HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC

Australia & New Zealand 2003

Los Angeles - Sydney - Brisbane | Mackay - Hamilton Island | Cairns - Great Barrier Reef
Port Douglas | Darwin - Perth - Adelaide | Melbourne | New Zealand | Tasmania - Blue Mountains
Retrospection

Melbourne

We dropped by Melbourne. It is a large city with some similarities to Adelaide but on a metropolitan scale. One thing that struck me as I walked this morning is that as I passed people on the street they ignored me. In the cities to the North, almost everyone had some form of greeting. The joys of big city living. The city has a substantial tram system that has several generations of tram cars on the line. One car serves a five to seven course dinner while giving a tour of the city.


The pedestrian crossings in the city (read cities) are interesting. They not only have a red and green crossing signal but an audible rattle that signals when it is safe to cross. The city is again filled with art centers and museums. Its shops are cosmopolitan and the ones along the main shopping area can be found in any major city in the US, Paris, or Rome. One watch I took a fancy to cost $29,000 and that was, of course, not one of the really expensive ones - I can't imagine ever having to tell the time that badly. (The picture is the tower on the top of the art museum). The city is also like Adelaide in that it stopped a rush to "modernize" its downtown by tearing down all the old buildings and putting up skyscrapers. Although there are plenty of skyscrapers, the city fathers have placed numerous houses and other buildings on the historical register. This means that the fa├žade must remain but the inside can be modernized. The policy makes for a quaint look to the city with huge skyscrapers wedged in by renovated older buildings. Many of the older warehouses and wharfs, for example, have been converted to condos and apartments. Even the in-town cemetery has undergone a transformation and become the site of the outdoor market!

We had planned to hire a small plane and fly down the coast and be driven back. The coast is supposed to be spectacular (I guess like The Big Sur). But the area was predicting high winds and there was a chance that we would not be able to see anything from the highway, so we bagged the trip and went to the country instead. The countryside is beautiful. Along the way we stopped at a convent that had been abandoned and turned into an art gallery. Really unique. The art, except for one banister, was so-so. W ate at a very nice country restaurant and went on to look at other towns and finally at a representational gold mining site.

In the 1850 (right after the California Gold Rush) the Australians found gold in this area. The constructed a town much like other countries have (and we have in Williamsburg and Strubridge Village). It is presented as a museum experience that is kept as authentic as possible. All sorts of gold mining techniques are presented and a town is constructed that was typical of the central gold mining centers. Unfortunately, it was a big disappointment. Too many kids ( although watching the kids pan for gold was fun) but they were generally unsupervised and ran rampant. The authenticity was so much so that the place looked junky. The stuff for sale in the stores that were made on site was not as good as we have seen in similar areas. On the other hand, I found it interesting that a town that was developed in 1850 could look so similar to other towns in say, our West that were developed at the same time. It seems that the more rustic the place, the greater the similarity because the city styles are not so consistent with American styles.
     

Los Angeles - Sydney - Brisbane | Mackay - Hamilton Island | Cairns - Great Barrier Reef
Port Douglas | Darwin - Perth - Adelaide | Melbourne | New Zealand | Tasmania - Blue Mountains
Retrospection


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC


~ Web Design ~