After quite a while, we return to the travelogue. After our trip down the Great Ocean Road, we spent a day wandering around Melbourne. Melbourne is a lovely city. It doesn't have the glamour of Sydney's harbor but it is accessible, compact and I like visiting it. I've been there a number of times on business and one of the things I like about it is that our office is in the heart of downtown. Sydney used to be like that decades ago but Melbourne still is.
But this time we were there on holiday. Our vacation hotel was on the other side of the Yarra river from where I usually stay. This was nice as it gave me a different perspective on the city. Melbourne has gorgeous Victorian architecture so we spent the morning walking around the city center looking at buildings.
This is Melbourne's China town entrance up ahead. Melbourne and Sydney have a very diverse population which shows in the variety of foods and faces and culture that is visible.
Juxtaposed with the lovely Victorian architecture is very modern architecture. This is Federation square from which our tour left. The day we went on the bus tour was Superbowl Sunday in the US so there was a giant TV showing the game and people hanging out. But this was the next day and it was quiet.
Flinders Street station - across the street from the modern architecture above.
One of the government buildings for the Victoria provincial government.
Melbourne has a trolley system in the city center. The trolley cars are old and acquired from other cities. They are gussied up with paint. There is a free trolley that goes on a circular route around the city center. We took that a couple of times. We didn't take the others because the ticketing is complicated. You need a card, which you have to get from specific places and which need a deposit. It wasn't worth it for a day. We did take a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus to see some of the further out places.
There was a protest going on outside this government building.
A row of yarnbombed trees.
RMIT - one of the universities in Melbourne - has a lot of really intriguing modern architecture. This is one of their buildings.
After wandering around the city center, we went a little further on the tourist bus. We wanted to see the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Tennis Center (home of the Australian Open) and the Botanical Garden.
See that tiny bit of green in that picture? That is how close I got to seeing the cricket ground. From the outside, it is a giant sports stadium which I could not capture in a single picture. It was rather boring. We went inside and were told we had to pay to take an hour long tour. We didn't want to spend the money or the time. I thought I could sneak up and get a photo of the grounds but this as close as they would let me. Darn!
From the cricket ground, we walked across a long over-pass which went over the railway tracks to the tennis arena.
These are the outer courts of the tennis center. We couldn't get into the Tennis Center either.
Next up Botanical Gardens. These were not as nice as Sydney's. But it was nice after being in the sun all day.
We also went to the Shrine of Rememberance - Melbourne's war memorial.
The top provides gorgeous views of Melbourne.
Looking up at the shrine.
The actual shrine.
The four corners have these structures that are meant to evoke the trenches of World War 1. They are quite interesting and serene to spend time in.
And with that, we walked back to our hotel. A very long walk because we missed the last tourist bus to get back. We were able to get it from the shrine to the Botanical Garden where it ends. But we couldn't get the next one that starts from there and goes to our hotel vicinity because we had just gotten off the last one.
The next day we flew to Auckland for the New Zealand leg of our trip.