Travelled to Melbourne along the Western Ring Road on Easter Eve! Luckily the drive was pretty straight forward. Not sure it would have been as easy in Sydney! We SQUEEZED down the side of Heather’s cousin Trudy’s house to camp for 10 days.
We enjoyed seeing Melbourne over an Easter as it was obviously quieter. The weather remained exceptional for the whole time with no clouds, rain or wind and lots of balmy sun and warm days! We were able to visit parks, galleries and stop anywhere. We really enjoyed walking around the elaborate arcades vibrant with history, colour and people. There are so many hidden secrets in Melbourne and everyday we go in we find more fascinating places. We went to the famous Bennett’s Lane Jazz Club to hear Michelle Nicole sing. We were surprised how small it was. We enjoyed Victoria Markets which was much like the old Paddy’s Market in Sydney before it got stuffed up. Visited St Kilda Beach and eventually felt hot enough to seek out shade! Then went to see Sandra, Heather’s aunty, for a lovely lunch. Chatted about family history for ages. Checked out the Tasmanian Spirit moored at the docks with our Tasmanian dream in focus. Took time out to wander the Southbank and enjoy the big gas performances outside the Casino.
Katie and Carl came back from their Easter camp and we have been seeing them regularly in the city visiting restaurants, bars and coffee shops. We have had a wonderful time and the weather just never stopped being perfect. Though the last few evenings are nearly cold! The wonderful buildings that have been preserved are really magnificent and, with such gorgeous weather, it’s easy to linger and take it all in. The trees and wide streets, the simple city grid, trams everywhere make Melbourne a special city. People seem to have so much to do above ground and everyone is out and about. We are getting about in the car a lot and Heather has caught the trams a little!
The funny hook turns and negotiating corners set out for trams are a bit disconcerting for Peter! He now thinks Perth drivers aren’t too bad after contending with Melbourne drivers – their basic problem is lack of manners - drivers commonly run red lights, play dodgems with the trams and there are signs everywhere about not cueing across intersections as they block them regularly.
Enjoying chatting with Trudy and Ian and getting to know the kids! Also have done a little bit of research on Heather’s G. Grandfather, Gerard Wight, an architect in the early 1900’s. We found a lovely building, Melbourne Bank that he co-designed. After seeing the photo of it we were very disappointed to find it completely wrapped in plastic and scaffolding! Could not see anything! Maybe it will be wonderful when unwrapped. Also found a lovely pub he designed in Fitzroy that is now a carpet shop. There maybe a bit more to find yet.
Last day in Melbourne, we picked up Kt and Carl and went to Herring Island in the middle of the Yarra where there are a number of outdoor sculptures and a gallery. . We had fun catching a small punt boat across the Yarra.
After a picnic lunch we visited Como House, one of the original heritage houses in Melbourne with Katie and Carl. Finished the night with a lovely vegetarian dinner at Trudy and Ian’s.