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Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Sydney, Australia
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Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

We were a bit slow leaving Sydney, on Wednesday 24 February. Arrived at the War Memorial around 2.00pm. Went straight to the ‘Of Love and War’ exhibit, which was fascinating, and extremely touching. Also enjoyed the ‘over the front’ display in the Anzac Hall-they have the left boot of ‘the dirty Red Baron’! Amongst other things. The great war in the air film is well worth the visit alone. There were a lot more aircraft on display than our last visit (2 years ago) Paid a quick visit to the Unknown Soldier-I feel quite possessive towards him, having stood beside his previous resting place in France. Then it was time for the closing ceremony, the crowd was large and quiet-not always the case. A man asked me what we were all waiting for… A lone piper played ‘Flowers of the Forest’ After walking around the AWM gardens then to Pavilion On Northbourne-I’ve submitted a review, but basically the A/C was deafening and I wouldn’t stay there again in a fit. Canberra is-um, quiet, in the early evening.

Thursday we headed to the NGA, I’d bought tickets online, and I was rather disgruntled to be directed to ticketek, incurring a $3.95 booking fee. The queue was half way across the road bridge at 9.30 & the car park not opened. I joined it, and Himself went to look for on street park, which he found quite easily. That day the purchasing queue was relatively short. There were a couple of women going the length of the queues giving out booklet guides-so at least we had something to read By 10.00am the queue was twice the length and I wondered what it was going to be like inside. The doors opened and we all shuffled forward, the folded print outs were hand collected-no sign of automation. we paused to join a shorter queue and hired the audio guides-well worth the $ IMO. Just press the button number of the painting you want.

We went straight to room 3-for the Starry Night. Had it to ourselves for about 5 minutes, I have said elsewhere that we were in Arles last year so were very keen to revisit. We didn’t move around in any particular order-mainly headed for what was least crowded at the time. They were not issuing pass outs-we were told to come back in through the dedicated gift shop [my audio guide battery packed up so I had to go out] There were a few pieces that didn’t grab me-but overall I/we thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, I’ve been to the Musée d'Orsay, twice,but obviously, this collection wasn’t put together in this way there.

The crowds were nothing compared to some I've seen. People were generally very polite and mindful of others...

We spent about an hour and a half viewing the masterpieces, then I really learned about queing-20 bloody minutes in the dedicated gift shop to pay for some Van Gogh postcards! To rub salt into the wound, they opened another cash register and before I could react, I saw an old friend sprint from the back and triumphantly get in first! Ha ha

HUGE TIP-if you only want to buy the exhibition catalogue $39.99-they had it in the ordinary gift shop! No flipping queue in there-they didn’t have my postcards though.

That took so long; Himself moved our car, again having no problem parking on the street. We had coffee in the café-then a look at some other galleries including the Nolan Ned Kellys.

As we left around 1.00 there was no queue at all-but the Greyhound buses were pulling up….

We drove round to the National Archives, looked at the Stanley Bruce exhibition-mildly interesting. Had lunch in the little café there, also a look at the Snowy mountains exhibit-it was quite good, but we’d had enough kulchur by then. Feet and brains were tired,we had intended to visit the Mint but it will keep for another day. And so we set off for Albury, enroute to Melbourne.

I read yesterday that NGA tickets are to be timed – and I just checked for tomorrow.

Ticketek allocation is exhausted! Don’t know if that means you can buy at the gallery?

Edited: 2:05 am, March 12, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Nice report. Sounds like you timed it well to be out before the tour buses !!

Gungahlin, Australia
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2. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Excellent report!

Mr Mac said he didn't have to go through Ticketek, and I'm sure there were pass-outs on the day we were there. I guess they're having to change things to cope with the numbers. The exhibition has been extended until 18 April, with extended hours too.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

yes, GlbetrottingG....a fab trip report, i'm sure others will appreciate all your information.

I read an article the other day regarding the huge crowds and how we must be all secret Art Lovers !

EM.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Thanks! I wasn't being re-directed to ticketek when I looked a couple of weeks before. I guess the NGA found the volume too much for their site? I didn't book until last minute,cos you never know...although that has clearly changed-the last minute booking. I didn't have a tt acc, and I thought the info they required to set one up,was OTT.$3.95 to print my own tix is a cheek too.

I'm still glad we went! I wonder how they have managed to extend the season-and yes we are a nation of Art lovers i think :)

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

I wonder how tis will work with the HOTEL PACKAGES..ie our trip we had admission inc but no sign of anything including date

just said "wholesale ticket"

and yes GG we had pass out options, not that we would have even thought about queuing to get back in.

Friends went last Fri and and said queue was huge, but vew was good

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

just to clarify-we had no trouble at all getting back in through the gift shop that day.there was a person sitting there -didn't ask for any proof,not that we had any as the tix had been collected...

and yes, GW I wonder that too-the pre paid packages,and timed entries now

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Thanks for writing the TR - I have hopes that one day soon we'll make it down there to see the exhibition.

melbourne
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8. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Hi I just returned from canberra tonight! We went up there also for the musee d'orsay exhibition and I'd wished I'd read your entry before leaving. For some bizzare reason the car park does not open until 0945 hrs so you are left madly trying to find a park before the 10am opening. TIP the is a large car park behind the national library and questacon .... we should have gone there instead BUT the car park at the national portrait gallery was FREE! 2ND TIP if you are in a group/ more than 1 get someone to wait inline from 8- 830am WITH YOUR PRE PURCHASED TICKETS so you can be guaranteed early entry at 10am. We watched poor blighters who purchased their tickets on the day who then had to join the back of the ever growing pre purchased ticket queue. Don't go to the gallery for lnch or snacks walk across to the nat library to bookplate for nice food without the crowds.

Silo bakery in kingston has great food and delicious fruit tarts but terrible and off hand service. Silo is not open sun or mon either. We can recommend Saffron & abel kopi thai in manuka.

The old bus depot markets in kingston on sundays are much better than I thought the'd be. Well worth a trip if you want to stock up with fresh produce, bread, jewelery, clothes etc.

Sydney Australia
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9. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Ah, finally got to your report GG. Very interesting. We haven't made it into the galleries at the AWM much since redevelopment despite having come down for the Armistice Day talks for a couple of years. Your report reminds me I really must set a day aside to do it very soon!

Interesting reading of your experience with the exhibition too. It's turned into something of a spectacle hasn't it! I saw on the news a story saying that they have taken to setting up food and refreshment stalls for the queues and they actually said that making sure people have a good experience and can see the exhibition is more important than profit on it! ..anyway thanks for reporting. I've really enjoyed reading about your time in Canberra.

Gungahlin, Australia
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10. Re: Short Trip report inc. Masterpieces from Paris exhibition

Thanks for your comments Matthem :-) I've heard that about Silo too. Canberra's answer to the Soup Nazi?