Yarra River, Taste of Melbourne, more gardens
Trip Start Jan 21, 2012
58Trip End Mar 16, 2012
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Where I stayed
The Hotel Windsor Melbourne
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
I walked through the eastern side of Melbourne that I hadn’t explored so far to the Yarra River and the newly developed "Southside". Parks, shops, and restaurants have replaced an un-used commercial area and provide a vibrant slice of life in Melbourne on a sunny Sunday. There was some sort of “Taste of Melbourne” going on and I enjoyed wandering from one restaurant to another along the river, having whatever little plate of goodies and tiny glass of wine or beer that place was featuring. Great people watching
After I’d eaten my fill, I decided to go to several more parks rather than spend time in any more museums. My cough sounds so bad that I think it scares people in (quiet) libraries, art galleries and museums so I feel more comfortable on my own in the great outdoors. I walked through the Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandria gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance, and then into the huge Royal Botanic Gardens. There are a lot of war memorials in Australia; more than I’ve noticed in America. I heard that is because Australia lost proportionally more of its young men in the WW I than any of its allies; 65% of the men who volunteered to fight in a war (that must have seemed to have little to do with them) were killed or wounded!
The Royal Botanic Garden is so large and full of interesting things that I couldn't see everything I wanted to before my feet gave out. Again, sweeping lawns shaded by huge trees filled with happy families enjoying the sun. In addition, special sections are devoted to different Australian microclimates done is a very natural way so they are fun to walk through. I had a cup of afternoon tea in a proper tearoom next to a lake just like those I’ve seen in the public gardens in England - - nicely set tables surrounded by women in flowery dresses drinking pots of teas with 3-tiered plates filled with little cakes and sandwiches
This is one of the things I’ve loved about Australia - - the place is full of cheerful, tan, fit brisk Australians who seem to be so out-going, kind and relaxed PLUS there is the enjoyable patina of terribly British touches that are more obvious in Melbourne that I find to be just charming. Plus all this, there is the wild and gorgeous interior (that is completely unique and so different than the coastal cities) AND a vast number of completely unique animals and plants.
Getting back to my hotel from the park took me around the northeastern perimeter of the city (once I found a bridge to cross the Yarra) through an enormous complex of HUGE sports stadiums. Some were developed for the Melbourne Olympics, others to feed Australian's voracious appetite for anything athletic. I think those I saw were for soccer and cricket and not sure what else.