Saturday, December 27, 2008

Melbourne - Day Two

Today's agenda is simply to explore the city. Had a quick breakfast at our serviced apartment, then off we go. First stop is the Carlton Gardens. Took some photographs of the magnificent Royal Exhibition Building. It was completed in 1880 in time for the Melbourne International Exhibition. It also holds the distinction of being the first building in Australia to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Nearby is the Melbourne Musuem. Entry to the museum is free for seniors. Next stop is the Victorian Parliament House for more picture taking. Nearby are St. Peter's Anglican Church with a statue of Christ on a cross at a street corner and St. Patrick's Cathedral where photography is not allowed. This I found out too late. We then walked down to Russell Street, and had lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

We made our way along Flinders to St. Paul's Cathedral, where we waited for the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle. Lots of other people had the same idea. Half an hour later, the hop-on hop-off bus took us to the Docklands shopping centres with the Southern Star Observation Wheel, Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Aquarium, the Shrine of Remembrance, Royal Botanic Garden, Chinatown, etc. We got off at the Arts Centre, and spent some time at the National Gallery of Victoria. Very similar in atmosphere to the Art Gallery of NSW. We walked along the Yarra River promenade, and had snacks at the Southbridge. Stayed around Crown Casino a bit to watch their hourly(?) Christmas show in the lobby.

From there, we caught a tram to bring us back to Parliament House, where we parked our car in the morning. Drove to St. Kilda Beach for a look-see. By the time we finished touring the nearby Luna Park, we didn't want to see the beach anymore. The wind picked up, and it started getting very very cold. So back to the car we went and back to the hotel where we had pizzas and chicken wings delivered for dinner.

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