Tuesday, October 7, 2008

National Museum of Australia in Canberra



I hope to spend at least one day at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.    Looking at the website for the museum makes me feel this place is just too good to be true.

It's located on a lake peninsula.   Pretty cool.   I mean it's not THAT cool.   

I don't mean to say the whole peninsula thing is too good to be true.    Although, I've never known of a Peninsula that was on a lake before.   I always associate peninsulas with the ocean.  

Let's just say it's kind of cool.  We'll leave it at that. 

I'm reading about the lake now.   It's called Lake Burley Griffin.  It's named after the architect who won the design competition for the city of Canberra.  For some reason, I'm thinking he's American.

Let's go see....

Yes, he is!   So, I DIDN'T dream that.   I must have read it somewhere.  

The lake is very dirty and not suitable for drinking.  We'll have to find something to drink at the museum cafe.   Is there a museum cafe?   I hope so!  Well, I mean if we can't drink the lake water, we're gonna have to drink something.

The actual museum has very weird architecture.   I'm not usually one to judge a building.  I know close to nothing about architecture.  I rarely like or dislike anything; but this building I find a bit hard not to dislike.

Maybe it will grow on me.

Outside the architecture, I'm in love with this museum.  I'm thinking of marrying it.    I know we haven't met face to face yet, but sometimes you just KNOW these things. 

It has a whole exhibit on Indigenous Australia and all kinds of fun iconic Aussie stuff.  Tim has promised me that he will take care of Jack for a few hours so I can be properly obsessive.  There are some children areas so maybe Tim and Jack can play there for awhile. I do hope though that Jack finds interest in some of the exhibits and we can share some learnable moments together.

The Museum is free!!!   The parking is free too. That's good to know. I'd hate it to be one of those things where they trick you. Free museum, but it costs twenty dollars to park! They also have bike racks so you can ride your bike there and lock it up. I wonder if Canberra is a bike-friendly town. I wonder this because Tim is a biking boy. If Canberra is biker-friendly, maybe I can convince him to move there.   Then I can go to the museum all the time!

I'm now looking at what they have in their collection.   I guess seeing this stuff will make me realize how I'm really not Australian-- Well, because I'll probably be clueless about the majority of stuff.  I'm looking at their online highlights and not much rings a bell for me.   The first I've seen that does mean something to me is an Eternity Sign.    Some Christian guy in Sydney went around and wrote Eternity in chalk all over the city.   One of the signs is in the museum.   That's cool.

Let's see.   What else means something to me?

Ah, Governor Macquarie's sword!  Awesome.

If you guys knew me as much as I know me, you'd realize how odd this all is.   I really usually do not get so excited about seeing objects from history.

What is it about Australia?

They have Phar Lap's heart.... Okay, I know who Phar Lap is and I understand how important Phar Lap is to Australia.   But I'm not getting excited about it.   I'm actually a bit grossed out. Sorry.

This is good.  The museum works hard to return artifacts and remains to the Indigenous Australians.   Good on them.

Holy shit.  I think I found the most awesome website ever.   If I was a dog and had a tail, it would be wagging like crazy right now.    I found the link on the museum website.   It has these interactive Australian history games.   Very educational. 

Another really cool link on the museum is this one about remote communities.

I had found this months ago and spent hours looking at it.   I forgot it came from the museum's website.     I loved looking at the photographs taken by the children.    There's just something so personal and real about the whole thing.