Wandering Melbourne

We have been here for 11 days and decide to run a different direction this morning heading for Fitzroy Gardens which is east of us.  The run starts out with three long blocks of uphill running.

Princess Theater, opened in 1854.  It is the oldest continuous entertainment site on mainland Australia seating 1,488 people.  Currently showing Harry Potter and the cursed child.
Parliament House of Victoria.  The construction of this grand colonnaded front building began in 1855 and was never completed as the planned dome was never erected thus making it one of the most well known unbuilt features of Melbourne.

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The Great Petition Sculpture refers to “the monster petition” calling for women to be granted the right to vote.  It was signed by 30,000 Victorian women over six weeks in 1891.  It was designed by artist Susan Hewit and Penelope Lee.  The original petition which consists of sheets of paper given onto lengths of calico fabric is 260 meters long and is held by the states public record office.

IMG_1078Fitzroy Gardens consists of 68 acres and are one of the major Victorian era landscaped gardens in Australia and add to Melbourne’s claim to being the garden city of Australia.  Set within the gardens are an ornamental lake, a conservatory, Cook’s cottage where the parents of James Cook lived.  The cottage was brought from England in the 1930’s.IMG_1082IMG_1083IMG_1084

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the Cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.  Ground breaking was 1858 and it was completed in 1939.  It is the tallest and overall the largest church building in Australia.  On November 17 we attended mass here as Sandy’s sister Betty Ann was being buried back home.

Later in the day we were rewarded with a great view of a rainbow from our apartment window followed by an amazing rack of lamb and roasted veggies prepared by Katiti.  It’s always nice having guests and good friends visit who are also gourmet cooks.


Bill was first to be seated, not sure if he is falling asleep or saying grace.

In Melbourne city art extends beyond the National Gallery of Victoria and into the many small laneways that run through the city.  More than just a laneway each street takes on a life of its own, hiding a treasure trove of secret bars, galleries and other surprises just waiting to be explored.

Katiti considering her next meal.


Alleyway jam packed with cafes, bars and restaurants.


We discover on Facebook that former neighbors of ours on Beacon Street, Maxine and Dick Charlton, are on a holiday hiking/biking tour in New Zealand and Australia.  We arrange to get together with them for dinner at Cumulus Inc.  They have just purchased a penthouse unit in the Seaport District of Boston so we look forward to resuming our friendship when we move back to Boston.  As for Cumulus Inc. we have now had dinner and a breakfast there with a recommendation of don’t go.

On a beautiful day we take a long walk to The Shrine of Remembrance and The Royal Botanical Gardens.

Queen Victoria Gardens are part of the domain parklands taking up a peaceful triangle of land.  Its most famous feature is the floral clock.
This garden display is a tribute to the Australian veterans who died in war.  The red poppy flower is associated with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day because once the conflict was over in Flander’s field the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren field.  With death there can also be hope.

The Shrine of Remembrance is a war memorial in Melbourne built in 1934 to honor men and women who served in WW I but now functions as a memorial to all Australians who have served in any war.  The Shrine is a Melbourne icon.  Inside the building is a sanctuary with a stone of remembrance embedded below the marble floor like a tombstone with the words “Greater Love Hath No Man” . . . The sanctuary was specially designed so that a ray of sunlight would strike the word love at 11am on 11 November to commemorate the armistice that ended WW I.  Most Australian casualties were never returned home but were buried where they died.  So this memorial acts as a generic gravesite for all Australians who never returned home.


This is a demonstration of the sunlight striking the word love which is reenacted every half hour throughout the year during open hours of the Shrine.
View from the walkway around the top of the Shrine.


Looking down on a poppy sculpture below.


There is a large war museum below the shrine.

IMG_0697The Royal Botanical Garden Victoria attracts over 1.9 million visitors annually.  It covers 38 hectares and was built in 1846.  With its stunning vistas, tranquil lakes and diverse plant collections, the gardens are a place of continual discovery and delight.  During the summer the lawns come alive with outdoor cinema, theater performances and exhibitions.  We opted to take a tram tour then picked areas of the park that we would later explore on foot.IMG_1124

Maybe the oldest tree in the garden, we don’t really remember.


Definitely not the oldest men in the garden.


We finally found a good background where Katiti’s face shows up nicely.


Swiss cottage.


Punting on the lake.


We were able to keep up our tradition of boating with Katiti and Bill.


Wesley, our punter.



Federation Square.

That is a wrap for Bill and Katiti as they are heading for Sydney.


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