Saturday, February 06, 2010

- Experiencing Melbourne -

We woke to a beautiful morning and once organised, caught a bus & tram into the heart of Melbourne. Tram's are largely associated with the city of Melbourne within Australia, so what better way to ride into the city. I wouldn't however rate it as a memorable experience, it was much like any public transport, busy, noisy and many stops making the journey much longer than it needed to be. It did however take you through many suburbs and gain a greater view of the city of Melbourne.

(Traditional Style Melbourne Tram, our ride into the city was a modern, longer version.)

We jumped off the Tram at the renowned Queen Victoria Markets. Situated on 7 hectares of land, this is the place to come for fresh produce! It was certainly an eye opener wandering through the fresh fish market, past the rows of butchers and into the delicatessens with their yummy smelling salamis and cheeses. Around the corner we walked through the colourful displays of fresh fruit and veg and then into the isles and isles of bric-a-brac stores. We could spend hours exploring the wonderful displays and soaking up the atmosphere, however after a coffee break we decided to head on and explore more of the city.

Along the footpath i took in what i now believe to be the essence of Melbourne. The old style store fronts, the Bohemian style art shops, the lane way cafes, the sounds of trams, and buskers. It wasn't long before we reached the State Library of Victoria, and i know what your thinking, why travel all this way to go to a Library? We didn't come to read, we called in here to bring together the story of Ned Kelly. The library offers a guided tour to see the display of his famous armour and give details on his short life. The armour was incredible, almost imposing along side an 1860's rifle and one of Kelly's boots.

(Typical street scene, drizzly weather, tram lines and historic buildings.)
(Victorian State Library, Statue of Sir Edmund Barry, the judge who sentenced Ned Kelly to his death.)
(The beautiful reading room.)

(The original armour worn by Ned Kelly at Glenrowan.)

To finish off our discovery about the life of Ned we visited the Old Melbourne Gaol where Ned Kelly was sent to his death and hung in 1880 at the age of 25. The tour around the goal includes a watch house experience, once through the doors we were treated like criminals! Separated into gender, given an identity with charge sheet! We had to shout out, YES SARGENT, NO SARGENT when asked, we were booked in, searched and thrown in the cells! The door slammed shut and the lights went out... pitch black locked in a room with complete strangers... the sounds of the goal being played out on speakers! It was certainly a different tour to what we were used to and eventually our "Sargent" calmed down and let us out to look around! After we got our mug shots taken we wandered over to the Old Gaol and took a look around. It was pretty amazing reading about the criminals of the past and the crimes that eventually led to their death by hanging. A bit morbid i know but it was pretty interesting.

(Inside the old Melbourne Gaol.)

(Sargent, locking us in & ready to give orders.)
(I wonder has he had his mugshot taken before?)

In true Melbourne style the day went from fine in the morning to grey and drizzly in the afternoon! That didn't dampen our appetite though, so we headed down to Federation Square for Lunch! Passing by the iconic Flinders Street Station and taking a peek into the beautiful St Paul's Cathedral! with satisfied bellies we wandered through the shopping streets of Bourke St, the Royal Arcade and into Melbourne Central. All this walking was beginning to ware us down so we returned to the caravan park via Tram & Bus. It was a wonderful day spent exploring the city and I'd love to come back and explore it some more one day.

(Flinders Street Station)

The next morning we drove through Chapel Street and called by St Kilda to see Luna Park and enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes along the main strip! We finally made our way out of the city down to the Mornington Peninsula to visit Bren's Pa in Rosebud for a few days.

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