Life, Art and Creativity

Trip Start Feb 22, 2012
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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Saturday, January 12, 2013

Since we have set ourselves up here in Melbourne with jobs, friends and a nice home... even a dog. We decided we must see some of the sights Melbourne has to offer.

We visited Melbourne's many beautiful parks and Botanical Gardens, which is a completely free project that educates people on Australia's flora and fauna. It's a beautiful spot next to a large lake where everyone goes to walk the dog and have an Aussie BBQ. We walked around looking at all the wonderful flowers, we visited the herb garden and searched for Scott's pine. Unfortunately we are still to find this elusive tree but hopefully will spot it next time we visit. We had a very yummy snack at the visitor centre, Scott had a Mars chocolate dream cake and I had an Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream. It was very delicious!

Opposite the gardens was the Shrine of Remembrance which was our next stop. It's a massive shrine that looks over all of Melbourne. Outside the shrine was a large tower built in remembrance of all countries involved on the First World War. There was also a big fire that was lit soon after that is still alight there today. 

We also visited St Kilda and walked along the promenade, it was very nice! St Kilda is the backpack/traveller area with some cool bars and restaurants lining the beach. There was lots of people on the beach but it was very windy and sand was flying everywhere. We walked along to the Kite surfing area and watched some ridiculous jumps, they were such show offs, but it was pretty awesome!! 

I met up with Anita whom we travelled India with for a good catch up. She took me to see some of the local arty sights. Starting at Flinders street station which is a beautiful building In itself, we walked to Hosier Lane. Hosier Lane is where graffiti artists are given free reign to express themselves. The walls are covered with some very beautiful street art and graffiti, even the bins have been decorated. The art work stays up for 6 weeks before the walls are white washed. Then other artists have the chance to put there mark in this famous street. Street art and graffiti art is so popular here that even Banksy has painted in a few places, his paintings are now protected under glass! My favourite artist is 'Be Free' I have added some of her pictures for you to see. She uses everyday objects like a bin, pack of cards or seats to paint her art on and around and uses very nice colours too.

Anita and I visited the Melbourne Art Centre where there was a War Horse exhibition on. We walked around for a while seeing props from the theatre production. Outside was a big wooden horse next to a big flashy fountain. The art centre itself is a pretty cool building as it has a Australian Eiffel Tower on its roof. Next door to the art centre is the National Gallery of Victoria. Anita and I wandered round looking at all the art work and historic artefacts many of which reminded me of our travelling in Asia.

Daniel, Shayla and I decided to visit Boroondara Park one afternoon, while Scott was at work. It was fabulous we went on a hay ride around the kangaroo enclosure and saw emus and kangaroos bouncing around. There was a rabbit and guinea pig area which I didn't want to leave, I had a cuddle with all the Guinea pigs there which took a while. Shayla had fun trying to catch them all. We saw calves and goats being milked, horses, chickens being rounded up and the community gardens and vegetable patch. We spent some time in the play area playing with Shayla, surfed on some crazy giant ants and had a very good day out!

Scott and I were very keen to see Anita play with her band The Postmen. So one Friday evening we went to Brunswick Hive with Alan a friend of Scott's from work (who comes from Scotland originally). Brunswick Hive was a big warehouse which has slowly developed over time to have a big stage with large sofas and beanbags around it. The owners used to live in tents at the back but have now built a loft area above. There were twinkly lights everywhere, they sold coconuts at the back of the warehouse and there was a world class face painter there too. The atmosphere was very chilled, there was a great vibe and there were so many travellers there to watch the bands play. There were three bands playing one was a jazz band with two saxophones and a mouth organ. The music was great we couldn't help but dance. The second group to play was Anita and the Postmen. They were awesome we had heard a lot of the songs before whilst travelling with Anita but the band playing as well gave the tunes a completely different aspect which was great to hear. We caught up with Anita, met her brother and Cam her boyfriend too, which was great. the last band playing was 8 Foot Felix touring from Sydney who were awesome. They played with an organ, French horn, trumpet and drums we couldn't help but dance we had a fantastic evening.

Anita and her boyfriend Cam arranged for us and their friend Natalie to go out to Lentil As Anything. It's a vegan restaurant that is run by donations and volunteers. The restaurant is situated in a beautiful old convent in Abbotsford. The grounds and gardens were stunning. We got our buffet style dinner which was so tasty and sat on the lawns eating, chatting and listening to Anita and Cam playing guitar. We randomly met a traveller who was also a magician who showed us some card tricks too. Whilst sat on the lawns enjoying the atmosphere Scott and I saw our first little possum which we can tick off our list. We had such a good evening in such beautiful surroundings.

We spent the day with Daniel and Jacinta and went to see the Dandenong Ranges. We stopped for lunch in a quaint English styled tea room and had an English tea and an English Muffin lunch. We had a look at Mount Dandenong's view point before setting out on a walk to the Cascades. We went to Kalarama Park to look at the view and on to Sky High situated at the very top of Mount Dandenong. There was an English Garden to walk round and a sausage sizzler to eat too, which Scott and Daniel enjoyed. We called in at the Pig and Whistle English pub which was great, it was like we were back at home, they even sold walnut whips! Nearby was Rickett's Sanctuary, where an artist has carved sculptures into stone, made moulds and used water too to make the cravings seem to flow out of the elements which was pretty cool. I wasn't a big fan of the actual sculptures as it was all very depressing but the technology behind it was good! We had a good day seeing more of the area around us thanks to Daniel and Jacinta. 

Melbourne is such a lively city with a lot of art and creativity, with many areas of interest and beauty. There is so much more we have to see and do whilst we are here, so watch this space!!
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