Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag More birds and buddhas :)
19 mei 2014
More birds and buddhas :)
After my lazy Monday last week, it was time to go back to work. I started watching the cockatoos that are in a big aviary for all the visitors to watch, which means that most of the time I'm standing between the visitors to observe them. Most people just look at me, like: what is she doing?, but some actually have the courage to walk up to me and ask :) One man was really exited and we were talking for almost half an hour, which required some multitasking, since I was also supposed to watch the bird. At least I have no lack of human interaction like the previous two weeks! Another good thing is that our office bungalow is just a minute walk away from the aviary, so I can pop in every now and then for some tea.
This week was also National Volunteer Week here in Australia and since I'm a volunteer, I was invited to the 'thank you' lunch. The turn-up was great: together with about 150 other people I was standing in line for a nice dish of pasta. The caterers were a bit overwhelmed, but after about 20 min most of us were sitting. There was a thank you speech by the CEO and then an award ceremony for different categories of volunteers - show respect and dignity, be enthusiastic and supportive, accept and take responsibility etc. The winners got a certificate and handshake/picture with the CEO. Nobody from the nominated volunteers of our Behavioural Studies Unit won, but they didn't seem to mind :)
Sunday I decided to leave the city and grab a train to Wollongong (or 'The Gong' as locals call it), which is about 80 km south of Sydney. My first stop was the Nan Tien Temple, the biggest Buddhist temple in the Southern hemisphere. The area was beautiful and the building even better: beautifully decorated and full of sculptures. There were two shrines (rooms to pray) and before entering you had to take off your shoes. Big sculptures of gods and goddesses were in the front of the shrine, all the walls were covered in golden coloured decorations with a gigantic chandelier on the ceiling. Around the courtyard there were several small rooms with each it's own function: a small museum (with more sculptures, a nice exhibition of tea pots and miniature artwork on eggshell), a room to teach calligraphy, library, aquarel exhibition.. Part of the temple is designated to the Nan Tien institute, which is a university. Behind the temple I climbed up a mountain, where there was a big bell that you could ring to ask for gratitude for your family and friends, which of course I did. The big pagoda next to it was a storage for relics and their religious books.
After this peaceful start of my day I went to quite the opposite: Castagne Day. This is small event held every year by the Fraternity Club (rich men's playground). There were many rides for the kids, food stands, a Italian car exhibition and my main reason to stop there: roasted chestnuts! With a bag full of time and went towards the Botanic Garden, which was small but well set-up. Every zone had it's own ecosystem: rainforest, woodlands, drylands, dessert etc. To finish the day I went to the beach, took off my shoes and went for a relaxing walk while looking for sea shells. After some fish and chips, it was time to go home again.
Monday was again a quiet day around the house, but not fully by choice. In the bus in Wollongong towards the station, I had hit my knee quite strong against a pole (typical me..) so I had some problems with walking the next day. Fortunately there is plenty of things to do while taking it easy, so I wasn't bored :)
Foto's bij verslag (9)
22 mei 2014 08:23 | Door: Cindy
Zo deel 2 ook gelezen. Elvis heeft wel echt een gigantisch goede kuif zeg!!! :D
Heel tof. Mooie foto's van the Gong. Het ziet er echt indrukwekkend uit. Op een of andere manier had heel andere ideeën van culturen in Australië. Hoe is het momenteel met je knie? Weer een beetje hersteld?
Mocht je thuis zitten en je vervelen kan je altijd nog 20 afleveringen van Skippy of andere slechte series of films opzetten ;) Wel fijn dat je veel buiten bent en veel ziet. Ik ben ook wel echt enorm trots op je dat je het allemaal alleen doet Anne! :) Ik vind het heel knap. Ik hoop dat je een hele fijne week hebt en we spreken elkaar snel. Liefs, Cindy