Almost at the halfway mark of my visit and crashing in at the Leongs’ in Melbourne, we slowed down and started exploring the places in the city nearby by doing brunch to start the day and then long slow walks in the museum and outside.
[Melbourne | Australia June & July 2016]
1 July 2016
Operator 25, Shrine of Remembrance, Royal Botanic Gardens, Yarra River & St. Paul’s Cathedral
I am honestly very fascinated that it took us only under 10 minutes on foot to get to that morning coffee and brunch at Operator 25 with the Leongs living in the heart of the city.
But, the rate that I am dishing out my travelogues is a little on the opposite, unfortunately, and I am pretty sure that these All Day Meals of the Beef Cheek Rendang or Balinese Pork Burger are no longer available at the cafe. Hehe 😄
We took a walk back towards the main streets of the city after we were done with brunch to catch a tram ride and passed the Coop’s Shot Tower along the way.
There is a museum on the second floor of the tower exhibiting the history of manufacturing shot. And I won’t doubt it a single bit when they say that this is one of the most-Instagrammed building in Melbourne for the fact that it is a heritage building with lots of human traffic when it has a shopping mall built around it and located at the Melbourne Central Station.
Just for the records, I posted this shot on my Instagram too adding to the count. Hehe!
Nothing much. I just took a quick shot of the junction of Swanston and Little Lonsdale that I passed so many times during my trip to Melbourne because that’s where we can get the malls, food and trams!
For the first stop for the rest of the day, we stopped by Shrine of Remembrance, the Victorian state memorial to Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping operations in defence of Australia during the First World War between 1914 to 1918.
Built in 1934 to meet the needs of a grieving community after the extensive loss of lives during the war, the Shrine houses an extensive gallery of artefacts, rare images, films and personal effects that share the stories of the Victorians engaged in the wars and conflicts even before the First World War.
And one of them is the Changi flag that flew over the Sultan’s palace in Johore until Captain Ken Parsons removed it in 1941 to prevent it from falling into the enemy’s hands. The flag was held and kept safe by the Australians in Changi Prison after the fall of Singapore with over 100 signatures placed on the flag until liberation in 1945.
We didn’t know that there is a balcony that offers vistas of the gardens and city beyond but, we chanced upon the courtyard entry to the Education Centre where visitors “laid” red poppies with a significant contrast against the black walls. And I only just realised while checking out the Shrine’s website that the red canopy at the courtyard is also in the shape of a poppy flower!
Thank goodness the weather was more than perfect that day and we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Royal Botanic Gardens just walking around leisurely, letting the little one chase the gulls and gooses, checked out the greenhouse (and got reminded about the heat and humidity in Singapore) and sat by the lake to eat the lunch we prepared and brought or bought along the way. That smile on the little one’s face definitely tells a lot about how much we all enjoyed the afternoon ☺️
It was such great weather that day so we chose to take yet another long walk from the Gardens along Yarra River to get back to the city when we were done at the Gardens. But, we forgot that Melbourne is known for four seasons in a day. The weather changed as we were moving along the river and started to feel chilly by the time we got to Princes Bridge.
While we stepped into the St. Pauls’ Cathedral nearby mainly to take refuge from the change in weather for a bit, stepping into the places of worship is always one of my favourite things to do when I have the time.
It is perhaps how these places of worship are a reflection of the believers’ bestowal to their religions that gained my interested. And of course, it is always the stained glass windows that get my attention the most in a church or cathedral.
Passing The Block Arcade and Melbourne’s GPO on our way home as we planned to end our day and frankly, I did very little research on Melbourne CBD while we were trying to build our itinerary during my visit because I have thought that it will be just another city and wasn’t entirely expecting that there will be so many beautiful heritage architectures to see!
It was was a pleasure to see a handful of these buildings standing tall and proud and a refreshing sight when you walk along the streets of the busy city although most of them like The Block Arcade and Melbourne’s GPO are now shopping malls today.
More posts from Melbourne | Australia June & July 2016 travelogue series:
- Red Spice QV, Om Nom & Fancy Hank’s | Melbourne, Australia
- Yarra Valley, Healesvilles & Marysville | Victoria, Australia
- Lake Mountain Resort and Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden | Marysville, Victoria, Australia
- Cafe Carpenter & Gukbab | Malvern East & Melbourne, Australia
- Fingal, Sorrento, Dromana & Shoreham | Victoria, Australia
- Hammer & Tong, Federation Square & ACMI, Belleville, N2 Gelato and Campari House | Melbourne, Australia
- Operator 25, Shrine of Remembrance, Royal Botanic Gardens, Yarra River & St. Paul’s Cathedral | Melbourne, Australia