Melbourne’s Walk – Danger Avoided
Our trip did not start out as Melbourne’s walk in the park. Quite the opposite.
The Eternal Traveller and I flew into Melbourne under a dark cloud. Minutes after arriving at our Airbnb across from the State Library, it poured. I slid on the tiled sidewalks like a neophyte on ice and had to change from slippery sandals into my “stabilization shoes.” (ie trainers, walking shoes, tennis shoes – I’m acquiring a new vocabulary in Australia.)
Suburbs flooded. I would not put money, no matter how much was in the treasury, on having a walk in any park near Melbourne, Victoria the day we arrived.
Perfect Weather for a Melbourne Walk
We discovered if you liked the weather, too bad, it would change. If you did not like the weather, “good on ya,” it would change.
“There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”
― Robert Burns,
We started our journey with a free tram around the city center. The tram had its purposes, but photography could not be counted as a benefit. Through the dirty window, I snapped a picture of the Treasury Building, now a museum.
Sure enough, the weather changed the next day. We started our journey with a free tram around the city center. The tram had its purposes, but photography could not be counted as a benefit. Through the dirty window, I snapped a picture of the Treasury Building, now a museum.
The First Garden Stop: Treasury Gardens
Melbourne, a metropolis of over 5,000,000 surprised me with so many parks in the Central Business District (CBD).
Melbourne residents, stressed out from the normal wear and tear of life, should indulge in one of Melbourne’s walk in the parks. Mrs. ET and I wandered into the Treasury Gardens and stepped back into another world. Residents and visitors alike watched their troubles slip over the waterfall and lost them in the ornamental ponds. We had no worries. We were on holiday, and nothing could have been better for us than Melbourne’s walk in the park.
Off at Federation Square
Stop six on the official “Walk in the Park Guide,” which you can get as an app or pick up the Visitor’s Center in Federation Square, took us to the Danger Zone.
Signs do not deter determined teachers on vacation. Mrs. Eternal Traveller led the way and we marched across the grass around the signs prepared to keep people away from fireworks later in the week. We watched workers as they prepared for the next event in the park.
As we rounded the bend, I caught my breath at my first sight of the Victorian gardens.
European settlers came to Melbourne in abundance during the 1850s because of the Gold Rush in Ballarat, Victoria. They changed the landscape of the state of Victoria Australia in much the same way the 1849 Gold Rush altered California. According to Wikipedia, “During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it (Melbourne) was transformed into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities.[17” One result was the flourishing of Melbourne’s public gardens replete with statues, fountains, trees, birds, and birds of paradise and other flowers.
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Ornamental Pond with Fountains
The ponds housed several breeds of birds who checked to see if we came ready to feed them.
Mrs. ET and I, cameras in hand, headed two different directions as soon as the ponds appeared. Ornamental ponds formed the backdrop for the vibrant flowers.
Flowers In Paradise
Guarding the plaque of President Kennedy, these delicate orange bells peeked from their chalky coating. They thrilled Mrs. ET. I snapped several shots of her burying her camera into these slender beauties lining one of the large fountains. While she had her nose in these, I snuck up on a bird of paradise.
“Don’t move,” I warned him. And he stayed right where I wanted him.
Plaques and Statues
All around me, I noticed that Australians practice honoring their past with statues, flowers, and commemorative walls, buildings. My hosts demonstrated great pride in their past. Mrs. ET pointed out the significance of contributions of every statue featured in the Gardens.
Throughout our travels, we found statues in gardens and buildings in every city honored citizens, storybook characters, or historical persons from Australia and other countries. Robert Burns, the poet, lounged in the Gardens, but he avoided my camera somehow, as did William Clarke.
The face of President Kennedy kept a keen eye on the Treasury Building while we looked on. On a hot day, he might be tempted to hop into the waterfall behind him.
You, Too May Need a Loo
Many have recognized the beauty of these Treasury Garden restrooms with wrought iron doors. These were constructed for a Spring Carnival and floral festival in 1939. The art deco structure exhibited craftsmanship from an era gone by that would be very expensive to bring back.
After a leisurely stroll through the beautiful gardens, we had no desire to head back to the bustle of the city.
Fortunately for us, Fitzroy Gardens was across the street. We headed over there for the next part of our walk in Melbourne.
2-18 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
If you have a post about Melbourne to link to this post, feel free to do so in the comments or by email.
Hope I helped make your day. Your comments and shares make my day.
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