Melbourne Zoo

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Melbourne Zoo may not have hundreds of different animals, but what they do have appear to be well cared for and spacious confines.  Advertised throughout the zoo are programmes regarding conservation of species and breeding and how visitors to the zoo can learn about how to help, concentrating on teaching children.   The walks all through the zoo guide one through passages of intense growth of trees and vegetation, making it feel like you are walking through the jungles where these animals would normally live.  Butterfly house and aviary a treat.  My favourite has to be the meerkats who had several areas, each mob having a look-out while the others foraged.

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Some unusual flowers at the zoo, I have no idea what it is,  but these photos are of the same flower as it progresses:

 

Exploring Melbourne’s Parks and Monuments – Part 2

 

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The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is another very large area and obviously well liked by Victorians as many were picnicking throughout the gardens, and in ‘secluded’ part, a couple were getting married.  Let the photos speak to you:

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From the Botanical Gardens, back through Kings Domain:

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And back to the City….

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Exploring Melbourne’s Parks and Monuments – Part 1

IMG_7913 (2)Opposite the Arts Centre, my walk takes me through various gardens:  Alexandria Gardens, Queen Victoria Gardens, past the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Kings Domain and up to the Shrine of Remembrance.

For the first time, I have been there when it was open and took the opportunity to explore inside and climb the stairs to the balcony for the view.  So very glad I did.

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Up the outside steps and into the inner Shrine, this room is a solemn reminder of those lost at War.  It’s structure and decoration is amazing.  In the centre, the Stone of Remembrance, set in marble below the pavement.  At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, apparently a ray of sunlight illuminates the inscription:  “Greater Love Hath no Man”.

In the passage surrounding the inner Shrine, are displays of volumes of books of names of Victorians who lost their lives in war.

I spent a long time in the museum within the Shrine, it was so interesting.

Downstairs in the crypt, Queen’s and regimental colours are displayed and in the centre, a statue representing a father and son, WWI and WWII.

From the balcony, a great view of Melbourne City and the surrounds of the Shrine of Remembrance.

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On the grounds near the Shrine of Remembrance, a pair of striking statues by British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger:  “The Driver” with his wet weather cape, “Wiper” named by what soldiers said instead of “Ypers”.

Nearby, in Kings Domain and leading to Government House, many other statues and memorials.  I particularly liked the Australian Hellenic Memorial and Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial.

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On the Streets of Melbourne

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There is just so much to see in Melbourne City and walking, the best way to do it.

Federation Square is hardly “square”.  It is a complex of modern designed buildings around open spaces with amphitheater steps, large screens (broadcasting Winter Olympics) and restaurants all around.  The buildings also house exhibitions of Aboriginal Art, and other forms of art and design.  Set opposite Flinders Street Station, between Flinders Street and the Yarra River, it was designed as a focal point for contemporary cultural and civic activities and is close to the Melbourne Art Centre, and National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).  Down on the riverside, more bars and eateries line the Yarra.

On the grassed area outside the Art Centre, on Sunday morning was a market of arts and crafts people to display their wares.  Some beautiful pieces for sale and quite different from the usual arts and crafts markets I have been to.

The National Gallery of Victoria is a favourite of mine.  It was holding “Trienniel”  – an international exhibition featuring over 100 artists from 32 countries.  Being the weekend, it was very popular and although I tried twice, the large queues of people didn’t seem to be dwindling and I left, hoping to return on Monday, but time got away from me.

I did manage however avoid the rain and get a last minute seat at a show in the Art Centre where there were a number of productions on the go.  I saw “The Show Must Go On”.  Bernadette Robinson performed a one woman show, signing the well known songs of such as Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey, Julie Andrews and Maria Callas.  She did a monologue between the songs with the theme that despite these performers’ personal problems or difficulties, they would go on with ‘the show’.  She mimicked the well-known stance and actions of these performers and their voices – so well, I could close my eyes and think it was the original performer of those songs.

21-26.02.2018 – A week in Melbourne: Markets, Galleries, Gardens…

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The Famous Queen Victoria Markets, overshadowed by some of the skyscrapers of the City of Melbourne

 

We stayed in North Melbourne while Mike worked at the Victorian Caravan & Camping Super Show.  I continued working too, but then came the weekend…… and I was on the loose again!

 

Queen Victoria Markets

These predominantly food markets are massive.  Established ‘officially’ in 1878, it is the largest of the Victorian markets.  Being a Saturday morning when I went there, it was packed with couples and families enjoying breakfast or brunch at the cafés around the site and doing their grocery shopping.  Brazilian entertainment and temporary stands were being set up in the outside area.  Buskers had their hats out and it is a great place to sit and watch the world go by as people passed by in all manner of dress and make-up, from sublime to outrageous.  The world is getting curiouser and curiouser! Am I in Wonderland?

Old shops adorn the outside of the markets with interesting products for sale.  Rows of fruit and vegetables are under cover, inside the main building all the coffee, cheese, meats, fish, bread and more you could desire.  Parked outside the buildings, the American Donuts Van – queues of people there!  And still more undercover market areas for clothing, shoes, animals, the list goes on.  As I said, massive.

 

 

18.02.2018 – Hello Melbourne!

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Late arrival to our accommodation and in no time it was Monday and another work day for me.

Mike is to be at Stand 150 of Victorian Caravan Camping and Touring Supershow at Melbourne Showgrounds from 21 to 26 February 2018.  Come and buy a caravan or motorhome from him!  🙂

We are staying in North Melbourne and have found “Errols” – a restaurant bar with great service and good food at reasonable prices.  Just wish I had the room for a dessert!   Recommend it:

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17-18.02.2018 Another weekend! I’m on the loose in Adelaide!

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While Mike worked the weekend at the Adelaide Let’s Go Caravan & Camping Show 2018, I was able to cut loose and visit old haunts from when we lived here 40 years ago.  And where to start?  Walking to nearby Rundle Mall where those silver balls still stand, I was pleased to see the retention of many of the older buildings that add some character to Adelaide.

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However, there also are modern and unusual buildings in abundance.  From our hotel window, we could see a building with irregular windows that during differing lights of the day and from the angle we were looking, resembled a bombed out building.  A closer inspection, and it is apparently a student accommodation block:

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I enjoyed visiting the Adelaide Art Gallery to see a wide range of art.  At the entrance, a 6 metre tall sculpture made from stainless steel by Linda Lee.  It is a representation of earth, the beginning of life, birth and renewal.  The surface is covered in a pattern of interconnecting concentric circles. It is a demonstration that well-being comes forth when both the individual and the power of interconnection are in balance.  It is stunning to look at and as pictured previously on this blog, at night is lit from within.

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In amongst many interesting exhibits at the Art Gallery I came across two pieces that were of similar theme, that were disturbing but held my attention as I thought about the artist’s intent.  I failed to see any information about them, but it appeared to me, that they may have been a physical, visible exposé of Nazi concentration camps, the treatment of and experimentation on Jews, and an historical incorrect uprising against the Nazi’s by the Jews,  (although the naked figures hardly looked like they were starved).  There were hundreds of figures in the exhibit and many elements of what one remembers of the death camps:  trains, cars, fences, huts, bodies buried on top of each other and of course, plenty of soldiers.  Overall, a dark and dismal exhibition both literally and figuratively.  The only colour (apart from the bloodied bodies and parts) existed in a playground – What Ronald McDonald & Co. had to do with it is anybody’s guess.  Perhaps representing that life went on for German people beyond the camps?

Below, just one small part of one of the two large art pieces.  Certainly thought provoking.

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But on with the experiences of Adelaide and to brighter, more pleasant experiences!

Adelaide City has many side street/lanes dedicated to outdoor dining near our hotel.  Street art is promoted.  There seems to be more statues along North Terrace than I remember.  “Popeye” still ferries people along the Torrens River.  Love locks could probably endanger the bridge over the Torrens River, as happened in Paris and explains the new love sculpture nearby.

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And to finish, my visit to Adelaide isn’t complete without a stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and another mix of old and new buildings and gardens.  As I strolled along a pathway through one of the gardens I happened upon a wallet and cards strewn on the ground of a secondary student.  No money.  The Botanic Gardens staff will contact his school – being a weekend I couldn’t get an answer and will be in Melbourne when the school opens.  Hope the student wasn’t attacked and hurt.

A sculpture over a pond feature, near the Bicentennial Conservatory, caught my attention.  Unfortunately, I could not take a photo of it in a good light.  It represented a curling wave and was made from glass plates, of differing shapes and sizes and layered.  With the layers of the glass all together, and perhaps reflection of the water and nearby green plants, the sculpture took on the appearance of a blue/green wave of differing intensity.  I really liked it, as did many others trying to take photos of it.

I always enjoy my time spent at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.  Well worth the visit, and the photos are but just a snippet of what is there.

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And for the florally inclined……  some of the Adelaide Botanic Garden’s Dahlias:

 

Farewell for now, Adelaide!

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16.02.2018 – Adelaide’s Parade of Light

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Friday night and the Parade of Light down North Terrace, Adelaide kicks off the Adelaide Fringe Festival.  Tens of thousands of people joined us as we walked the Terrace looking at the many lights shows:  illuminations on buildings, in the air, from sculptures; watching preview acts from those performing during the Festival over the next month; and  the numerous street vendors, mainly selling food and drinks.

The Fringe Festival in Adelaide is HUGE.  So much entertainment on offer around the City.  Pity we are here only for a few days.

The mascot for the Festival is a “balloon styled” dog wearing a crown.  One of the illuminations depicts the mascot ‘running’ over the building, minus crown, sometimes being chased by scissors.  (Can  you find the mascot in the slide-show below?)   This balloon styled mascot was designed by Sydney-based graphic designer Jacqueline Daniel acknowledging the Chinese Year of the Dog.  Its crown was signifying the crowning of anyone who joined in the festivities.

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