Melbourne with the folks (Day Two)   Leave a comment

Saturday, 22 February, 2014

After a good night’s sleep, I was up early to go for a swim in the lap pool on the ground floor of the apartment block, while mum and dad got themselves ready upstairs. The only problem with the apartment we’ve got, is that there’s only one bathroom, so the ideal solution is for me to do 20 lengths in the pool, and then have a shower in the changing rooms down there.

After breakfast we took a walk along the river bank to the newly built South Wharf complex, where the Melbourne Conference & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is located along with the usual bars and restaurants that come with these places. Also in this area is a DFO outlet centre where we spent a couple of hours browsing the many stores. We should have been out of there sooner, but somehow I managed to get separated from the other two and not being able to get a decent signal on my phone to ring them, spent ages wondering round trying to find them again.

We had done the retail therapy now it was time for the cultural bit. We had planned to jump on a tram across the CBD to the Victoria Parliament building and take tour around. However, when we got there and taken a few pictures outside, we discovered that it was closed at weekends! Fear not, we had a backup plan, next door to the old Parliament building is the Old Treasury building and looking at the tourist guide it promised rare Ned Kelly documents, a history of Melbourne and even a tour of the vaults were Australia’s gold reserves used to be held. Not today! Closed on Saturdays said the sign outside. After a quick discussion, we decided to forget the cultural aspect of our day and catch a the tram back across town and down to the seaside town of St Kilda in Melbourne’s South. As it was, the first tram that came along, the number 112, took us all the way down to the beach at St. Kilda, where we took a walk along the Esplanade. As the weather wasn’t the best, we ducked into a bar right on the beachfront and had a drink. After walking a little further on we decided to forgo the bracing sea air (it was bloody freezing!) and headed over to Acland Street, where I knew the 96 tram starts its journey back into the CBD. I also knew that this street is lined with the most fantastic cafés and cake shops and it wasn’t long before mother was getting stuck into some of their wares. Back at the apartment, we had a quick change and headed out to dinner back in one of the restaurants at the MCEC.

Tonight Melbourne was throwing a massive party in the streets of the CBD, something called ‘White Night‘, which promised an evening (7pm to 7am) of cultural events, light installations, street entertainment and partying. The trams were scheduled to run all night so we squeezed ourselves into a packed one that was heading for the heart of the action. When we arrived the crowds were unbelievable! Burke Street was heaving with people trying to catch a glimpse of a light projection here or a band playing there, so we decided to push on down towards Federation Square. The crowds were getting thicker as we moved down Swanton Street and a couple of policemen told us that it was even worse down at the junction of Swanton/Flinders streets and Federation Square. At this point mother and father decided to bale out and return to the apartment, while I pushed on to grab some pictures of the light projections onto some of the older building along Flinders Street.

Any thought of entering Federation Square for a look at was going on in there were scuppered by the sight of a couple ambulances trying to force their way in, no doubt to retrieve some poor unfortunate souls who had been crushed in the throng. So I spent the next couple of hours wondering around the fringes of the festival looking at some of the stuff going on in the streets and even dropping into the Ian Potter Centre to look at some contemporary art, strange stuff! At 2am I’d seen enough and headed for the tram stop to be amazed at the sight of people still coming into town to join the nights activities.


Posted February 22, 2014 by yermandownunder in Out and about, Travels

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