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A Welcome to Australia Weekend for Lina Vol. 2

When we got early up on Sunday morning for another trip, I could hardly believe my eyes. It was raining heavily! How come that the weather was like this if it was forecasted to be 30 degrees and sunny?!

Our plan was to drive to Phillip Island with Phil. It’s an Island just 90 minutes away from Melbourne city which is supposed to be a must see destination for holidaymakers.

The more you look forward to doing something, the bigger is your disappointment. So I was honestly very annoyed when we decided to cancel our plan due to the bad weather.

What to do now? Why not going to visit a museum? We decided to go to Melbourne Museum which was actually a good alternative because it offers very interesting interactive features. For instance, we saw a short film about the reproduction in the exhibition section “Mind and Body” which ended with the birth of a baby. After the film I was thinking: I would never give the birth to a Child in the nature way!Towards 11’o clock the weather suddenly appeared to get better. Since I was still hopping to go to Phillip Island, I suggested the girls and Phil to go. Guess what: My instinct was absolutely right. When we got there it was sunny and about 30 degrees. Our first Stop was Smith surfing beach. Now you may know why I was so keen to go there, because I wanted to try surfing and Phil who has surfed 2 times before, should give me a lessen.

While Maren and Lina were enjoying relaxing on the sand beach, Phil and me hired two learner’s surf boards and a wet suit for me (I can tell you it was so hard to pull this extremely tight suit on!) And there we GO!

After Phil had demonstrated me how to surf, I tired to get used to the board and I found it’s really hard to jump on the board before the wave came, so I couldn’t managed to be caught by the waves, although I tried to paddle as fast I could. You can’t imagine how exhausting it was, so I was already so tired after a while. Later I tried to practice further to the beach where the water was shallower and the waves were less rough. It turned out that it’s much easier to surf there. Towards the end of one hour I had my first try to stand up, unfortunately unsuccessful, but it was a great fun and I really hope to surf again before I have to leave.

After some rest on the beach and a pizza dinner we drove to the south end of the Island to see the penguin parade, one of the most famous tourist attractions in Victoria. It’s about little penguins that are returning home from ocean after a day’s fishing each night at sunset as their natural habitat. To witness this parade from a viewing area at the beach you need buy a ticket. That was what we did. Since we were told before to be there early to get the best places, we already arrived an hour before sunset and were excited to see the world’s smallest penguin coming out the water.

As the sun faded in the sky, the first few of approximately 600 penguins emerged out the water and begun to waddle up the beach in a row, then stopped at one, turn around, and jumped again one by one in the water as if they still didn’t want to go home. It was so funny and cute. I am not kidding, they even repeated this process for a several time, so it took ages until they finally walk very slowly across the beach toward the viewing stand where we were sitting and then to their burrows in the sand dune. It was really an amazing experience to see these clumsy and cute little things going home!

Sorry Guys, can't show any pictures of the penguins, because fotos were strictly forbidden as the flash can harm the penguins. Later we could have a close view of some penguins, as their burrows in the sand dune are on both sides of the boardwalks we went through.  

Maren and me asked an employee of the visitor centre about the roles of the penguin parents. One of them is staying with the children while the other one is going fishing for a few days and then they swap the roles. We also have heard that they can get 2 infants each time, but in most case only one can survive because there isn’t enough food available. But it’s just nature.

It was already very late at the night when we left Phillip Island for Melbourne. I was terribly tired, but happy as we really had a good time!
27.11.07 03:47


A Welcome to Australia Weekend for Lina

Hiya! How are you guys doing?

I am still very exhausted from the last weekend because we made two day trips with my friend Lina from Cologne who arrived in Melbourne on last Thursday night.

On Friday, I left earlier from work to show Lina the surrounding of our place in the city. Later we met Maren for some shopping and walked to the river to see the south bank area by night. Every time I saw the beautiful scene I ask me the same question: Why we don’t have these impressive towers along the river in German Cities? Many of the towers are residential buildings which mean people are living there up to 70 levels! How good is that!!!

On Saturday, we got up very earlier for our trip to Ballarat, a small city about 120 km from Melbourne where gold was discovered in 1851. Our destination is Sovereign Hill, an interactive museum that looks like a small town was founded to remind of the gold rush days of Ballarat. It was a hard decision to go there actually, because we have heard so different opinions about Sovereign Hill before. Either people think it’s great or they think it’s really boring.

We got there quite earlier and the streets of Sovereign Hill were still quite empty. My first impression: a small western town with old historic buildings in 1851-style. We did a tour in a mine to see how the gold digger used to work on the goldfield and attend a gold giessen show which were interesting. 

Afterwards we walked down the streets which are lined with shops like bakery, jeweller’s shop, bank, blacksmith’s workshops etc. where you can see how people work in 1850s, e.g. how to make a candle, and buy every kind of souvenirs. People that are “living” there are all costumed and were ready to pose for photos, like these 2 soldiers and musicians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a really hot day, so we bought each a tasty “lemon lime” from a bowling salon. After 2 ½ hours we have already see almost everything and were at the end of our trip. You can still attend some guided tours to listen to people telling you about history of Ballarat, but who cares?! To be honest, I like the style of Sovereign Hill, as every thing there were appropriate to the era that it displays to give you some impression of the gold diggings time. I think as a child you may have more fun, because every attraction would be more exciting. However, since there is really not much to see and to do, 35 AUD entrance is just too expensive and even doesn’t include everything inside! I think I would not recommend people to go there if they ask me,someone may be right, it’s a little bit boring….

After the short stay in Sovereign Hill we drove to Ballarat Wildlife Park which is just 5 minutes away because we want to some Australian animals. What I enjoyed much was that some shows were included in your ticket and you can have close contact with the animals. We attended the snake show first and touched carefully a snake sitting on the shoulder of a female keeper which was quite exciting. The most spectacular one was the alligator show: A keeper was jumping around the pools to feed the aggressive reptiles with dead mice. He has to move very fast to avoid the attack of alligators. It was sort of a cruel and disgusting scene to see the alligators opening greedily their mouth and snapping at the mine, but the children there were all shouting of enthusiasms!

The cutest animal we saw was definitely the koalas! During the koala show we attended the keeper explained to us that a koala can get 18 years old. The most of time, like 18 hours per day, they are sleeping to gain energy to search for eucalyptus leaves. So the life of a Koala is all about sleeping, eating, sleeping, eating, how good is that?!!! I wish I can live like a Koala sometimes. Later we had the Chance to pet a really cute koala child. I can tell you, his fell was the softest what I have ever touched!

The animal we saw most was the kangaroos. Since it was very warm, they were everywhere in the park, all just lying around lazily on the lawn. First we were not sure how close we can get to them. But as we saw that all the children kept petting them, we did the same. It turned out, that the kangaroos are actually very used to people and harmless like dogs. When we get very close to them, they got up and looked very hopefully as they were expecting us having some food to feed them, how funny!

After the encounter with the Australian animals and a stressful drive, as we lose our way for several times, we finally got home in the evening.

To be continued….
22.11.07 03:59


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