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Sunday, May 2, 2010

We have been to Canberra!

Have not posted for a while because my hubbie and I have been in Canberra, visiting family.  We had lovely weather, and played with the grandies for 4 days,  coming back to Melbourne and staying with other family and seeing MIL (96) before returning home. We had a week away, including being in Canberra for Anzac Day (Australia's day to remember our soldiers who fought in wars and are currently serving in the armed forces, representing Australia overseas - my dear old Dad, who died in 1983, was a Japanese POW on the infamous Burma Railway for four years during WWII).  This meant we could go the the dawn memorial service at the National War Memorial - along with some 20 000 others! We got up at 4.00 am, and were parked at the Russel Building's carpark by 4.45. We got a free shuttlebus from there up the Avenue to the War Memorial Building forecourt - we stood about six back from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It was a very moving, simple service and we were able to see our programs with the use of a little electrical candle - both given to us as we entered for a gold coin donation to the RSL. There were many young people there - an interesting development in modern times, and they were so respectful and quiet, and well behaved. It was cold but we listened to the dawn chorus of birds, including a kookaburra and white cockies, before the service began at 5.30.  The birds fell quiet during the service - spooky! We were home by 7.0 am! All this thanks to son Matthew, who drove us there and back, and provided hot coffee and snacks at the end of the bus ride back to the car. I took some photos but without flash so they are a bit murky.

This is looking back along the Avenue towards Parliament House - people were still arriving.

This was to the side - you can see the tiered seating set up but we stood.

Looking towards the Memorial Building and Museum, with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of us.

I even sang!  This song is such a dirge but it is traditional and wouldn't be ANZAC without it! 


As well we spent time going to the Tidbinbilla (?) National Park, and visiting with the natives, and to the Deep Space Tracking Station linked with NASA located near there. A very interesting excursion made more enjoyable by the children's interpretation of everything. Some images from this trip:

The main tracking device.

We stopped to admire a mob of kangaroos, much to the kid's delight! It was a big mob - this is only part of it.

My  grandson took this picture (aged 4) of an Emu (a flightless bird which stands nearly as tall as an adult) with my digital camera - he also took several pictures of me and his grandfather and of his face - nothing too recognisable!

Cute, aren't they!  Jack and Lily (aged 6). "We don't want you to go Nin!" - taken just before we left for the airport on Anzac Day.

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