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….