This weekend I went to the open days at the Australian War Memorial and Old Parliament House.
Apparently these are held every year in May so I recommend timing trips to Canberra to coincide with them if possible.
First, the AWM on the Saturday. In addition to pulling a whole heap of rarely seen stuff out of the Treloar annex for public display there were events happening throughout the day. Too many in fact since I only saw a few.
First up was the ADFA Precision Drill Team - cadets from all three services (only one Navy cadet though) - who went through their routines with no verbal cues. Oh they had a slow drum for some of it but other than that the routines were entirely from memory.
Then the Red Berets parachuted in. I got some cool video footage of some of them but missed out on the last para who had a large Australian Flag attached.
Then the flyover of various vintage aircraft including a Canberra, a P3 Orion, two Mustangs, a Catalina, and a formation of three trainers (Hudsons?). Then the Roulettes did a couple of passes. Finally 4 choppers flew in and landed for static display.
Old Parliament House on the Sunday was (naturally) a lot quieter but in some ways even more interesting. For some reason I forgot my camera (which I'm kicking myself over) since there were a couple of nifty tours being offered on the day.
First was a rooftop tour which starts with a model of OPH as it was when it opened and takes you up through the press gallery of the House of Reps before getting to the roof with some interesting stories along the way. Originally, the roof of OPH was intended to be a garden area but that didn't last for reasons having a lot to do with rain.
Second was a behind the scenes tour of areas not normally open to the public including some of the 1940s/1960s extensions and passing under the Senate. This tour really drives home the need for building the new Parliament house as you get a real feel for just how cramped the old one was.
There were also other events going on at the same time such as kids activities in the Senate Courtyard, musical performances (in the Reps courtyard, Kings Hall (a mistake IMO, the acoustics there suck), and on the front steps) and a classic cars display in front.
All of which was 1940s themed (hardly surprising given the 60th anniversary of VE day).
A very enjoyable weekend when alls said and done.
If you cannot see the causal relationship between "I have chocolate" and "Life is Good", you simply aren't trying hard enough. Pirates of the Burley Griffin