Monday, January 23, 2012

January 14th

We got up with lots to do.  See an entire capital city in one day is a tall order in any developed country.  We went off to see the the Parliament House and took a tour of the Senate and the House of Representatives, modeled somewhat on the USA example but with a parliamentary system and Prime Minister like the U.K. instead of a directly  elected President like the US.  After being to Washington D.C. even pre 9/11 was a bit surprised at the seeming lack of security and that we were able to get into these areas with no background checks or even I.D. checks.  Metal detectors was about it.  After this we went over to the Australian War Memorial to have a look around.  We bumped into a tour guide who was very good and passionate.  He went around to various things and told story after story and was just fascinating.  This was not just a memorial but also a war museum so I just soaked it up.  It was really fascinating seeing world events that I was well read on being explained through a different lens from a different part of the world.  If definitely affects our viewpoint and opinion.  The first world war seemed to have a very deep impact on the national psyche here much more so than in the USA based on the amount of space devoted to it versus the rest of the museum and WW II.   They were in it from the very beginning I suppose, as contrasted to the USA only really being involved in the last year.  They also made very liberal use of dioramas in the museum, which I found fantastic in their scale and detail but very unusual.
As we were having lunch Robyn checked her email and put 2 and 2 together that the suburb our motel was in had the same name as her friend Sharon lived in so we rang her up.  We were able to go over and pay a short visit and catch up.  They remembered me for being so fascinated 8 years ago that they actually had Koala bears in the trees in their backyard in Brisbane!
Picture of the House of Representatives.  The green is the color of the Gum tree leaves of Australia.
 The Senate at the Houses of Parliament.  The pink being the color of the gum trees flowers.
Robyn, Tucker, Cooper & Rob Scranton in the Senate chamber at the Houses of Parliament pleading with the government to repeal the carbon tax.
 Elray, Ruth, Aaron Brewerton Robyn, Cooper, Tucker, Rob  Scranton on top of the Houses of Parliament.  Bottom of hill (white bldg.) old house of parliament, in the background shadowed by the mountain is the War Memorial. 

 Eternal flame pool at the War Memorial. Throwing coins into the water.
On these walls are the names of every Australian service member every killed in combat.  The poppies tucked into them are put up as a remembrance by family members.  Poppies were plentiful in the fields of Europe in WW I where so many died.  
Let’s see from left to right it looks like from their headgear we’ve got a frenchman, german, and an aussie.
There is Tucker dressed in his diggers (what OZ Infantrymen are known as) floppy hat with Emu feather for decoration.

Robyn with her friend Sharon Tree.

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