Yesterday we returned from our six-week trip across Australia from our home on the southern coastline to the north coast. We left our bushland campsite amongst kangaroos in historic Maldon, an old goldmining area and motored home almost entirely by freeway, across Melbourne, through the Burnley Tunnel and out on the Citilink tollway, Monash Freeway, Eastlink tollway and finally Peninsula Link, arriving in time for lunch at home.
Our son called in with two of his daughters, then our daughter wielding an electric screwdriver to relocate some bunks, then our daughter-in-law and another granddaughter. Together we shared the cake that one of them had brought and rearranged the rooms to give David an office. Then washing and sorting through piles of mail, shopping and preparing for Probus tomorrow. Back to the bustle of our other reality and joys of family life.
Our blogs will be less frequent for a while (weekly?) until our next trip which will be in October to the seaside town of Merimbula. Thanks again for following our trips, Australia’s a great country for camping and we do enjoy sharing our discoveries with you.
Armed with their first Myki electronic ticket, two girls, their Mum and I boarded the bus and train for a two-hour journey to Flinders Street Station where we met their cousins for a day in Melbourne City Centre. The pop-up rooftop garden over the car park provided a taste of the familiar amongst the sensory overload. Then to Hosier Lane to admire the street art before pizza lunch in Degraves Street and a chill-out/toilet break in the City Library.
Afternoon was devoted to intensive arcade strolling, going into Haighs Chocolate for Easter cuddly ducks, pocket money finds at a toyshop and Arthur Daley’s Discount Store. A final ice-cream and it was back on the train for the long commute home, arriving after dark.
Earlier this week I walked from Flinders Street Station in the heart of Melbourne CBD to Melbourne Park, where I had a tour of Rod Laver Arena, site of the Australian Open tennis. Since the Commonwealth Games in 2006, this walk has been made possible by the construction of the William Barak Bridge, a footbridge spanning the rail yards and freeway.
I took photos on the return walk, reaching the station at rush hour.
Today some lucky City of Melbourne tourism volunteers and staff had the good fortune to take a “flight” on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, the third largest observation wheel in the world (the others being the London Eye and one in Singapore.
The wheel turned slowly giving ample time for photos and the staff had been careful to put only about 10-12 people standing in each cabin, meaning that we could all circulate and take shots from every direction: harbour, CBD, Flemington Racecourse. It gave a great overview of this developing part of Melbourne. The exhibition of Melbourne experiences on the way in and out plus the tastefully stocked gift shop all complemented the experience – well worth a visit with family, overseas guests or just to see it!
Yesterday I met couple of friends for brunch at Young and Jackson’s Hotel, directly across the road from Flinders Street Station. We sat at the corner table watching the crowds teeming across every time the lights changed.
After farewelling them, I crossed past St Paul’s Cathedral to Federation Square, where crowds queued to get actor Chris Lilliey to sign his latest DVD.
I then did a free guided tour of NGV Australia’s part of the Melbourne Nowexhibition, which is well worth a look.
Yesterday I did a tour of Melbourne street art. Starting from Federation Square, we quickly darted away from the mainstream into Campbell Arcade, a subway to Flinders Street Station. Here we were shown a shop that sells ‘zines’, temporary special interest magazines and the little gallery space that changes regularly. We emerged into Degraves Street to see a cloud of pink rain and a lady sheltering from it under her umbrella.
There was also a surprising little mosaic. I go down Degraves Street weekly but hadn’t noticed it before.
We continued up Centre Way and turned left into a dead-end alley which had some very moving art, including a piety-like memorial painting.
Another painting down in a corner seemed to have an Asian influence:
We continued to Hosier Lane, which was full of new art, having been blanked out to have a fresh exhibition for the Melbourne Now festival that commences today and involves both campuses of the National Gallery of Victoria. Here our guide showed us one of his recent works, together with a little signature man.
We continued up to Chinatown, where we saw some very large street art, clearly done with the aid of scissor lifts.
I was also intrigued by some painted directives on how to tie a tie – the ultimate statement of mail constraint, but I decided instead to finish with this octopus as it was more eye catching.
I plan to go back to these lanes to check out the changes. Apparently some are changed several times a week!
Welcome to our hundredth follower. We started this blog prior to a caravan trip to share it with family and friends. I never dreamed that people over the world would follow us. We are now home and blog about whatever interests us, while our caravan is being repaired in readiness for the next trip, which will probably be next year.
Today I did my stint as a volunteer with City of Melbourne and afterwards took a stroll up toMyer to look at the Christmas windows. The reflection from the buildings opposite was very strong. giving weird effects. The Gingerbread story that was the theme seemed to have Victorian builldings as a backdrop.
Iwalked back to the station via the Block Arcade, photographing the delicious cakes in the historic Hopetoun Tearooms on the way. There is always a queue in the afternoon, waiting their turn to enjoy the high tea. Both the Block Arcade and the tearooms are relics of Melbourne in the time of Queen Victoria.
You can spend some pleasant times exploring the arcades and street art in Melbourne.