More Melbourne! Thursday, 12/8/16
One of the very best things about keeping this blog and sharing it with our family and friends is that we get to relive the special moments, trips, and events we've experienced ... and the joys that have been a part of our lives these past few years. As I type the text and insert the photos that Jimmy has already chosen and we preview the result, we both smile as we remember. Is it work? Nope. Sure it takes time, but it's what you could call a labor of love. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
It's nearing Christmas Downunder, although the seasons are upside down and it's late spring in Oz. Tis the season to be jolly, and here the Cadbury singers gathered in our hotel lobby for some caroling. What a nice gesture ... we were also hoping they'd pass out samples, but no dice!
We faced a drippy morning as we ventured out, but clad in rain jackets we were off for a short walk through some of Melbourne's streets and lanes, including a stop at fashionable The Block Arcade, right in the heart of Melbourne's CBD and part of the Golden Mile heritage walk. We mostly gawked and didn't shop, but it looked like a great place to dawdle.
Hah! Albert trying his luck on one of Melbourne's antique nickle-plated cast-iron scales. Weighing in at about 450 lbs each, the scales were made in England in 1880 by George Salter & Co, which had been making scales since the 18th century. This relic didn't work, but it was decorative.
Also in The Block Arcade are Gog and Magog -- mythological Ancient Britain's -- two creepy, larger-than-life wooden figures who strike the time every hour.
Constructed in 1891, with a glass-domed roof and gorgeous mosaic floor tiles, the Arcade boasts an "eye-catching" selection of shops and tea rooms/cafés. Because the morning was so overcast, the photo doesn't do justice to how attractive The Arcade is.
Flinders Street Railway Station (opened 1854, so long ago!) covers two whole city blocks, and look how Melbourne's amazing 2006 Eureka Tower seems to hover in the background, like a pasted-on afterthought. Old meets new! The awning up on the left kept us dry.
Ginny and me with our wooden soldier companion.
Melbourne has an architectural skyline that is dazzling. As we walked along (and then later in the coach), I continued looking up and capturing a few of the city sights. I see William Barak's image again!
Love the bond of Flinders Street Railway Station and the glass/steel job behind it.
Judging by the number of cranes, Melbourne is still growing up.
After our walkabout, the skies cleared and we caught a train to Queen Victoria Market. On behalf of Road Scholar, Albert handed Each of us a crisp Australian $20 bill, so we could choose and buy our own lunch at this large and wide-ranging market. Cool beans!
Australia's nickname is "Oz."
Coffees, beers, wines, sausages and salamis of every kind, and oh-the-cheeses, fish, fruit, desserts, you name it, you want it, they got it! The RS gang spread out, and we alternately lost and then bumped into one another as we moved around. Jimmy and I sampled the cheeses (to die for), and finally chose a lunch item, both different, and sat at an outside table with Bernice and Ibby. I forgot to get a shot of the cheeses, they were picture perfect! We didn't buy anything that would require refrigeration, tho some did, and shared their bounty later on. Fun to remember this! Hmm, a pigeon underfoot, hoping ....
American imports are not always the best.
Several of us walked across to the vendors' market for a look-see. Lots of T-shirts, ubiquitous sheepskins, and Made in China junk, items that looked like "Australia" or had the name plastered on the front, but none of it was made in Australia. Jimmy and I each bought a Five Dollah souvenir T-shirt, and came away happy.
From this self-indulgent thrill, we made it back to our hotel to freshen up and either add or subtract clothes for the next part of our day -- exciting adventures with koalas and itty-bitty penguins on parade. Oh boy!