19.08.2012 - 19.08.2012 48 °F
Great day in Melbourne! We had another jam-packed day, starting with coffee and a run through the Botanical Gardens/ Albert Lake. We then headed out walking to see the Old Treasury Building (built ~1860), The Treasury Gardens, and the Fitzroy Gardens. Within Fitzroy Gardens were Cook's Cottage (probable home of Captain James Cook, who mapped the east coast of Australia, and the oldest building in Australia, built in 1755) and Sinclair's Cottage (home of the designer/ caretaker of Fitzroy Gardens).
On our way to our next stop, we walked by two beautiful churches, St. Patrick's (built in 1858) and St. Paul's (home of first Australian Christian services in 1836, although current building wasn't finished until 1926).
We had lunch in Federation Square, called "Melbourne's Meeting Place" and a popular hang-out locale with restaurants, shops, and cultural displays (we saw a Ukranian dance festival today!). Kev had the chicken, avocado, mozzarella panini, and I had a smoked salmon salad.
From Federation Square, we hopped onto Melbourne's free, hop-on-hop-off tourist shuttle, which took us by famous sites like Chinatown, the Melbourne Museum, and Harbour Town (I thought of Hilton Head, Ama, and Gpa!). While it was super convenient and a great service, we ended up walking across most of the city to get to our destinations once we missed the shuttle once and realized we enjoyed walking! One stop was Carlton Gardens (our fourth garden of the day, after all, Melbourne is called the "garden city of Australia!").
We next visited Queen Victoria Market, which was an enormous collection of vendors selling fruit, vegetables, meat, prepared foods, wine, retail goods, clothing, art, and everything else you can imagine. I loved it and could have walked around for hours, but I was testing Kev's patience (crowds + noise + people in your face asking you to buy things = not Kevin's idea of a good time!).
We spent a while walking along the river, and enjoyed seeing a few street performers and people watching.
Now ... for some elephants! Were you wondering about the title? As we hit our first destination (The Old Treasury), we noticed a shiny, gold elephant, and I commented that it reminded me of the Cow Parade in NYC and Chicago. Luckily, someone heard me and explained that there are 50 elephants around the city of Melbourne right now, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Zoo! It became our personal challenge to see as many elephants as we could today, and we found 19 (3 unpictured), which we think is pretty great for covering a big city (mostly) by foot - that's a lot of walking!
We had a great dinner back in Federation Square, where Kev had chicken parmigiana and I had a Thai chicken salad.
And for a random closing to today's post, how about these signs for Melbourne's tram? They crack us up!
See you tomorrow for a change of pace!
-Megan and Kevin