Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ballarat visit with photos and burbling from Her Indoors

The photos are a bit light on as it was pouring down in Melbourne, allllllllll the way to Ballarat, the whole time we were in Ballarat and alllllllll the way back home again and I didn't want to get my new baby, a DSLR camera wet.
Yes, I splurged on a DSLR for Feral kid and myself, he loves photography and it was mega price slashed so I got a good deal with his uni fee refund with change left over. He's learning to use it along with me.
Anyway, the pics are light on as it isn't made to swim through Central Victoria BUT we are heading back for a return visit soon.
We got to the Art Gallery and could have stayed all day - they currently have the In Your Face exhibition of political cartoons from 1760-2010.
Feral kid loved this exhibition as he really gets the political cartoons once the storyline behind them is explained to him.
You think cartoons are risque now?
Oh, boy, you should see the political cartoons from the 18th century....!
One blurb states visitors to England were amazed the cartoonists and publishers weren't slung in gaol or hung for the social comments they passed on the Royal Family!
We were pressed for time so we didn't explore the rest of the gallery as we would have liked although we made sure we eyeballed the HUGE Southern Cross flag from Eureka. We hadn't realised quite how MASSIVE it is up close; it's an impressive sight to behold.
The Feral kid loves drawing cartoons and he's booked in to do workshop sessions with an illustrator/author who started at the Melbourne Museum drawing dinosaurs.
Coincidentally this is the second illustrator he'll have met who started out this way (Donna Rawlins who illustrated My Place was the other) so he's going to follow Donna's advice and speak to the paleontologists at Melb Museum.
Anyhoo...we had a wonderful time in Ballarat in spite of the persistent precipitation - walked over the Yarrowee 'Creek' although officially it is actually a river, which purges its way through Ballarat; it was roaring along with all the recent rains swelling it up. Was hanging to snap it with the camera but it was pouring at that stage (See, we aren't made of sugar and we won't melt in the rain. Amazing!)
We managed to find 3 op shops (one which had compiled a list with map for 50 cents was far superior to my outdated list) and I found several fab old-fashioned books of projects for the Feral kid and his Dad to make. Sure, they're old-fashioned things like making biscuit and scone cutters from recycled tins/wooden planes/electric lanterns, etc, but they're fun, some are handy, they are meant to make the kids use their brains and it introduces him to more tools than he's currently familiar with.
Win:win for $2 !  
At the art gallery we were directed to the many free publications available for visitors - like the list of historic places one can visit by bus and the fully published 3 heritage walking trails.
A city which acknowledges that not everyone drives a car and offers comprehensive guides!
We'll definitely be returning soon to use both the buses and explore the walking trail. (NB -V/Line train tickets can be used on both Bendigo and Ballarat regional bus services)
Yes, there is the usual hills and dales all over Ballarat to negotiate but we honestly didn't notice them as being a bother; we kind of side-swiped Bakery Hill when we realised time had run out and we had to hot-foot it to the train station to get home but it wasn't difficult.
One thing that stood out was the friendliness of everyone we spoke to; big welcoming smiles and readiness to offer directions/assistance to strangers. While the rivalry between Bendigo and Ballarat will go on forever, Ballarat certainly won yesterday.

 I shall leave it there for today's post and will upload the other few pics in tomorrow's history post.
Click on any pic to enlarge the image.

Oh, and the kid managed to change his socks for the day!


  1. Still not over my childhood impression I'd see kangaroos in the streets, but the interesting buildings will do.

  2. An Ontario pin! Tourist?

    Will you post photos of your home-made-cutter-cut cookies and scones?

  3. LOL Elizabeth ;)

    The pin was a pressie from Elizabeth, Lavenderbay, you'd enjoy her blog ;)
    If they ever agree on what to make, I hope to lol !