Ooooohhhhhhh, Melbourne, you did it…..you stole our hearts! Yes, thank you, we would love to return some day for an extended visit! What a lively, vibrant city. It was voted the Most Livable City in the World for 7 years straight, but recently was overtaken by…Vienna! We took a terrific 3-hour walking tour with I’m Free Walking Tours, which we also took in Sydney. You pay what you wish at the end of the tour. Andreas was our guide, and he was wonderful and knowledgeable. He is the man in the green shirt in the second photo. The first photo was a feast for our eyes, not our tummies…a gorgeous tea room in downtown Melbourne. There is always a line for a table, and today was no exception. Aren’t the sweets just beautiful, though?
The third picture, believe it or not, is a sculpture outside the State Library, which is very funny. In the fourth photo, you can see a sign for what they call a hook turn, and you need to be careful when crossing the street. There is a special lane to turn right from the left lane of a perpendicular street, as if simply driving on the left isn’t hard enough! Following that is one of many gorgeous shopping arcades, which we have found everywhere in the world except the US. They are usually Victorian shopping buildings with glass ceilings and domes, but this one was exceptional in that the entire floor inside was set with hand-placed mosaics, as you can see in the following photo. The photo following that shows a monument to a wonderful and unusual piece of Melbourne history…the numbers at the top are 888. Can you believe…in 1856, Melbourne became the first city in the world to legislate an 8-hour work day, selling it with “8 hours of work, 8 hours of leisure, 8 hours of sleep.” Then there are many pictures from around town….Fitzroy Gardens’ Royal Exhibition Building from 1880, with its fountain and landscaping; a woman walking under Coles Fountain in Parliament Reserve Gardens; Hill of Content bookstore, in operation since 1922; the elaborate entrance arch to Melbourne’s Chinatown, the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere; a w-a-a-vy residential building; one of several graffiti laneways, where anyone can write what they wish, even over someone else’s art, with no threat of punishment…we saw a place where the paint was coming off, and there must have been 30-40 layers!; a fast food laneway; the Parra River; and the outside and inside of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which looked Moorish to us.
Finally, three burgers for you to try! The last time we were in Australia, we got a combo plate featuring camel, ostrich, crocodile, and kangaroo…so there!