Letho's Blog

Melbourne – the city of culture and arts

by on Nov.07, 2010, under Traveling Australia

Being in constant competition with Sydney, although only the second biggest city of Australia,  Melbourne`s  many cafes and bars located for example in Brunswick or Lygon Street are captivating. At the size of Berlin it spreads over a huge area of square kms and seems less crowded than Sydney. What else does it have to offer?

Beautiful laneways

There even is an AC/DC laneway in honour of this great Australian band! Yeah!

The Old Melbourne Gaol covers Melbourne’s criminal history, for example the notorious Ned Kelly, for some a criminal for others a hero but definitely deeply connected to Australians history and a well known character.

The next picture shows his armour in which he survived some bullets but was finally shot in, wounded and captured.

Ned Kelly's armour

Ned Kelly's armour

But why did we get the same number? ; )

The National Gallery of Victoria has some permanent Australian artists on display, for example John Brack – Collin St. and Ryssel Drysdale – the station yard.

Another famous museum is the Heide museum in – guess…. – yes, Heidelberg : )

After having seen lots of paintings it was great to see a photography exhibition by Carrol Jerrems and her most famous foto, Vale Street, 1975.

Larry Clark’s book of photographs Tulsa (1971)  impressed me very much through its way of depicting violent scenes such us injecting amphetamines as a normal way of being.

We went to Heidelberg by bike – a nice 25 kilometre ride in very nice weather.

The Melbourne Museum provided the scientific input we needed after having seen many pictures and all in all they made a nice effort to have some interactive computer animations and to display things in an interesting way. With 8 $ the entry fee was also managable.

We also found some very interesting animals…

Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

With great pleasure we noticed that we had arrived in time to go to the Tim Burton exhibition to learn that not only has be contributed to many great films („Nightmare Before Christmas“, „Corpse Bride“, „Vincent“, „Sleepy Hollow“) but also several not so good ones („Beetlejuice“, early „Batman“ movies). His pictures / drawings were very impressive though – what a great imagination. He obviously suffered from his early childhood in a middle class suburban setting and tried to get over this with his art.

The Eureka building, called after the Eureka riot, where workers in the gold-town Ballarat protested against unfair taxes, is supposed to be the tallest building of the city. In comparison to the Sydney tower it has more information about interesting buildings to be seen from above and couches to sit down and enjoy a coffee. Very nice experience and great to see the things we have seen before from above.

So far we have noticed that there seems to be at leat one memorial in every city or town usually about the First and Second World War. So is Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

The Yarra River flows through the city:

Yarra River, Melbourne

Yarra River, Melbourne

The Royal Exhibition Building that was used for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and is now part of World Heritage.

State library, Melbourne:

State Library, Melbourne

State Library, Melbourne

The Royal Arcade opened in 1870 and has a big clock inside (Gaunt’s Clock)  flanked by the two giant statues Gog and Magog which has been installed in 1892.

Parliament House

Parliament House, Melbourne

Parliament House, Melbourne

St. Patricks cathedral:

Many houses look like this:

Houses in Melbourne

Houses in Melbourne

One of our new camping-survivour friends works at Lentil As Anything, a restaurant / cafe, place to be which offers food and drinks and everybody pays what they consider the meal worth. Obviously, the management has money problems but it is great to have a place like this and we went there and had great dinner.

Lygon Street is famous for its many many restaurants and we went there to have fabulous cake (Death By Chocolate). Unfortunately, Frank got a cake with marshmellow topping, something the Australians seem to enjoy too.

Death by chocolate on Lygon Street

Death by chocolate on Lygon Street

Talking about food our experience with great dumplings has to be mentioned. Dumplings are small pieces of dough filled with meat or vegetables. Try them! : )

One evening we went to the Microbrewery Beer Tasting @ Federation Square were many small breweries around Melbourne offered the chance to taste their beers, paid for of course. 20 tastings were possible and we didn’t manage to drink all of them in 2,5 hours. We totally underestimated this experience.

The famous Melbourne Cup was on but we just walked along the river outside of the racetrack and there we found this sign:

which, of course, we didn't do

which, of course, we didn't do

What else did we do during the on off altogether 2,5 weeks in Melbourne? Apart from the sightseeing things mentioned above we cooked for our hosts, had many evenings with nice food and drinks, have been invited to BBQ / Karaoke nights / dinner, washed our clothes, relaxed…

After staying in Melbourne, our previous plan to live in Sydney after having travelled around is now challenged by the idea of staying in Melbourne instead of Sydney. But we’ll see. We have definitely met lots of people we would love to meet again in Melbourne and had a great time there!! Melbourne is in the top range of the most livable cities and we know now why.

Last but not least we encountered another Australian animal at night at the Flagstaff Park in the middle of Melbourne- a possum:

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