Usual morning scenario. Woke up early. Lay awake for a while. Eventually got up, went to the kitchen for breakfast and did some puzzles. Ready and into town by 11.30am.
Gardens today. All the best ones are apparently south of the river. I got off the tram at Federation Square and walked back over Princes Bridge and into Alexandra Gardens. These are pretty small and run right alongside the river. Lots of small marquees going up in preparation for Australia Day celebrations tomorrow. So after moseying through there, I crossed the road into Queen Victoria Gardens, just south. Big statue of the lady herself, and a few sculptures of random other stuff. And a big statue of King Edward VII on a horse. I might’ve crossed over into Kings Domain by then – I’m a bit hazy on where one gardens ended and the next began.
Anyway, then I walked along the Tan, the joggers track, with helpful distance markers along it. Felt quite lazy as one of the only people walking! So this part was definitely Kings Domain. I wandered around doing my best Ansel Adams for a while (photos of trees!), and visited the very nice Pioneer Womens’ Memorial Garden, and then crossed into the Botanic Gardens.
I wandered around trying to take an interest in the plantlife (who am I trying to kid?!) until I came across the lake, and then sat beside it and read for ages. Moved along, then found another spot to stop and read at. Then went to the visitors centre and had a coffee and ice cream.
Around 4pm I went over to the Shrine of Remembrance. Its huge. Very impressive. There’s a massive forecourt with flags flying on one side, and the Eternal Flame and a WW2 memorial on the opposite side. And directly in front of you is the giant WW1 shrine. It looks somewhere between a pyramid and an ancient Greek structure from the outside. Anyway, so you go in through the visitors centre, where there are displays on various war memorabilia. Then you walk up some steps to the crypt, where there are plaques commemorating lost battleships and batallions and such like. Then you walk up more steps, and they have the register of all those killed, spanning about 20-30 books, set out around the outside of the room. In the middle of the room is where people go to pay their respects. There’s also something to do with the sun shining on the aperture, through a whole in the roof, at 11am on the 11th of November. Then you walk up more steps and get out to the balcony. Its about two-thirds of the way up the building, and the highest point visitors can go to. You can walk all the way around the outside and see all of Melbourne. I really liked the place, and would’ve spent longer there, but they shut at 5pm. Hopefully I’ll make it back before I leave on Monday.
I walked up St Kilda Rd, back to Federation Square, and had a quick look in a second hand bookshop for Dan Brown’s Deception Point. It wasn’t there. Then I went on the internet for an hour, and then the tram back to the hostel.
I noticed a building on the journey home, with ‘AD 1993’ engraved above the door. Did they think we’d be confused if they just put ‘1993’? Like we might think the building was 4000 years old rather than 14 years old? Or are they just really hopeful about how long it’ll be standing for?
Watched the tennis when I got back to the hostel. Federer vs Roddick. Think I was the only Federer fan, so stayed quiet. He won 6-4, 6-0, 6-2.
I’m peeling loads today. Huge pieces of skin! Urgh! It’s so gross!
Reading: Single White E-Mail. My God I hate chick lit. Obsessing over The One. It always men, work, and hanging out with friends talking about men. Apparently life is not complete if you’re single. You have to devote your time to at least thinking about finding your soulmate, if not doing something about it as well.