The word means ‘Welcome’ in one of the many aboriginal languages of this land, this continent. And Australians are indeed a welcoming people, friendly, helpful, and engaging as I begin a photographic exploration of this magnificent land.
‘No worries, mate.’
The aboriginal story here is uncannily similar to that in North America. A people with deep respect for the land, a history that disappears in the mist of ancient time, the agony of contact with white settlers, devastation from smallpox, residential schools, and, more recently, a new-found pride in their identity, spirituality, history and culture.
This is an exciting, thoroughly modern city — diverse, multicultural, cosmopolitan, architecturally daring. At street level, tourists and students mingle to create a lively, young, urban, never-ending scene.
The State of Victoria
The State of Victoria with camera facing north
The State of Victoria with camera facing south
The way it once was
Sovereign Hill, a ‘living museum’ in Ballarat, recreates a village circa 1880
Back at the Melbourne Museum, a guide, catching me looking at a large display of the Australian Coat of Arms, complete with taxidermy animals, came up and asked, “Do you know why the Coat of Arms has a kangaroo and an emu?”
“I suppose it’s because they’re indigenous species,” I offered.
“No. It’s because neither a kangaroo nor an emu can back up. They can only go forward. Just like Australia.”
Next post: Kookaburras, koalas and wombats, oh my!
Excellentisimo. Glad to see the blog springing to life again, with lots more cool photos. Fanx a heap!
Very interesting subject matter John. You always ask the right questions, for instance the coat of arms. Nicole
JD, this is my first reading of your blogs- where was I right?! I really appreciate and enjoy your travelling stories and wonderful pictures. This is especially great for me as I don’t see myself travelling much until my finances overfloweth 😉 I always enjoyed seeing your fantastic bird photos also as I just love these most fascinating species. I look forward to your next post !
Wonderful new experiences, John!! I loved Melbourne. Loved that the cricket ground and tennis stadia are right in the middle of town, that the Yarra river flows through the centre, and loved all those enticing opal shops…
So why is wombat poo square? Have fun asking that one!
We’re still iced up here. Stay cool.
John great pictures and script as usual.
Lovely to share the visions (and comments!) of the visionary, what a treat, JD!!
Thanks for taking us along on your adventure!
Great write-up John. Left me wanting more.
Thanks for sharing your adventure!
John, Loved the photography as always. The coat of arms is fascinating , certainly learned something. Thanks for sharing thoroughly enjoyed it. Xx your cousin Barb
Fetching and enlightening pics and prose. Thank you John, most enjoyable!
But where are those amazing animals on the coat of arms? All I see are stylized lion and ? eagle….
Aha., now I see!
Thanks for sharing – keep up the good photos.
There are signs of hope here; brighter days, sidewalks only half ice.
Good on yer mate.
Nice to feel like we are par of the journey, thanks for the pics!
Wild & civilized. Thanks for capturing the diversity. “Please Sir may i have some more”
By the way, what is a spoon doing in yourcup of coffee? Yours was always ‘black & bitter like…….
jd! How great to see you back in the saddle so to speak.
I have some lovely connections with Australia and you have brought them to life! Thank you!
Your photos are beyond amazing and your commentary always thought inspiring or grin producing.
Happy trails and no worries to you!!
Best wishes and love,