Monday, May 19, 2014

Melbourne–City Tour

What a difference a good night’s sleep makes.  We were in bed by 7:00 PM on the 18th and woke up about 10 hours later.  We had to be up early because we had a pickup at the hotel of 7:15 for our city tour and river cruse.  After a nice breakfast at the hotel we boarded our coach for the introduction to the city.

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, with a population of just over 4 million.  (Sydney is the largest with a population of over 4.5 million).  There are similarities between the two cities but they each have their own personalities.  For those that have not been following our blog in the past, we have been to Sydney during previous trips. 

The coach tour took us to different areas of the city and gave us an overview.  Melbourne is big on sport.  They have many large stadiums for the different sports they follow.  The biggest is “footy” or Australian Football League.  This sport is different from Rugby with a different set of rules.  That said, they also have Rugby teams (and stadium), Soccer teams (and stadium) as well as venues for the Australia Tennis open and other sports.  Unfortunately you won’t see any pictures here because we drove by all of them and they all seemed to be huge, and on the opposite side of the bus.

We did enjoy the variety of architecture around the city.  Typical of most large cities it is a mixture of modern and old buildings.  St Paul’s Cathedral can be seen from many areas of the city with its great spires.



As compared to the big skyscrapers



Melbourne has a lot of green space throughout the city.  We stopped at Fitzroy Gardens, a beautiful park where they have a conservatory and  Captain  Cook’s home.  Captain Cook was the English sea captain that explored and mapped the east coast of Australia in the 1770’s.  The house, built in 1755 in Great Ayton, England was moved to Melbourne in 1934 as a memorial to Capt Cook. 


We got to meet the great “Capt Cook”


and tour the house.


The city has lots of public art of all ages and forms.



We saw these topiaries in the Royal Botanical Gardens


Another contrast in buildings is the very modern buildings in Federation  Square.


complete with its giraffe poking its head into the building


With the central train station built during an earlier era


Around noon we transferred from the motor coach to a boat where we cruised the Yarra River that runs through the city.  These are three “Magpies” and a strap hanger (husband).


I enjoyed seeing the bridges crossing the river.



In the evening we dined in Melbourne China Town.



Good company and a nice way to end our first full day in Melbourne.

Tomorrow, bush tucker and the Penguin Parade.

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