I was up early as I only had half a day to enjoy the rest of Canberra's highlights before Jetting to Sydney, my last Australian city before Hong Kong and home. I had breakfast and jumped on the bus 10 to the Australian War Museum. Thank god the driver shouted at me "War Museum" because I was busy looking out the the window on the other side of the bus. You could only just make out the museum through the trees. I cut across the grass, getting soaked in the process. It was only 09:30 and the grass was still covered in dew, wet shoes great!
The War Museum and Memorial was a stone building, with a court yard area in the centre. A rectangular water feature filled the space producing a reflection of the stone walls. It was really impressive. From the front of the building you could see up to Parliament hill, where I had been yesterday. I had a walk around the first exhibit, the battle at Gallipoli that the Australian Army played an important part in. I joined the free guided tour at 11am, it was a 90 minute tour and would show us some of the important exhibits in Australian's past.
We started in the memorial court yard. This was the entrance that I have ready briefly talked about. At both ends was a large grand set of stairs taking you up to the first floor memorial corridors. On both sides there were thousands of names that were listed on brass metal sheets fixed to the stone walls. Each name listed was a soldier that has die in action since the first world war in 1914. This list still continued today listing soldier that are serving in Australia in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year on the 11th November, soldier's that have died in service in the year will be listed on the walls. There were thousands of bright red poppies that surrounded the names. It actually was really sad, and a few people got chocked up. I know it sounds wrong, but I was looking for any Harper's on the wall. Believe it or not, the first I saw was HARPER, G and above that HARPER, D, which is me and my mum! Spooky.. I ended up seeing a lot more Harpers that have been killed over the years. Who knows I may have been related to one of them.
Walking back into the main museum we walked through the WWI and WWII displays. I studied history in GCSE's and I didn't really ever touch on the Australian efforts, maybe if I had I would have had the edge in my exams and got a better grade! It was all really interesting, there is such a big difference from the uniforms and equipment used in wars from 1914 to present. I walked through the nursing exhibit that shows the changes in the way they worked in battlefields and war zones. The last part of the tour was the current wars exhibit, Iraq and Afghanistan where Australian troops are serving. I could write so much out my visit to the war museum/mermorial. But I will stop now! It was one of the best museums I've ever seen. The guide ended our guide by saying the building that houses the this impressive collection was designed after WWI and was later redeveloped after WWII had ended.
It was time to return to the city. I had a nice Irish pub lunch in the city centre and then walked the 5 minutes to the hostel. Repacked as I now have way to much stuff my one backpack ive had to buy a holdal. Then walk to the bus station on the other side of the city. It was already dark and cold. I was going to get to the airport 2 hours early as I had to get the last airport shuttle. When I was at the airport I just relaxed an people watched. There was a massive group of school children travelling to Darwin. The teachers were rushing around like headless chicken it was fun to watch the kids could only have been 10 to 12 years old. I think my flight must have been the last departure of the night from Canberra airport. It was diserted, only 16 passengers on my Dash 800 flight to Sydney. I got to be honest I wasn't looking forward to getting on an aircraft that had open propellers. I think it's because I've watched to many aircraft Investigation that involves these! The take off was really rough, but once in the air it was smooth. The flight was so empty, just wish I was doing a longer flight, as I had my own row. It was only 35 minutes. Took off, the crew chucked a cheese and cracker snack box as me with a beer and in no time we had landed in Sydney. I cleared the airport quickly but when getting my backpack back it was soaking wet, good job everything inside was in bags!
I ended up getting the train from the domestic airport to the central train station, the trains are double deckers, much better than the UK transport system. Arriving at central station I got a little lost finding the Bounce Hostel, I asked a guy in seven11 if he knew where it was, he didnt have a clue, I finally found it. (Around the corner!). Just in time as well as it had started to pour down. Found my room, and I bloody knew I would end up with a top bunk as I was late to check-in. I know I have banged on about it a lot, they really do suck. I never sleep that great on them. I liked this hostel, it has great lockers. Lights and power adapters at every bed (A luxury hostel!) Bad thing was the wifi was expensive. I needed it as I was arranging to meet people while I was here!! I has had a long day, showered got my stuff ready for tomorrow and then went to bed. Tomorrow is going to be amazing!!