Finished off last evening catching the train out to Heidelberg where we stopped by the local chippy and got some fish and chips for Friday night dinner to have at Belinda’s place with her boys William and Alex.
Oh god, it was as early as we predicted. Jet lag seems to not have hit us badly as we still slept reasonably well. We have effectively switched our body clocks 180 degrees so we can’t complain about our bodies objecting a bit.
We experienced our first Uber with a trip to Tullarmarine Airport (main airport in Melbourne) in time for the flight to Kununurra via Darwin. Saw our first kangaroos since we arrived.
So whilst we bounce around in storm clouds thought it would be fun to see how hard it would be to use a key pad. Didn’t quite finish the blog yesterday of the sites that we saw in Melbourne on an afternoon stroll.
We wandered down a few of the gorgeous old arcades in the centre of Melbourne and of course Di managed to steer her way with the help of Barb to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms which Di has never had the opportunity to frequent. This will change when she returns to Melbourne in December.
It was then onto the Cathedral Arcade to check out its stained glass roof.
Some of you may know but many may not, but Di has done a serious amount of stained glass windows in her time and has always had a fascination with creating using the medium of glass. Be that blowing or cutting. She has zero artistic ability but can mimic drawings well – nice way of saying plagiarising.
Barb remembers coming into the centre of Melbourne on the old trams as a young girl with her mum and sister all dressed up in their Sunday finery and visiting these two arcades.
Lots of open air cafes with the young professionals emptying from their glass towers at 4.00pm in time for the happy hour and having their lattes.
Now does anyone know what this is. A clue, Barb remembers them in use and Fras vagueing remembers them in use as a very wee lad. Di on the other hand has never seen this model before as she grew up in small town New Zealand.
Forgot to give you the answer to the question on the emblem on the tail of the Air New Zealand plane.
It is called a Koru and is a Maori symbol. The koru is a spiral shape based on the appearance of a new unfurling silver fern frond. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, carving and tattooing, where it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. Still don’t think the two designs together compliment one another.
Back to our city wandering. Barb guided us down to a rather interesting archeological dig that is occurring right in the heart of the city.
These ruins were discovered in the process of building an entrance to the new metro tunnel system that they are building under the city. This is Victoria’s biggest ever public transport project and this will be one of the state’s largest archaeological digs. There are actually three dig sites but all within a stones throw of one another.
Archaeologists and historians expect to find a large collection of artefacts at each site dating back more than 180 years. In the 1880s, the future State Library Station site was home to the manufacturing of horse drawn carriages with buggies regularly parked along this section of Swanston Street. This iconic part of Melbourne opposite Flinders Street Station and Swanston Street was first developed in 1837 and was home to a girl’s school and many small businesses, including a wine merchant and printers.
Apparently this area of the city is most well-known for its colourful history. Need we say more.
Pretty much next door is the famous Young and Jackson pub that sits on the corner Flinders and Swanston Street across from the very famous Flinders Street Railway Station. It is most renowned for a most famous lady called Chloé. A trip to Melbourne would not be complete unless we popped in to say hello to her.
Chloé was painted in Paris in 1875 by French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre. The model was actually called Marie and sadly for her she finished her own life because of unrequited from the artist. In the late 1800’s, Chloé was purchased by Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald of Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, for 850 guineas. Controversy arose when the painting was to be exhibited on Sundays. The Presbyterian Assembly found the painting to be too scandalous to show on Sundays, so it had to eventually be taken down from galleries.Upon Fitzgerald’s death in 1908, the painting was auctioned off to Norman Figsby Young.Henry Young and Thomas Jackson bought Chloé in 1908 from Norman Figsby Young and placed the painting in the bar of their hotel and this is where she remains as of today. As you can see, there is no security around the painting and she is just propped against the wall in one of the upstairs bars – rather refreshing. We had to agree with Barb that the painting captured her beautifully and she had a great body. None of this stick figure nonsense that Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle or Victoria Beckham carry on with.
So back to today. We are not going to finish off the blog without completing the rest of todays events as we want to try something really cool. We are half way into our flight up to Darwin and we have Wi-Fi access so we are going to post this part of the blog at 36,000 feet. How cool is that – good old Qantas eh.
We have no proof to provide you that we posted from up here so you will just have to trust us.