Kicking back on the weekend

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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin
September 7th 2020
Published: September 7th 2020
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After a week of busy days we were glad to take it more slowly on Saturday morning. Nevertheless we went down for breakfast at 8-30am. Our first try, last Wednesday, had not boded well. Again we had to wait for a table and then they took a while to serve us. Because they cannot have a buffet because of COVID-19 we had to order from the menu. There was nothing simple on it, no cereals, fruit or yogurt or toast. The big breakfast had such things as kale and baked beans and the rest was not very appealing. We both had French Toast which was very nice but a large serve with berries, pear and icecream. Again it was over 30 minutes until we received what we ordered. We decided we wouldn't bother in the future.

We walked down to the information centre and saw that there was the Big Bus booth set up next to it. We hadn't seen any up to now and wondered whether it was running but the driver there told us because of restrictions, they were only operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. We showed our voucher and received our tickets. The next bus was at 11am. We decided to do the whole circuit, about 60 minutes first and then go to the Military Museum in the afternoon. We sat upstairs and watched as we drove along Mitchell St and out to Cullen Bay. We then proceeded to the Museum and past the Casino to Fannie Bay. As we headed to Parap we drove along a very straight stretch of road. This was Ross Smith Avenue and was once the airstrip built for the landing of the planes for the great air race of 1919, won by Ross Smith and his brother Keith. It had remained an airfield until WW2.Some people got off at Parap as the markets were open .A long drive back to the Waterfront to Stokes Wharf and we decided to alight here and have lunch looking over the water.

We wandered along the wharf but very few eateries were open. We settled on Kim's Fish and Chips and both ordered Snapper with prawns and chips. Though having to eat with plastic knives and forks the meal was excellent and, as usual, very large. It was pleasant sitting there , with seagulls gathering for the stray chip and several raptors circling over the water. The next bus came at 1-15 so we boarded that and headed for the Military Museum. We found that Danny and Val were on this bus and Danny told us he had found his phone so he was rapt! This bus diverted to East Point before it got to Parap and we disembarked at the Defence of Darwin Experience. This is a modern museum presenting the Bombing of Darwin in 1942 with photo exhibitions, videos and interactive displays. It was opened in 2012, so neither of us had seen it. We spent some time reading the boards and watching a short video explaining just how the raid on Feb 19th started and what damage was caused.Artefacts from the attack were on show and recordings of eyewitnesses added to the interest.Outside were a series of old bunkers and the original command post containing many other relics of the war. There was also other equipment like guns and an amphibious landing craft amongst the gardens.

The museum closed at 3-30 and the last Hop On Hop Off bus arrived at 3-40pm We got back to the hotel about 4-30pm. We decided to have a rest before walking across the road to the Hotel Darwin to use our voucher for dinner. Hotel Darwin is an old fashioned pub,built in the Art Deco style, sprawling along the footpath with a dedicated Sports Bar and a large front bar and Beer Garden. We sat out on the veranda for dinner as it was a balmy night and there was quite a crowd there. I opted for an Avocado and chicken salad while Fletcher chose the Chicken Scnitzel. What really pleased us was that the wine list contained a Shaw & Smith Sauv Blanc for only $40. Most places that would be at least $20 more. We had a beer included in the voucher but enjoyed the wine afterwards. We moved inside after dinner and watched the footy. It had been another busy day and we were glad to return to our comfortable bed.

Sunday was our complete veg day. Both our backs were aching from the amount of walking we had been doing and we are not used to going out and about every day. We stayed in our room, me writing my blog, for the morning and ventured out about 11-30. We walked down to the Waterfront which was very busy with many families dining out for Father's Day. Having checked the menus of several places near the Wave Pool, we decided on Snapper Rocks. This was a white, fresh looking place, not yet as busy as some others. We both decided on a snapper ceviche for something different. This was an excellent choice as the fish was well marinated and very fresh tasting. These were smaller serves which pleased us. Once finished Fletcher decided to have the entree size char grilled prawns, while I was happy with a Citrus Tart. Yummy.

After a very pleasant sojourn there we walked over to the other side of the beach to Wharf One. Here we enjoyed a bottle of an Italian Pinot Grigio, while people watching and enjoying the views. Back to the Hilton about 3pm and a nap and more relaxation until time for dinner. We wanted a change from pub food so went to NON La Restaurant, an Asian , nominally Vietnamese, cuisine but it had a wide variety of dishes. The entrees of cold rolls and Thai fish cakes was excellent but the mains lacked the spiciness we expected. Black pepper beef was very bland as was the garlic and pepper chicken. A pity as the meat was soft and the veggies crisp. It had been a very quiet day but a much needed one to recharge the body and mind.

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