After our initial visit to Melbourne City exploring Eureka Tower, Federation Square and Hosier Lane in Term 1, our ELC class made another fascinating journey to the bustling and vibrant Melbourne City on May 13. We visited three attractive places, which are located in the heart of picturesque Melbourne. The atmosphere was very charming and we had so many fascinating experiences and enjoyed every moment with our classmates.
Our first venue was the Shrine of Remembrance. Kevan, our tour guide, was a very compassionate and considerate person when he explained a lot of WWI history in detail. He also shared his own family involvement during world wars. When Kevan showed us the video to briefly explain WW1, I thought about the worst war the poor soldiers had to experience and how terrible environment they had to be placed in. After watching, Kevan, a navy veteran, explained one of the permanent exhibitions, a safety ship, which held 60 soldiers to land at Gallipoli. I felt the WW1 was very terrible and thought that the soldiers were very brave, patriotic and willing to sacrificed themselves for their country. When we headed to the sanctuary, you would see the stone in the middle. The sentence ‘’GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN ‘’ was inscribed on the stone. While sunlight fell directly on the Stone of Remembrance, we had two minutes’ silence. Miss Song told us the ceremony would be conducted at 11:00 am everyday. Because the WW1 finished at 11:00 on 11th November, people commemorate during Remembrance day. I experienced this solemn place and paid my respect to fallen soldiers. When we came from “John Simplon with Donkey Statues”, Ms Song led us to the eternal flame and mentioned it symbolised eternal life for those who have died.
After the memorable visit of the Shrine of Remembrance, we travelled to the National Gallery of Victoria on foot. It is an enormous place of exhibition about the outstanding artworks to show the memories of the past centuries and commemorate those artworks so that people can approach the power of the art and feel the breath-talking wisdom and infinite imagination of human. It is a very captivating and enchanting place. First，we looked at some fashionable dresses. There have distinctive styles and I was amazed/impressed by each dress having its own story. We discovered/explored Victorian ceramics, and very abstract and picturesque oil paintings. The last one was stained glasses which looked like church windows. Many colours made up a perfect work and every piece of art was striking and impressive. I could stay and enjoy each piece for whole day. After we visited the National Gallery of Victoria, I felt those exhibitions were awe-inspiring and I respected those all the exquisite art work displayed. It was a very meaningful place because I intoxicated myself with it. It was an unforgettable experience for me in my life forever. If I can, I will never leave the NGV building.
Lastly, we had an unforgettable excursion to Parliament House. Tt’s a very enormous building and I learnt this inspiring building took only 9 months to complete. I suppose people at the time had to work really hard to construct this spectacular building. I was very surprised that six million dollars’ worth of gold were used to decorate the Council Chamber. The guide, Craig explained that if someone abused others during meetings, the general administrator had the responsibility to drive them out of the door. I thought everybody in there should be gentle and follow the rules. There are four flags in the Queen’s Hall, which is between of those two Chambers. They are Australian flag, Victorian flag, Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Island flag and they are really iconic for the whole Australia. It was really fascinating that the hall can be hired by anyone to have a party or weddings, which is impossible in China. I reckon Australia is more democratic than other nations.
After this trip, I learnt lot of knowledge about Australian history. Although I had to travel for a long way, I feel this trip was worth it. Experiencing a new culture in Australia is an exciting thing, and I hope I have more opportunities to visit other beautiful places in this country. Australia is as beautiful as pictures everywhere and people are very hospitable.
English Language Centre