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Old 07-13-2012, 09:54 AM   #1 
Aus
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Tell me about your homeland!

This thread's inspired by Indjo, who was talking to me about Indonesia in another thread.

I have a health condition that means I am unable to travel, so I'll never get to visit any of the great places around the world that I've always wanted to see.

This forum has people from every corner of the planet, and I thought it'd be really neat if we could share some info about of our homelands with other members who may never have been there (or even heard of it!).

And one or two pics of favourite features would be cool, too. :)

I'll start!

I live in Melbourne, Australia, which is on the very bottom of the mainland, across the Tasman sea from Tasmania. It's a very short ferry ride (well, an overnight one!) to Tassie, which is an amazing and beautiful place.

Melbourne is the second largest city in area in the world. It takes about two hours or more in good traffic to drive across from one outermost suburb to the other.

One thing I like about living here is that nature is never very far away. An hour or less in any direction from where I live you can find native bushlands, full of cockatoos and wallabies, pretty fern gullies with creeks full of precious stones.. And even in the city, we get visits from corellas and possums, I even saw some ibis and a pelican once. There's feral foxes living right in the city center, along with pairs of peregrine falcons who love nesting on top of the buildings.

Running through the middle of the city is the Yarra River, which we joke is 'upside down' because it's full of clay sediment and looks yellow/brown most of the time.

It's a pretty friendly place. People aren't scared to talk to strangers or help a neighbour out here and there's immigrants from all over the world who have settled in Melbourne, so lots of cultures (and omg, food.. from Afghan to Thai to Turkish to Sudanese.. I can eat pretty much everything, from everywhere!)

Melbourne's all about culture and sub-culture, so there's lots of art galleries and concert halls, as well as goth and metal clubs and the like. We have some amazing sculptures around the city, my favourite one is this piece by Deborah Halpern, called 'Angel':



Here's a pic of the docklands area of the city at night:




And the central train station at Flinders Street:




The Botanic Gardens, where I used to work:




And our trams, which are all airconditioned modern things now. I miss the old ones, which were sometimes painted..



And this is my favourite restaurant, in Windsor, where I lived for many years. It's called Borsch, Vodka and Tears (it's Polish.. if you can't tell, lol) and has 300 varieties of vodka and absinthe (which I adore). They have gypsy violinists play during dinner, too, sometimes.



So. What's your homeland like?
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:35 AM   #2 
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Wow, I always wanted to visit Australia! Thanks for sharing! It looks wonderful and not as scary as I imagine it to be (giant hairy spiders)
Well, I live in the Eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland. It has the oldest city in North America (St. John's) and is the newest Can. province; having only joined in 1949.
St. John's is a lovely windy city. Signal Hill is the the site of the world's first transatlantic message. Sir Giglielmo Marconi received it (and there is even a morse code thingy still in Cabot Tower which has a signal you can listen to, which is very similar to the one Marconi heard in 1901) [Signal Hill is an old military site where armies used to camp out and train. It overlooks the entire city and the narrows which open into the harbour] Wild berries grow there which thousands flock there every year to pick. And there are breathtaking trails.
Downtown St. John's is a very colorful place. Dubbed "jelly bean rowhouses" because there is no restriction on house colors. People take pride in unusual colored houses. Tourists and residents alike love the appearance!
Republic of Doyle (full episodes available here : http://www.cbc.ca/republicofdoyle/) is a hilarious show wrote, directed, filmed and processed right here. Great example of the accent, dialects and scenery.
What else, Although Newfoundland is known for it's harsh weather the summers can be quite the retreat! Summers rarely get hotter than 25C but there is almost ALWAYS a breeze (thanks to living on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and receiving the Northern Labrador Current). Humpback whales go crazy feeding here every summer. (they're done feeding and now they're out playing and breaching) and icebergs are a huge tourist attraction. The various boat tour companies make a lot of money taking people out for 2-3 hours to watch various species of whales, sea birds (like puffins) and icebergs. Leatherback sea turtles are even known to come up this north to feed in the late summer :)

Newfoundland is the third largest island in the world. It's home :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlUis9u5rDg << fantastic video of whales breaching.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus View Post
I live in Melbourne, Australia, which is on the very bottom of the mainland, across the Tasman sea from Tasmania. It's a very short ferry ride (well, an overnight one!) to Tassie, which is an amazing and beautiful place.
This thread is a lot of fun.
I will have to put something about my island together.
I visited AU in '06 and have a couple of pictures just like yours!
Just positng one because they are not on this computer and I so many backup disks it will take me forever, but look!
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #4 
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Oh wow this is awesome! I've always wanted to go to Australia and Canada! I know it says rapid City but I'm originally from Saint Paul Minnesota, and took weekend trips to our cabin in north west Wisconsin.
Well about the capitol of the state (Saint paul MN), its busy. There are a lot of people and its noisy but there are little parks tucked everywhere! And it might sound creepy but our cemeteries are like parks too. We've had all sorts of wildlife in the big city, there was a deer we eventually tamed that lived in our cemetery. There are little families of bunnies in every neighborhood and all of us have dogs or pets of some kind. There are bad parts where gangs fight, and places get robbed but it's just a part of the city. The skyline is beautiful at night, heck even during the day, and when you throw something big (like the RedBull Flugtag) in the heart of the city, you get nearly 100,000 people all together having a good time. Talk about a party! Once a year we throw one heck of a state fair, almost 100,000 people every day of the fair. It lasts 10 days and everything is fried on a stick. You go and look at the huge horses, the worlds largest pig, cows, chickens, and goats. And once a night there is a different person in concert, but even if you don't have tickets you can hear them across the whole area.

Now the lake place (just outside of a little town in north west WI) its quiet. you can hear conversations across the lake. Crime is rare unless its the bear knocking down bird feeders, or the deer eating your garden. There's the lake to catch fish out of, and the woods to go hiking in. There are all sorts of little things that people tend to miss. Birds are always talking to one another and everything just takes this laid back approach to everything. People are all clustered around lakes and towns. Outside of that the occasional house in the middle of the woods is hard to find, unless its a hunting shack. It's a good escape from the city.

These are the places I grew up in and I love them.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:24 AM   #5 
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Wow the falcon and butterfly look fake!! Crazy, nothing like that here. There are falcons but not in the city. I want to visit SD now! I'm sure the bf and I will visit USA someday too. :)
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:30 AM   #6 
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thats not in sd lol its in MN where I'm originally from. SD has a way different feel
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:44 AM   #7 
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Thank you all for sharing! I'm already having a great time looking these places up as well as reading your descriptions, and ogling the pics.

Laki, Daughter was talking about Newfoundland the other day...saying "How'd it get to be called that? Did they arrive there and like, not have very good imaginations?.. 'Hi Joe, I just found a new land."- "Really? What you gonna call it?" - "Umm..."

I spent a little time explaining it.. so I must show her your post! And wow, you have PUFFINS! I love those birds to bits! A friend of mine went to Finland a couple years ago and sent me a postcard with a puffin on it (taking great joy in telling me how they're a delicacy there... ><)

And whales! Lucky you. It looks like a wonderful place.


vilmarisv - ooh, you've to Melbourne! That part of the city is pretty new, it used to be quite gritty and functional, but they've done such a great job of turning it into a tourist spot.. I hope you enjoyed your stay here. I'm a Brit by birth, but here all my life and I'm terribly patriotic. Aus is really a brilliant place to live. If only things were cheaper! Especially aqaurium stuff!


Ivandert, both your places sound really great. My American friends think I'd freak if I ever went to large city in the US, "You don't know what a city is! Melbourne's a country town!" lol

Crime is rare unless its the bear knocking down bird feeders

^ bears! - !!!! - how exciting! We don't have any large predators like that here. But a few of my friends over there have some wild stories about bears.. I think they're magnificent creatures, deer too (we do have a lot of those here, thanks to deer farmers with bad fences.. my uncle used to hunt them to help clear the forest of feral animals, plus venison!).

And Luna moths! When I was a kid, I was a bug freak. No kidding, I collected them (live and all over the house) and one of my ambitions was to keep Luna moths.. so lovely, and yes, they don't look quite real. Almost magical. :)
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #8 
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lol it's weird to have two homelands as it were, but the lake was home as much as the house in the cities was. I have a third if you count rapid city lol
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:57 AM   #9 
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lol woops. Ok MN looks awesome! :)

Newfoundland was called the New Founde Lande (olde english) by Italian explorer John Cabot in around 1497. They were trying to find a way to China by going East but Canada got in the way! lol Or at least NL did. Newfoundland was settled long before then by migrating nomads who fished. But once Cabot and his goonies came here and saw the volume of fish in the waters they claimed it as their own. I think he was Italian... The colony instantly belonged to Britain though. France owned the South shore and the entire west coat so there are a lot of French names over there for the communities. No Europeans actually wanted to LIVE here until 1600. Newfoundland was primarily a fishing port, the Europeans came in the summer, fished and left in the fall. It took a long time to settle it! lol
People don't eat puffins...Was that a joke from your friend bc you love them so much? People eat seal and moose, caribou and other wild game but in no way is puffin a delicacy!! lol Not that I know of!!!
I watched puffins on a boat tour!! Lol they cannot fly very well. Too fat! I love them too. They sound really weird though. Like horror movie weird.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:02 PM   #10 
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I --hope-- she was kidding! They do eat some weird stuff in Finland, though, like smelly shark buried in sand for 6 months >< You're so lucky to see puffins in their natural environment, and whales, too!

Thanks for the info on where the name came from, I'll be sure to show Daughter (who cracked herself and me up with the "Hi, Joe.." comment).

I'd love to try moose meat. I'm rather keen on venison, is it similar? And seal? Wow.. dunno if I could eat a seal..but then again, I'd be curious as to how it would taste, how it's cooked, etc.

I often eat kangaroo meat (which my US friends think is AWFUL: "OMG she is eating Skippy!" lol) but cows are --really-- bad for Australia! No kidding, they are doing more damage here than any other introduced species (aside from European settlers...) and I fully support kangaroo farming, as roos don't hurt the land. Plus they are tasty! And there's NO fat at all on the meat so its very good for heart patients and losing weight, etc.

It has to be cooked really fast on one side, like char grill, almost burned. Then slower on the other side, and always left rare unless in a stew of course (it's great in stew but MUST be super slow cooked). Roo burgers are the best, also!
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