It's been quite a while since I last wrote a blog, almost a week as it happens. That's because it's been quite a while since I've done anything that's particularly worth writing about.
This fact became apparent the other day whilst I was sat on the sofa watching anime and drinking tea. I realised that I hadn't actually set foot outside the apartment all day.
Once I had realised this, I went for a 2 hour walk around Albert Park to make myself feel a little less guilty.
The following couple of days were spent researching potential activities, and more importantly, booking them.
I now have 3 day tours booked, tickets to 2 comedy shows (and 1 that was earlier this week), and a three day tour/travel to Adelaide organised. Oh, and several WWOOF hosts arranged (again I'm teasing you about WWOOFing, but it really deserves its own post).
And in addition to all that, yesterday I went into the city for the second time. On this occasion I spent 8 hours there. This post covers parts of those 8 hours.
My initial plan was to find some of Melbourne's famed street art locations and take some pictures of them, because I like street art. A couple of Google results had pointed my in the direction of some decent spots.
All the locations were pretty spaced out around the city so I made the decision not to use the trams for my excursion. It was going to take a while, but walking would allow me to see some things along the way and maybe find some more damaged vehicles (spoilers: no additions to Motor Damage were found).
At around 1pm I set off, initially on a familiar route through Albert Park, instead of looping round the top of the lake however, I continued straight; past a couple of the sports centres there. It is here that I was treated to my first photographic opportunities of the day.
Moving forward I soon found myself in the depths of South Melbourne. It's quite a different place to the CBD north of the river. It has a more Victorian feel to it; the time period, not the fact that Melbourne is in the state of Victoria. I spent most of my time walking down Clarendon Street, it looks a bit like this:
My first main destination was Yarra Place, just off Clarendon Street so I made a quick detour, snapped some graffiti before heading back to Clarendon, and on to Dorcas Street in search of The Shrine Of Remembrance.
Dorcas Street, despite its mildly humorous sounding name, is fairly nondescript. It's much like most other streets in that it has a middle bit that vehicles can use, bits at the sides that people can use, and buildings on the edges.
One of the buildings did make me chuckle, reminding me once again that I am in upside down land. Where the ground floor is above the first floor.
And then, at around 3pm I reached The Shine Of Remembrance. Initially it hadn't been on my agenda, but it was easy to plan a walking route that permitted me a visit, so that is what I did.
The building itself is pretty grand, it struck me as a mish mash of many different architectural styles, none of which I would be able to identify.
The shrine was built to honour the memory of Australian soldiers who have served in wars since WWI, up to present day conflicts. The building you see in the picture above houses books listing the names of soldiers.
Underneath the structure is a visitors centre with displays of old uniforms, medals, information on all the conflicts and art galleries. Quite a moving place to visit.
Once I'd made my way around the shrine I made my way towards the CBD on the hunt for more graffiti. I spent a little bit of time marvelling at Federation Square as I walked past (I'll be going back there at some point), but kept moving as it wasn't part of the day's plan and natural light would soon be fading.
The next locations for graffiti weren't difficult to find. Hosier Lane offered some of the most incredible pieces of street art I've ever seen. ACDC Lane (Yes there's an ACDC Lane in Melbourne) offered some more "rock music" themed pieces. And Union Lane shows off some of the more traditional graffiti stylings. But enough of that for now.
By this point the sun was only an hour from setting and I wasn't too far from The Eureka Tower. I'd planned to visit this place next week so had researched prices and had been considering buying their Sun & Stars Pass; a two day ticket allowing me to see what it has to offer during the day as well as at night (on consecutive days). But what if I was to get a ticket shortly before the sun set, and just sort of hung around??
You get the same experience, in one day. For $5.50 less than the Sun & Stars Pass.
The Eureka Tower is a rather tall skyscraper (that one just up there), I photographed it in black and white because I consider it's blue and gold coloured windows to be rather offensive on the old eye balls. I'm not sure of the building's primary purpose, but for tourists it hosts the Southern Hemisphere's highest viewing platform, The Eureka Skydeck 88.
The 88th floor of the building has floor to ceiling windows all the way around, giving guests 360 degree views of the city from almost 300 metres above ground. Fun fact, it has the fastest elevators in the world, they travel from ground floor to level 88 in 38 seconds, travelling at 9 metres per second.
This is my favourite shot from up there, giving a pleasant view of Melbourne's Central Business District. Federation Square is just visible in the bottom right of the image, expect some shots of there in the future.
Unfortunately, the windows up that high are bloody awful; for starters they're dirty. Some of them have been given a weird blue tint. And none of them have been given anti-glare treatment meaning that everything on the inside reflects back which is not good for photographs.
Thankfully they do have an outdoor veranda (with mesh wire fence so you don't fall off) that offers a good view over Albert Park.
In this shot you can see the Shrine Of Remembrance to the left, Albert Park is the large body of water inland, and just visible in the distance is the St Kidla suburb where I am currently residing. Click the photo and it'll be easier to see where things are.
After milling about for around 45 minutes, the sun set. I took a photo. It wasn't very dramatic.
After another stretch of time, patiently waiting for darkness to spread over the city I managed to enjoy some more photography for a little while, this time taking pictures of the city at night. The images I got aren't fantastic as I didn't have a tripod, but all things considered they're not the worst photos in the world and I'm willing to share them with you.
In this one you get quite an impressive look at Melbourne Park, a large sports arena complex that held the Olympics a few years back.
Then I decided it was time to go home. So that is what I did.
A long day was had wandering around taking more pretty pictures and seeing loads of graffiti.
Huh? What's that? Why haven't I posted any pictures of the graffiti? Because I'll give you all that in a single post (maybe two).
But because I've kept you hanging, here's something to whet your appetite.