Today, May 17th 2008, I had the magnificent idea to discover by foot while it was raining. Nevertheless I had a great time and discovered a big part of Melbourne thanks to the folder: “Melbourne City Walking Tour”. I stole the idea from a folder I received from the Base Hostel, the hostel where I am staying, and was very excited to discover Melbourne by an ‘organised’ (read: self walking) trip.
It all started by taking the tram 96 towards the city Centrum and getting off “Southern Cross” train station. From there I walked to the “Melbourne Observation Deck” where I had the opportunity to discover Melbourne from an extraordinary height by an incredible 360 degrees view. It might be a given fact, but I took this chance although I had to pay for it. The bonus was that you had the opportunity to go on top of the “Rialto Tower” as many times as you wanted for that paid day. This meant that I could discover Melbourne by day- and nightlight from that spectacular view. Again it might be a given fact, but this opportunity I couldn’t refuse.
From the “Observation Deck” I walked through different streets till I eventually came to the “Queen Victoria Market”. This is a covered market place where they sell all imaginary product and goods. After I have been there for over an hour I start walking again through the city Centrum and their shops and stores. I was a bit shocked, positively spoken, about the Melbourne Central, which is a train station, cause it house held over 300 ambitious and modern shops divided over 3 levels. Amazing to notify! The same feeling I had about the street that goes straight through the building. Really strange that there are cars passing while you are shopping in a covered mall.
Nevertheless, you will find stores everywhere and most of time they are very similar. In other words I passed these shops and headed on to the next building on my trip which was the “Melbourne Town Hall”. I was a bit unlucky, at the time I arrived, because there was an ongoing wedding which meant I couldn’t take any photograph of the inside of this building.
Not far from the “Town Hall” you have Federation Square. This recently constructed square is not only the home for the Tourist Information, but also for different museums, street artists, free festivals, etc. all thanks their strategic orientation next to “Flinders Street Station” and nearby the “MCG arena”. Overall seen I can say that this is a busy place which invites people to stay longer as expected.
Partly due to bad weather and thanks to good advertising I ended the tour in “The National Gallery of Victoria” (NGV). The NGV is one of the oldest museums in Australia (1861) and completely sponsored by the Victorian Government and house held different expositions at the same time like European famous paintings, Asian art, robust sculptures and a photo gallery. Surprisingly the NGV was the highlight in this city tour cause normally I am not attracted by paintings and other forms of art, but as I pointed out, now it was different. I was attracted by, as many other European citizens especially Dutch and Belgian citizens, the remarkable paintings from European artists e.g. Rembrandt and Rubens. Why? I have no idea. Probably it has something to do with my nationalistic mindset and for the smart asses under us: I mean both Belgian and Dutch pride! (Sure boy)
After staying and photographing paintings for 2 hours I thought it was time to head back home. Satisfied and exhausted I arrived the Base Hostel; I showered, eat, and had a few beers downstairs in the “Red Eye Bar” before I felt asleep.
For photo’s I recommend you to go to Facebook where you’ll find all uploaded and the most recent pictures of my day trip! I have noticed that this is a more effective way of working (and gives more satisfaction) then uploading pictures on my blog which takes ages.