Today was mostly spent at Pearl Harbor. In the driving directions the guidebook gives, it says to be sure to take exit 15A (NOT 15B! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ANYTHING BUT 15B!!!!!1!11!!).
Okay, I may have exaggerated a tiny bit, but it really made me want to take 15B because, apparently, it is actually a portal in time and space that leads to an alternate universe where the USS Arizona didn’t sink and we didn’t join the war and, trust me, you don’t want to know what happened after that but you really don’t want to go there.
Or something like that.
Luckily, we took the right exit, got our tickets and headed off to see the Bowfin submarine before it was time to go out to the Arizona Memorial. It was really interesting – I find submarines simultaneously fascinating and slightly terrifying. Some sort of combination of marvelling at our ingenuity and indulging my latent claustrophobia and fear of drowning all at once, I think (although I’ve been on the Uboat that’s in Chicago and, compared to that, this was luxuriously roomy).
I thought the Arizona Memorial was very moving – I hadn’t realized that you could actually see it underneath the water and the thought of all those young men still inside was incredibly poignant. I don’t know what else to say about it, really, except that it would be nice if we could eventually not have any reasons for memorials like that.
After our boat dropped us back at the main area, we took the shuttle over to the Missouri to walk around it. We just did a self-guided tour which was near but a little eerie – there were long periods of time when it felt like we were the only ones wandering around in the depths of this decommisioned battleship. Its scale was immense, but it was hard to picture what it would have been like when it was actually under sail and full of sailors.
All in all an interesting, and a little sobering day.
It actually ended with us walking along the end of a parade (there’s some sort of international festival on at the moment) which was fun – lots of groups performing different cultural dances and things.
Off to rest up for snorkelling tomorrow!