Melbourne for An Australian Christmas

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Our first weekend in Australia was spent in the Melbourne home of Margaret and Morrie Lyons, our first sample of great Aussie hospitality.  They invited a friend over and we spent some happy hours planning our big camping trip.  It was they who pointed out we were planning to go the 'wrong way round', something to do with the 'Wet' which is best avoided.  Morrie had a meeting in the city so we went along for the ride.  He gave us a quick run down on the transportation system, and we were off, though not running.  Eat your heart out Toronto Transit Commission, Melbourne has by far, 'The Better Way'
If this is Flinders Station - this must be Melbourne

Tram at Leviathan Building, corner of Bourke and Swanson

 

                       The Yarra River and Queens Bridge

 

This is where it all began for Melbourne

In August 1836 the Enterprise, a schooner from Launceston Tasmania sailed up the Yarra, finding a waterfall blocking the way, they decided to land.  Next day they unloaded and began building a turf hut.  By 1837 the small settlement was in need of a name.  Queen Victoria named it for her prime minister and close confidante the 2nd Viscount Melbourne

The current Queen's Bridge was built in 1889,   Melbourne was the richest city in the world but only for two more years

Underneath the bridge is a memorial to the settlers from the Enterprise

Christmas Day at Melbourne Botanical Gardens

No kuta Cowboys here, just hundreds of family groups scattered about enjoying their Christmas together.  Some were wearing  red hats and carried in small xmas trees or poinsettia plants to help get into the spirit.  All very genteel, Dame Edna would be proud of her fellow 'Melburnians'
 

We thought this a wonderful way to spend Christmas, nobody had to put the fancy fingertip towels in the loo, clean their oven or remove the penicillin from the fridge in case one of the 'rellies' decided to check them out.  Nobody's house got messed up, everyone contributed to the feast and took their own mess home afterwards and maybe best of all there were no arcane laws about drinking alcohol outdoors, so any one who wanted a nice glass of wine with their Christmas picnic could have one

 We wished we had Xmas in the summer

We were invited to Boxing Day lunch at the home of Judith and Milton Long, more denizens of the Thorn Tree.  They has spent a year in BC and had a soft spot for Canadians ever since.  I felt it only fair to point our we were hardly Nelson Eddy and Jeanette Mc Donald  but Milton said "come anyway at least you will understand my jokes" and we did and they ours.  It was a very pleasant afternoon
The Botanical Gardens, Kings Domain, Government House Reserve, & Shrine of Remembrance Reserve, comprise the Domain Parklands

The Ian Potter Children's Gardens

 Kings Domain

The Sydney Myer Music Bowl - inspired by the Hollywood Bowl

Shrine of Remembrance Reserve

Once a year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a ray of sunlight pierces an aperture in the roof illuminating the word 'Love' in the inscription.  Beneath the sanctuary lies a crypt containing a bronze statue of a father and son and a panel listing every unit in the Australian Imperial Force

The Eternal Flame lit by Queen Elizabeth II at dedication ceremony 1954

The Driver cast from a bronze in Hyde Park
'Man With A Donkey'

 

  'Widow and Children'

Flag Lowering Ceremony

 

Although not named, the stretcher bearer with a donkey is John Simpson Kirkpatrick, he lasted 3.5 weeks, before being killed at Gallipoli

View over the city from the roof of the Shrine of Remembrance

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