I had a long weekend in honor of the Queen’s Birthday, so we went down south to visit our friend Pete in Melbourne. Melbourne and Sydney have a bit of a rivalry, and Ethan and I had heard so much about all the great things to see and do in Melbourne that we had taken to calling it the Magic City. Sure enough, Melbourne magically made the money disappear from our wallets as we ate and drank our way around the city. But we had an awesome time, not in the least of which is due to Pete’s hospitality.
|University of Melbourne (Pete's Alma Mater)|
|University of Melbourne has that old "British" feel|
Pete took us to an Aussie Rules football (a.k.a. AFL) game. Although I can’t say I prefer it to American football (Go Bucks!), we did really like it. Of course, it helped that it was a close game and the team we were supporting, Geelong, barely scraped by. One thing of interest: the Aussie AFL teams have nicked all their team songs from famous other tunes. For example, the Adelaide Crows use the Marine Corps song, and Geelong uses “Toreador”. When we walked by a busker playing nothing but Yankee Doodle Dandy, I thought perhaps he was a bit misguided. But Pete explained that he was actually playing the fight song for the opposing team (Hawthorne).
|Geelong scores a goal and the cheersquad goes wild|
|Coffee + chocolate = happy EAF|
The architecture around Melbourne was a good mixture of old and new, although as a non-architect, I have no idea what I was looking at. Melbourne is also known for the graffiti in some of its laneways, which is much more art than simple “tagging”. We stumbled on a few, and searched out a few. I regret to say that the Banksy piece we looked for had been destroyed. Looking for it, I did stumble onto one of Melbourne’s largest rats, though. I could have done without that experience.
|Old: Flinders Street Station|
|New: The Arts Centre|
|The old Parliament building|
|New: Federation Square|
|Surprisingly, not where I saw the giant rat.|
|Pete admiring the art in Hosier Lane|
|More art in Hosier Lane|
I’m going to disappoint all of my Aussie friends by not picking one city over the other. But Melbourne definitely did not disappoint. Plus, it was a great time hanging out with Pete and getting to see his city the way he does.
|Outside the old Parliament building|