Going and doing in Melbourne, Fri 12/09/16

Aren't we the lucky group of people to see and do so much Downunder in a really short period of time?  Two weeks in Australia is just enough to see basic sights and we are making the most of our brief time in such a huge country.  Of course, that means we are Out and About ... every day.

No rain this morning, tho the sky was cloudy as we scooted out the door at 8:30am, on foot, with the National Gallery of Victoria as our first destination.  It was a short, but visually stimulating walk.  After the gallery, the rest of our day will be up to us.  Hmmmm, what'll we do?

And again we passed right by Flinders Street Railway Station, which was okay by me.  It's one of Melbourne's most recognizable landmarks; how could it not be?  Whoops, do I see the top o' Eureka Tower in the picture, too?  More scenes along the way, below:

I'd never heard of it or seen it, but this is called knitted street art yarn bombing -- decorating run-of-the-mill tree trunks in front of everyday buildings on Swanston Street, one of Melbourne's main drags (and where our hotel is).  Kind of cool Christmas ornaments!

This photo doesn't even look real, but this is the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).  Striking design -- an artsy-fartsy building!  We were in for a treat this morning with a short lecture and guided tour of NGV's Australian Art collection by Dr. Ruth Pullin -- an excellent "tour guide."  This collection of the NGV is free, and features artworks spanning thousands of years, from the art of ancient civilizations right up to contemporary art.

Aboriginal shield diversity.

Above, our crew (along with a few mixers-in) listens and learns a thing or two.

We all liked this painting -- "Shearing the rams," Tom Roberts, 1890 -- and thought it symbolic of Australia.  Dr Ruth did a show-n-tell through the museum, including a stop in front of this painting.  When the tour was finished, Jimmy and I, along with Bernice and Ibby, took to the streets! 

These two have fun wherever they go.

Melbourne miscellany!

The four of us wait to board the train for St Kilda on Australia's south coast.

When pigs fly?

We'd been advised to not miss Acland Street in St Kilda -- a shopping and restaurant district famous for its cake shops and cafes.  We didn't exactly find the lunch we were hoping for, settling for something less than stellar, but we made up for it in the sweet shop!  St Kilda is somewhat bohemian, but we didn't see too much going on, possibly because it was a weekday, a cool day, and not yet summer.

We shared.

At St Kilda's beach, the wind was so strong and chilling off the water that we couldn't remain on the boardwalk, even though we'd hoped to walk to the other end.  In the distance is St Kilda Marina Lighthouse -- brrr, not going out there!  We meandered through the town till we got to the rail line and returned to Melbourne, spotting lots of graffiti and some homeless people as we rode in on the train. 

Everyone in our group has commented on the number of individuals "camped" (for lack of a better word) on Melbourne's sidewalks in the CBD ... even in front of our hotel, blocking the walks with their sleeping bags, junk for sale, dogs, etc., and each one has a money jar. Melbourne is a beautiful city, especially now near Christmas, but it obviously has a homeless problem.  

Speaking of Christmas, on our last night here, Jimmy and I wanted to catch Melbourne's magical nighttime laser-light show projected onto Town Hall -- i.e., the building's face -- a couple of blocks from our hotel. Standing curbside on the opposite side of the street, we waited for the 9:15 showing, with a large crowd filling in behind us. Soon the historic building was transformed into a swirling Christmas light show, rounded out with holiday music. We were amazed. Families from miles around come yearly to see it, bringing their kids who ooh and aah ... it was quite a sight.

Fuzzy?  Yes, but the laser movement was nonstop, as in, the gingerbread man wrapped himself around the clock tower.  In this pic, you can see the 8-foot diameter clock beneath the lights.

The show lasted 15-20 minutes -- very cool, fast and bright, free entertainment.  When it was over, Jimmy and I walked back through the crowd to our hotel, tired, and ready to hit the sack. 

Tomorrow it's time to move on, new territory once again.  These past three weeks in NZ and AU have literally disappeared before our eyes, and the next one will no doubt do likewise.  Well, we're ready, let's go!


  1. So much art! so much color!! what a great day to spend with your honey. I must say, what stood out most of all for me at the moment was that photo of you looking at Jimmy with such love and appreciation. I saw that in real life, so it means more to me I think. You guys are great.

  2. The more I see of your trip, the more I want to go down under!


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