Current News –We arrived safely in Canada Friday 3rd May to glorious sunshine having spent barely a month at home in the UK whilst the bike made its own way to Canada (via a cargo ship). It was an opportunity to see the folks but it was no holiday as we had visas and loads of stuff to sort out while we were there. As usual we were cutting it fine (not our fault this time but US bureaucracy). The US embassy had our passports to issue our visas, the courier delivered them Thursday morning we flew Friday morning, just another day in the life of a world traveller.
Meanwhile we will time travel back to the last Blog in January – we are still in Melbourne doing day excursions.
Blog 241 Scoot Around Town January 2013
We borrowed Craig’s scooters for another buzz around the city, they really are great for city traffic light, manoeuvrable, cheap to run and as we found out earlier you can park for free on the pavements.
This time we headed for the hub of Federation square a real tourist spot. Melbourne has an interesting mix of old and modern design buildings sitting side by side and at first glance we thought this wicker building was permanent. In fact it was designed by an American artist Patrick Dougherty inspired by the architect of Flinders street station and commissioned for the 10th birthday celebrations of Federation square. It took three weeks to complete with the help of 70 volunteers. We loved it and I got an arty shot of St Paul’s cathedral our next destination.
St Paul’s Cathedral is built on the site where the first public Christian services in Melbourne were led by Dr Alexander Thomson in 1836. Soon afterwards a small wooden chapel was built elsewhere and the area became a corn market until 1848, when it was made available for the building of the bluestone St Paul’s Parish Church. Consecrated in 1852, this Church was used until 1885, when it was demolished to make way for the present Cathedral. The decision to build on the site of the existing church was made because of its proximity to the railway and soon to be completed cable tramway service. It has a section of stonework from the reredos from St Paul’s in London removed in 1951.
Federation square is a thriving hub of Melbourne and they were even screening a film on the side of the buildings whilst we were there. Inside we wandered around the moving image museum. We saw one of the cars used in the Mad Max films. Our bike is often likened to the Mad Max designs luckily we both grew up on Mad Max films so take this as a compliment.
Wandering around the city this time on foot, we again see the quirky mix of modern trams alongside the tourist horse and cart. Heading for China town it’s not hard to realise when you’ve arrived. This fish is about as fresh as it comes, you choose your fish swimming in the tank next time you see it it is ready to eat.
This strange object captured our imaginations and we struggled to work our what it was. It turned out it was more art, called the beacon. It served no practical purpose but brightening up the city.
We found more art in the form of graffiti art, instead of coming down heavily on street artists in some designated streets they were more than welcome. Here is a tiny example of their colourful work. We even encountered some doing their latest design so I “had” a go, well pretended to for the sake of a picture anyway.
Going to the classic races at Phillip Island GP circuit