Saturday, 20 June 2009

Seeing sights pt. 3

And on the third day, we rested. Not.

Having woken up late from the night before, we decided it was Southbank that we wanted to come see. I found it a totally different scene, more quiet and less stressful than any other part of the city that I have been to. Needless to say I had to come back into the busier streets by the end of the day (lol it rhymed), but there are quite a number of spots that are definitely worth the visit as well.

We found that the best way to get to the Southbank was to get off at Flinders Street Station and just walk over Princes Bridge to get there. However due to my not-so-street-smarts we ended up walking along the Southgate footbridge. (i.e., as a handy travel hint: learn how to read maps properly!!!)

We just kept walking southeast (as far as I know) and we ended up seeing these strange mural-esque structures:

Since Crown Casino was on the way we just decided to take a look inside (I hear the club's really good but we didn't get the chance to go at night! Boo) and use the toilets yet again haha. It's a simple building; I don't find it particularly interesting on the outside but the interior was rather nice. I especially liked the ceilings where they used steel casts (?) with warm yellow lighting. I'm a sucker for those.

Unimpressive exterior, in my opinion

Lovely ceiling decor

Soon afterwards we thought we'd take the parallel street to see Southbank from the opposite side. It was good because we were able to pass by Sandridge Brigde, which is actually the first steel bridge over the Yarra joining the city and Port Melbourne! On it are glass panels that list the different cultures that are present in Melbourne.

I like love the fact that they showed how multicultural Melbourne is

After which, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) was our next destination. Just like the Melbourne Museum you need a lot of time to absorb the beauty that is in this gallery. By far, this is the biggest gallery i've been to and it's so enriching. It's located on St Kilda Road, and it's simply impossible to miss.

The side entrance
(yes, I walked across the bushes and things just to be as close as possible to the sign)

The front entrance, featuring Dalí :-)

I haven't got photos of the inside, and for that I deserve a beating!!! It will forever be etched on my memory how much I enjoyed this place. Too bad my (aunty's) camera died on me. Maybe next time. In this gallery, I can say I got lost and got found again. It's not as grandiose as the Louvre or the Hermitage museum (N.B. I haven't been to either) but as a mere spectator I can say I was more than impressed. This gallery is free for all to visit except the featured exhibits, in this case Dalí's Liquid Desire which I remember costs $18.

We had late lunch at The Tea Room, which is inside NGV as well and I'd have to say - it was an exquisite experience. :-) I'm one very satisfied customer, thank you very much. Save that for the next entry. Patience is a virtue, food lovers!

We spent so much time at the NGV that it closed up on us just before 5 in the afternoon, but we weren't done with Southbank just yet. The girls & I took a walk in the park just as the sun was going down. We went to Queen Victoria Gardens which is right across NGV, then walked all the way through King's Domain to the Government House and had a little peek at Alexandra Gardens as well.

We persuaded the nice Park Ranger Leilani (sp?) to try and pry the Government House open with our best efforts to no avail (lol) because it's only open to the public once a year. So, neither did we get into the government house nor find wombats on our way back although it was dark enough for them to come out and play. Tough luck, I'd say. But it's all good, it was a great day overall anyway.

That said, I'm finally done with Seeing Sights! Hooray! Next up, wining & dining Melbourne style! :-)

Melbourne, I love you and I can't wait to come back.

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