one of the most beautiful cities I have visited
We flew in from Cairns in a Quantas flight it took around 2.5 hours
most of the aborigines lost thier land and were later moved into settlements
Irish and German settlers started inhabting the city
The Flinders railway station occupies a grand stand location facing the Town hall and the main square ,the station is one of the busiest even today and has been over the years connecting Melbourne to other parts of Victoria and other Australian cities .
|HUGE SKYSCRAPERS IN THE HORIZON|
|ST FRANCIS CHURCH|
|SANTA MAIL BOX|
|TRAMS IN MELBOURNE COLOURFUL SLEEK|
,it was easy as all the tourist section was right in front of us ,the roads were festooned and colorful with Christmas decorations
we walked into the main road saw the municipal building the huge Flinders railway station and then on to the flowing Yarra river banks which were full of small food joints and big cruising boats ,one could view the city scape and the Manhattan style buildings towering behind the broad river .
the water was pure neat and the banks had well laid jogging and cycling tracks.
I read later Yarra river was not always like this it was a putrefacting mass of sludge once upon a time and it took thirty long years to create as it is today
|YARRA RIVER ROWING|
The square itself has bustling colourful sleek smooth trams gliding in and out with tingling bells as pedestrians scurried out of its path ,while the rumble of hard carriage wheels driven by muscular and gallant white horses carrying tourists and driven by ornate horsemen give a Victorian tinge to the modernity around
The Town hall gaily painted and festooned for Christmas becomes a visual delight after dusk settles in and the 15 minute light show begins
I was mesmerised by the beauty of the show as Santa clauses tumbled out of reindeer sledges and china men carrying overladen gifts for the coming season
people went on filming and taking phtographs while they were not hunting for souvenuniers or tucking into hot sandwishces aor creamy ice creams as dusk brought its chill and grazxing winds
The horse carriages ,the trams ,the cycles,the flowing yarra river with cruises and the black swans,the high rises the hindreds of shops ,food joints ,live music santa post boxes
Marvelous Melbourne was defintiely European in its profile
Be it in the haute courte brand houses.the art galleries .green parks flowing Yarra river way side musicians flowing Australian wines gourmet continental food courts English cottages magnificient churches easy people and all
The next morning we were to start the city tour
All tours are well organised with the pick up buses from hotels taking us to a centralised stand where we are split into respective tours ,we get into our buses and the driver cum manager cum guide who are trained with excellent diction and public speaking
While Sydney has its showpiece opera house and memorial bridge to be known all over its left to sport to do that to Melbourne
Melbourne was the sport capital of Australia with the famed Melbourne cricket ground Australian open event is conducted here football matches and long winding bicycle tracks which are full of helmeted riders
the climate is mediterannean and there is chill in the air even.in the midsummer and its sunny at 7pm and the crowds fill the place near federation sqaure with xmas lightings refugee rights meets parks with children frolicking an air of geniality and cheer that comes out of comfort no competition and relaxation permeates the air of this wonderful place
The luxurious volvo bus fitted with a toilet ,free wifi which was inconsistent and ,a driver who could deliver a TED speech with ease as we went around the sights of this city
Wish he was the Mayor of Cochin for he would definietely done better than the present incumbents !
Iam sure there would be comments that it is easy to comment in fb but then city planning or politics is not my profession in which I do my best and expect others to do the same .
Iam just pointing out not pointing fingers out of sadness for my state
At least there is hope in our PM today .
Lunch at a Punjabi dhaba was elegant excisite and coffee with doughnuts was sweet
The river itself needed 3 decades of cleaning to remove its slime and sludge and make it as what it is today .sparkling clean blue water flowing sedately with built neat banks with bycycle tracks
on return we walked to the town hall and watched the light show again beofre retirng into the old vic
|YARRA RIVER CRUISES|
Final day in Australia was spent in the Great ocean tour
This starts from Melbourne and winds around 250 km into Victoria state on a road built mostly on the sea coast it climbs verdant hills with green canopies plush lawns with plumpy cows and wooly sheep grazing with no care in the world it passes qauint. Villages like Port Campbell and lovely beaches steep gorges that look into turquoise seas winfing paths that lead to the glistening waters stacked and rolled hay in vast fields
One thing missing other than in beaches and towns which were full of gawking tourists and seminude locals out to catch the sun was lack of people in the fields
Thee cows went in line to be milked we saw them but by whom
According to John our verbiose driver cum manager cum crisis officer cum principal the milked ones have a smile on thier face unlike the unmilked cows with heavy udders ..
London arch this is a natural rock formation was called London bridge in Great ocean road off Melbourne in late nineties an arch broke off and 2 tourists were stranded in middle a man and woman both married to different people ! Finally rescued by helicopter
|The twelve apostles is a natural rock formation in the port campbell National park and depicts the twelve disciples of Jesus christ|