Thursday, May 31, 2012

Melbourne - Part 2, Day 1

For our first full day in Melbourne, we planned a few events but wanted to spend some time just wandering around the city.  We started out with breakfast in the Prahran Market directly across from our hotel.  It is the oldest market in Melbourne and succeeded in making me miss our trips to Findley Market.  While there I had a coffee flight where I tasted the best coffee I have ever had.  It was so good I am joining their coffee club and having their coffee delivered to me biweekly.  One of my few complaints about where we live is the lack of really good coffee.  We've found one spot where I meet some friends every Thursday, but other then that it's mostly chains or weak coffee.  Problem is now solved!

The Iconic Melbourne Tram
After breakfast we hopped on the tram into the city.  Nathan wants me to let you know it was the 72 line, because he's obsessive like that!  The picture I have of the tram is not what we rode every day.  Those only do a circle around the city, but they give you lots of information about the buildings and city and it's free!  We rode one on our second day.

The first place I wanted to stop in was an old church because I love visiting old churches.  This is St. Paul's Church, a beautiful old Anglican church.  Although I'm certain they'd disagree, not much exciting has happened here, it's just a pretty church and it was a good opportunity to get my tripod out and take some pictures in the low light.  Here are a few pictures.

View from the front door to the altar

View from the chancel.  While we love our church here,
we miss our chancel choir!

Better view of the front door

I was surprised, but the boys actually enjoyed the church very much.  They thought the artwork was interesting and they loved the stained glass. 

Nathan was very excited because we were off to visit the State Library of Victoria.  More than just a library, it has a permanent exhibit with historical items from Victoria's founding until today - including Ned Kelly's armour.  There are also travelling exhibits and an absolutely beautiful reading room.

Much to Nathan's disappointment, the children's section was closed for a private function.  He was still incredibly impressed with the volumes of minutes from Parliament and some copies of very old books.

Nathan playing his dad in chess in the chess room

The reading room from the floor

The reading room from the top floor

Ned Kelly's Armour
I won't bore you with our walking around and lunch, but everything was very enjoyable.  We wandered through Chinatown and Federation Square, making our way down to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Aussie Rules Football game.  It was a beautiful walk across the river with the crowds headed to the footy game.  I haven't been to any sort of professional game in awhile and this was the boy's first game of any sort, so we were all excited.

MCG at night with lilies in the foreground
The first game I saw was the Grand Final two years ago.  It was live on ESPN and since Brian was working with the Aussies, we decided to DVR it and watch it later.  The game was between Collingwood and St. Kilda.  It was a lot of fun to watch and mostly not hard to pick up on the general rules.  Brian had watched it before when working in Australia so he was able to help me.  I picked Collingwood at random that game to back, so we've cheered for Collingwood since then.  I found out later - after this game, as a matter of fact - that Collingwood is basically the Yankees of the AFL.  Thanks, Amy!

Nevertheless, we cheered the Magpies on to a victory over the Geelong Cats.  At least, Nath is pretty sure it's because of his cheering that they won.  It  was an exciting game with Collingwood pulling it off at the very last second.  Nathan was incredibly into the game, often yelling "Crush it" and screaming when Collingwood scored.  It was fun to watch the boys have so much fun!

Will clapping along to the Collingwood fight song

Collingwood taking the field

Start of the game
I didn't take many pictures during the game because I wanted to actually watch. 

After the game we walked for a bit, trying to let the crowd thin out so it would be easier to catch a tram.  It was a beautiful night to walk.  We were exhausted when we got back to the hotel and everyone collapsed into bed.  The boys even managed to sleep in a bit the next morning!  We woke up refreshed, ready for our next day in Melbourne!

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