Saturday, July 9, 2016

Melbourne: Chinese Museum and Parliament House

Little did we know, our planned trip to visit the Treasury Museum in Melbourne had to be thrown out because Olympic gold medal winner Jared Tallent was having a ceremony out in front of the building (due to a Russian drug scandal whereby the original gold medal winner was disqualified) and it was closed. 
So we went to the Chinese Museum earlier than planned, and it turned out to be quite cool. I have found that I am much more interested in Chinese history and culture now that I have Chinese friends, and this museum had several large dragons used in parades and ceremonies – one wrapped around the building and is the largest processional dragon in the world! It also had a lot of cultural history stuff like clothing, weddings, food, and immigration.

traditional toys

Thought this was interesting: Westerners have been scarfing down
their meals for a long time and being bitter that other cultures don't!

Learning about traditional Chinese weddings

traditional Chinese wedding jacket and skirt

Foot binding shoes
We walked around Federation Square and briefly visited Hosier Lane, a famous street art laneway. There were even two guys graffiti-ing while we were there. Again, more of a hipster vibe than we were really concerned with, but it was interesting to see an acceptance of this art right in the heart of the city. We walked down a restaurant laneway (Melbourne is famous for these) and couldn’t help but notice the lavishly decorated donuts at a shop and store that away for future reference. 

We took a tour of the Parliament House building and learned a little about the state government and got to sit in the chairs of elected officials. Fun fact: the walls have real gold leaf – they spared no expense in the making of this building! 
Sergeant-at-arms gets to carry a big stick

Apparently Queen Victoria was not happy about this statue because
it showed off too much skin, so it was transported to Australia.
We ended up going to a mall that had a huge tower in it and eating at a food court that was artsy in its own way. Birds had gotten in and were hanging out in the light fixtures waiting for scraps. Dessert was at a place we had enjoyed in Brisbane: Chocolateria San Churro. I got a salted caramel cheesecake slice, which was very rich, and D got a big sundae with mint ice cream and four little churros. The city was really buzzing on a Friday night.

salted caramel cheesecake

sundae with churros and marshmallows

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