History and more

Trip Start Oct 08, 2013
Trip End Nov 18, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, November 7, 2013

We woke to rain and as per previous entry, we decided against the segway tour.

We decided to go to the Visitors centre and museum. As I didn't know too much about the civil war, the documentary provided a good introduction.

And then the unexpected-a cyclorama. It was weird as we stood in the middle of a a circular space is how I would describe it, not knowing what to expect. And then the narration started.

A cyclorama is a panoramic painting on the inside of a cylindrical platform, designed to provide a viewer standing in the middle of the cylinder with a 360° view of the painting. These were pretty popular before the introduction of cinema and movies.

The painting was extraordinary. The thing that added to the visual impact was that in the front of the painting was a three dimensional diarama that gave the painting depth and an increased level of realism and detail. It was a dramatic recreation of a famous charge at Gettysburg-Picketts Charge. You walk around and follow the narration to watch the scenes and events unfold before you. Don't worry, no history lesson here. You can google if you want to.

Did you know that in the State Library of Victoria there is a cyclorama of Melbourne in the 1840s? Its a much smaller one (100 feet compared to the Gettysburg one which is 377 feet in circumference and 42 feet high). The museum in Gettysburgh is designed specifically to house it and to exhibit same permanently.

The museum was pretty good as well with the layout following the events in chronological order with artefacts, stories, sound and images to make the museum interesting and informative.

When we were done, the rain had stopped and we went outside to take pictures with Abe Lincoln. The wind was chilly and blowing and it was pretty cool. Then we did a self drive tour around the battlefield. The country side has ben left pretty much untouched in most places. The number of monuments, statues, memorials and markers was staggering and quite sobering. Part of the drive took us to the cemetery. I had watched the movie Lincoln on the plane coming over so it was amazing to be actually on the spot where Lincoln gave his famous speech- it begins..."Four score and seven years ..." the one at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg.

We then head off to spend the night at Hershey. As we drove into Hershey, we could smell the chocolate. Little did we know that we were staying across the road from Hershey World....was I in trouble?
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