Staying in Lake Bathurst on our farm sit we had the chance to drive to Canberra for a day. Neither of us had a great urge to see anything particular but as we were so close to it we would have been silly not to check it out. We only had to drive about an hour before we got to the War Memorial. We went in to Poppies cafe which is right by the Memorial and had a coffee, before we went in.
After having my bag quickly searched for the usual things you would at an airport, we entered the first room. From the beginning I knew I would not be looking at everything as deeply as some people would. Not because it wasn’t interesting or not my thing, but because I wanted to cry as soon as I started to read the story’s and see the photo’s of the people involved.
Each room has the history, memorabilia, and small sculptures depicting each war Australia has been involved in. Some rooms were representing the Army another the Air-force. I went through each room in bewilderment and amazement. I don’t watch war movie’s as I am a crier, but this place gets to you. The feeling throughout the whole place is one of respect. People walk around quietly taking it all in. They have gone to great lengths to capture the essence and the history of the wars. I would recommend a visit even if like me, it’s not your thing, It’s worth it.
We assumed looking down the road from the War Memorial to Parliament House you could drive straight down the road and get to it. Like driving down the mall to Buckingham Palace, no!
After driving down and having to turn off we ended up driving to a couple of unplanned places. The Telstra Tower, I’m not sure what was in it, we ended up doing a drive by and headed back to see Parliament.
We arrived at Parliament and again drove around it. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was a little boring from the outside compared to the Old parliament house across the way. We pulled up in a car park between the old and new parliament’s so I could take some photos before we carried on.
After having lunch we headed to the Australian Mint. Google said it was open and the last tour was at 3pm, we had 30min left to get to it. When we arrived the sign said the last tour was at 2pm, bummer.
Take a walk around and have a look at the history of Australian coins. You can also read up on the man who sketches the coins before they are printed. There’s a short walk down a corridor to look down on people working on speciality coins. The ones people collect or commemorative coins.
On the other side are more rooms one with giant machinery that seems to dance when someone is watching. A heap of school children on an excursion found it fun, and so did we :). As you leave, a shop selling different coins, gold notes and other gifts is here for you to give your money back.