. Once inside we participated in a brief orientation tour and then continued exploring on our own. Although we have visited before and done the guided tour previously, on our own we managed to explore parts of Old Parliament House that we have not seen before.
Next on our itinerary was the National Library of Australia where we arrived just in time for the guided tour of the Treasures Gallery. Although I visited in January when I travelled to Canberra to see the ‘Cook and the Pacific’ exhibition, the Treasures Gallery has been refreshed since then and some of the treasures on display have changed.
The guide told us that the gallery is refreshed twice each year so that more of the items that are held by the library can be brought out for display.
We decided to eat lunch at the library’s Bookplate Cafe before moving on. There was a wait for inside tables which was bizarre on such a beautiful day so we took the opportunity to sit at an outside table straight away. We have to record that the food at the library was delicious for the benefit of anyone reading our blog who might be planning a trip to Canberra.
On the move again we started heading towards the Australian National Gallery. Rather than walk directly to the gallery we took a detour down to the shore of Lake Burley Griffin where we photographed the Captain Cook Memorial Fountain and the National Carillon. At the gallery we concentrated on the permanent collections rather than paying for the Monet exhibition that is currently in residence. We have all seen Monet’s art in Paris and/or in Melbourne so felt that we didn’t need to see pieces by Monet that we may have seen before.
We walked back to the hotel
for a quick cuppa and to pick up the Golf to drive to the Australian War Memorial. We have not visited the war memorial in Canberra for at least 25, maybe even 30 years so it has been redeveloped and improved significantly since then. The audio visual displays were very good. We had thought that we would visit the war memorial quickly and then swing by the National Arboretum. In the end there was so much material at the war memorial that we were being herded out of the galleries at closing time.
Being rounded up at closing time meant that we were still at the war memorial at 4.55 pm when the Last Post Ceremony is held. The memorial farewells visitors each night with the Last Post Ceremony in the Commemorative Courtyard. Each night the ceremony shares the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour.
The ceremony began with the Australian national anthem, followed by the piper's lament during which visitors laid wreaths and floral tributes beside the Pool of Reflection. After this the story of Lance Corporal Joseph Henry Littlefair was told and the Ode was recited by a member of the
Australian Defence Force. The ceremony ended with the sounding of the Last Post. It is impossible not to be moved by the solemnity of the ceremony especially the haunting notes of the Last Post.
With the weather a bit threatening we decided to eat in at the Bar & Grill downstairs. It wasn’t as budget conscious as the Canberra Club, but it was much tastier!
The final card game of the holidays was another win to the girls. The luck has certainly been going our way during this fortnight with the girls tally at 13 wins to the boys only six.
Steps: 16,701 (12.53kms)
Tot: 3.144s; Tpl: 0.024s; cc: 27; qc: 129; dbt: 0.0413s; 3; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.6mb