December 26, 2005

Christmas in Australia - 2nd part

Filed under: Holidays    Email this article    Deutsche Version   

Christmas in Australia is quite british. Santa Claus is coming - through the imaginary chimney. (Not many houses in Perth have actually a chimney, but that was never a problem for Santa Claus, was it?)

Santa Claus comes in the night from the 24 to the 25 December and the presents are there in the morning. We mention this, because in Austria we have a different tradition - for what ever reason, we really don’t know. Although we know Santa Claus, the presents are delivered by the “Christkind”. The translation for it would be Christ child, and it has probably there its religious roots, but for Austrian kids (and we think for kids in Southern Germany too) the Christkind is some sort of angel with blond curls and wings. Christmas is celebrated in the evening on Christmas Eve.

So, in Australia Santa Claus brings its presents in the night to the 25th December and you open the presents in the morning. Australians have Christmas trees, mostly made of plastics. You can also buy real trees, some sort of conifers. They seem very expensive and they are probably quite dangerous - firewise. The Christmas decoration is mostly very colorful, for my taste a bit too colorful - you find often blue-red-yellow-green blinking lights on the tree.

On Christmas Day there is a big family dinner. This is either a typical Australian barbecue or very British with turkey and/or ham, English vegetables and Christmas pudding. By the way the Christmas pudding is a very dense poundcake. We tried a piece of it and although it’s tasty, it is so dense and it sticks in your stomach for hours.

According to our colleagues at work, the Australians favor the British Christmas dinner traditions despite the heat. We thought because of the warm weather they would prefer lighter food like fish and seafood and salads, but as we know from ourselves, tradition is tradition, even if that means that you eat a lot of warm, dense food on a hot summer day.

December 25, 2005

Christmas in Australia

Filed under: Holidays    Email this article    Deutsche Version   

Christmas in Australia…

What is to say about it. weihnachtsbeleuchtung.jpg

In Austria we have always talked about how nice it would be to spend Christmas at a place where the weather is warm. We thought this would be very nice - far away from the wet and cold weather in Vienna, far away from the Christmas presents hunting stress, far away from the food marathon on Christmas Day, etc etc etc.

weihnachtsmann.jpgWell, we experienced now Christmas twice without the above mentioned things - and believe it or not, we missed them a lot. Christmas with over 25 degrees Celsius and sun shine, Santa Clauses with boots, beard, gloves and fake fur collars between kids with shorts and flipflops is really kinda weird if you’re used to cold snowy Christmas holidays.

We realised on thing, Christmas isn’t about the place, the weather or the food, it’s all about the people you love and spending some time with them. The stress before Christmas is maybe high, Christmas traditions may seem old and boring, your relatives go maybe on you nerves, but this all IS Christmas.

And you will realise this the very first time, when you sit alone at home at Christmas and you don’t really know what to do.

December 13, 2005

Perth Zoo

We were in the Perth Zoo and this zoo is amazing!

Koala.jpg The Perth Zoo is worth a visit. The zoo is located between the Mill Point Road and the Labouchere Road in South Perth. If you come from the Mill Point Road there is a big parking place where parking costs 5 AUD for seven hours. But there is also a free parking place at the Labouchere Road. We just realised this after we parked and paid for the other parking place.

The entry fee for the zoo is 16 AUD per person, but the zoo is very well maintained and the 16 dollars are well spent. For 2 Dollars you can buy a map of the zoo, so you can plan your trip through the zoo and you can make sure you see all the animals you want.

The zoo is quite big and divided in several areas:

1. African Savannah
2. Asian Rainforest
3. Australian Walkabout
4. Worlds of Birds
5. Nocturnal House
6. Australian Wetlands
7. Reptilies

Furthermore there is an African village, a rainforest retreat, a cinema showing films about animals, a big play area, a big picknick area, a carousel for kids, an environmental-friendly showhouse and a cafe which is fully licenced.

FruehstueckimZoo.jpg For a zoo visit you should plan at least three hours. We spent 6 hours there, but we were under no hurry at all.

We started our day with a very nice breakfast with a small bottle of wine at the Safari’s Cafe.

Then we visited the Worlds of Birds, where you can watch a lot of very beautiful colorful parrots.

Then we went to the Nocturnal House, in which you can watch cute little mice, bats, frogs and cute fury animals of which we forgot the name, but they had white dots on their backs. You can also see Australian spiders. A relative of our spider which lives in the tree in front of our house is also there. We were glad to see that none of the venemous spiders live at our place!

Loewe.jpgThen we visited the gorillas, but that was not really exciting, because they were lying lazy in the shadow because of the heat at noon.

After that we walked through the African Savannah area and watched lions, giraffes, zebras, lemures, elefants and more.

Then we visited funny monkeys and not visible hunting leopards in the Asian Rainforest area.

BarbaraaufNumbat.jpgIn the Australian Walkabout you can see kangaroos, wallabees, emus and koalas. There would be also a numbat, but it was hidden in its bawn and wouldn’t show itself. But there was a numbat made from wood outside, so you can see how this animal should look like.

Then we admired a really huge crocodile in the Australian Wetlands. There were also birds and turtles and frogs. Only the penguin area was unfortunately closed for renovation.

AussieGrill.jpgWe also admired Aussies as they put their lunch at the grill at the big picknick area.

The bawns are all very well maintained and very big. The zoo itself is very big and you can also visit the zoo when it’s very hot, because there are lots of trees which give lots of shadow.

We also liked the environmental-friendly house a lot. They show you there how to build a house so that it doesn’t need too much power. They also show you how to plant the right plants together and how to use worms to get a perfect compost. The only thing we found exaggerated was their proposal to use a wood fireplace to cook.

Zebra.jpgThe animals look all well kept, that means they don’t appear to be neuroticly, but as we said before, the bawns are all very big.

They offer also various presentations of certain animals the whole day long. You could for example watch the feeding of bats, lemures or crocodiles. There are also free guided tours.

I liked the cassowaries a lot. They are emu-like birds, but their eggs are green! Like big green easter eggs!

On weekends you have to expect a lot of families with kids.

Please find here the official Perth Zoo website: www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au