Thursday, 25 June 2015

Australia, Melbourne Sightseeing

It's 9 am in the morning, approximately 4 hrs had passed since we landed at the Tullamarine Airport. I'm so excited because we will be heading to the Queen Victoria Market first above all the other list of places we wanted to visit. 

For someone who love food, I absolutely love the idea of getting my hands on a load of fresh and locally produced goods. There was never a dull moment in my life when it comes to shopping for groceries. I'm always walking on air each time I imagine myself having the great ability to cook anything to perfection. Huhu... imagination and reality is not the same though.


I was in a hurry to explore the market, as if it will disappear before me. We entered the seafood section and I wanted to linger and ogle at the attractive display of fishes, prawns, crabs and shellfish, but Jas couldn't stand the fishy smell. 

So for a moment, there goes my broken dream, with cupid wings flying out of the door from where we came in. I lost my imaginary job of being a forager, specialising in seafood.

We moved on to the meat section. All kinds of meat could be found in the market. I've not seen and eaten both kangaroo and rabbit meat before. How do they taste? Eating duck and quail is also rare for me. In fact, I think I only ate duck once and quail twice in my entire life.

There were all kinds of vegetables and they looked gorgeous. In the end, I bought macademia and pistachio nuts, and some grapes. I wanted to buy more but it's already so heavy carrying those things. The souvenirs in the Victoria Market were also much cheaper than anywhere else. 

This was my mode of transportation. Hopping in and off the tram was free because we're in the free tram zone.

Travelling in Melbourne is very easy because it is so well-connected by different modes of transportation. Furthermore, Melbourne has a grid-like layout, which makes reading the map of the city a breeze.

We're in the tram and the ride was smooth and comfortable.

Sometimes, there is a conductor in the tram, who will announce the stop to passengers. If unsure, you can always tell the conductor where you are going and he will direct you to the correct stop.

This is the State Library of Victoria. Its structure looks very Greek to me. It also reminds me of the ancient ruins in Rome, where all the buildings looked similar to this.

I realised that the architecture of many national buildings found in various countries around the world have both Greek and Roman influence. Just take a look at the dome in the library; it's so beautiful.

Photo credits to:

To me, it does look like the Pantheon, the modern version. We're in the library to read on the history of Melbourne and to see Ned Kelly's legendary suit of armour. The armour was the library's special collection but unfortunately for that month, it was loaned out to another museum. I was a bit disappointed.

We went to the Old Melbourne Gaol, which was located nearby to learn more about the lives of Ned Kelly. I was curious to learn why a robber and a murderer had gained so much attention from the Melburnians till today. He had to be someone significant that the library too created a special exhibition about him.

Jas was influenced by me to follow the guided tour and watch a free life performance on the life of Ned Kelly. I guess I wanted to learn as much as possible on what it was like in the olden days, when European settlers arrive in Australia and try to make a living. The story of Ned Kelly gave me an insight of what it was to be an Irish, being poor and looked down by the English. 

My observation tells me that when we discriminate any groups of people and not doing anything to improve the gaps that exist between different social classes, we are not only stunting the growth of that society. We are also impairing the fabrics that hold the society. And Ned Kelly is exactly the product of these. I felt sad that he was executed at such a very young age; he's only 25 years old at that time. 

I was quite moved when I learnt about the story of Ned Kelly and I even took a photo of the spot where he was hung! Gosh!! Now looking at it, the photo looks kind of gruesome and creepy. 

Actually, the entire museum looks creepy too when I was there. For those who wanted the extra dosage of thrill, there are 2 night tours conducted: A Night in the Watch House, which was conducted in the dark and The Hangman's Night Tour. We decided to give these a miss because they were certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Putting the creepiness of the place aside, I still can't imagine how a human being could live in such a confined space. But the guide told us that in the olden days, there were seasonal prisoners who purposely got themselves arrested for petty crimes. 

Women especially, when they were arrested, brought their children along to stay with them in the cell. The prison basically functioned like a temporary shelter. This was also true to pregnant women who chose to give birth in prison because they knew that their healthcare needs and their newborn would be taken care of. It's amazing right how desperation took someone to another level - all in the name of survival.  

That's all for today. Stay tune for more posts on Melbourne city.

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