Friday 14 April 2017

Australian Wanderings, Part 10 - Melbourne!

We’ve had two days to settle into our Airbnb digs just west of Melbourne, on the edge (literally) of the Alamanda Southern Wetland. We’re about a 45-minute train ride from central Melbourne. The peaceful quiet of the area, complete with frogs, crickets, and birds, makes it a relaxing contrast to the manic energy of Sydney. We explored central Melbourne both yesterday and today. Yesterday (Thursday), Swanston Street at noon hour was crowded, almost seething, whereas today (Good Friday), the atmosphere was much more serene. We spent time at the very impressive Federation Square, across the street from the famous Flinders Street Station. The square was built in 2001 to mark the 100th anniversary of Australian Federation. Its architecture is bold and distinctive, drawing heavily on Aboriginal motifs. The complex contains one of my favourite art galleries, the National Gallery of Victoria’s Australian collection. Stunning in design, stunning in content. If you travel to Melbourne, go there. Besides, it has many fine restaurants, including Beer DeLuxe, where I was first introduced to Moo Brew, a wonderful Pilsner ale from Tasmania.

While at Federation Square, we had lunch with two of Bill’s new quilting friends, Mandy and Alys. What a delight to meet them!

After lunch, Bill and I walked to the nearby National Gallery of Victoria’s other building, which features its international collection. A festival of contemporary photography is currently on display, including portraits by the American photographer William Eggleston, one of my photographic heroes. It also gave me a chance to revisit the Great Hall of the museum and to admire the magnificent glass ceiling by Leonard French. It was like seeing an old friend again.

Tomorrow, we switch gears - we travel to nearby Geelong for the 13th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention. Woohoo! I’ll spend the day immersed in model trains while Bill tours the area by bus on the partners’ program. Photos will no doubt follow from both of us!

Enjoy these photos of Melbourne.

Alamanda Southern Wetland

Main house where we're staying.

Our Airbnb digs - upstairs over the garage.

Williams Landing train station.

Flinders Street Station

Federation Square

Can you spot us on the jumbtron?

Mandy, Bill, Alys

National Gallery of Victoria interior, looking outside

Brook Andrew's Donut II, from "The Right to Offend Is Sacred"

Stringy bark painting by Gulumbu Yunupingu 

Sandridge Bridge across the Yarra River

Parks Department barge, Yarra River

Eureka Tower

Arts Centre Melbourne tower

Street artist

Leonard French's glass ceiling, Great Hall, National Gallery of Victoria

Bill photographing the ceiling

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