Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Cruise Day 4 - Boxing Day in Melbourne, Australia - Tuesday, December 26, 2023

At sea yesterday, it was mellow. We read books, napped, and ate Christmas supper. After dinner, we watched "The Spirit of Christmas" show in the ship's theatre.

Today is the opposite. For our day in Melbourne, we opted to walk all over downtown. Melbourne is known for its graffiti and street art. We set out to find as many murals as we could. We also looked for old architecture, rode the City Circle Tram, and had lunch.

The weather was beautiful when we started our day and for most of our walk, but I brought my umbrella due to the weather forecast. We were happy to have sun and clouds, although the wind was chilly. 

References I used for today's blog are the internet and these two brochures:

It's Boxing Day in Australia which is huge for shopping. The downtown streets were packed with shoppers. The art alleys weren't too bad, but the dining and shopping areas were bonkers!

Part of downtown Melbourne as seen from the cruise ship.

The 20-minute shuttle bus into downtown from the port dropped us off about 1/2 mile from Flinders Street Station. We had to cross and walk along the Yarra River, and then pass through a tunnel under the Flinders Street train station.
We enjoyed the Christmas decorations on the
bridge over the Yarra River. 

Aboriginal art on the Sandridge Bridge
over the Yarra River.

A whole wall of Street Art.

Melbourne is known worldwide for their graffiti.

Melbourne's downtown Flinders Street Station.

The downtown Flinders Street Station is amazing! In the train station photo below, you can see some of the crowds in town for Boxing Day.

Melbourne's downtown Flinders Street Station.

We then headed to St. Paul's Cathedral. Admission was by donation. This is quite the edifice.

Degraves Street is a bustling hub of cafes
crammed tightly together. It is across from 
Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia.

We went inside of St. Paul's Cathedral. The architecture and design are interesting and intricate. There are many stained glass windows. 

The entry doors on St. Paul's Cathedral.

Looking down the central aisle of the nave in
St. Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia.

The pipe organ in St. Paul's Cathedral,
Melbourne, Australia.

In the picture below is an early Victorian sideboard with a carved panel depicting Medieval English Kings and based on the choir screen in York Minster that was made for Aldringham Hall in North Lancashire. It was brought to Australia in 1874 and presented to the cathedral in 1940.

Early Victorian sideboard with carved
panels depicting Medieval English Kings,
St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia.

Baptismal font made of Harcourt granite
in St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, 

The tops of the towers on St. Paul's
Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia,
are a different color from the rest of
the building. They were built 35 years 
later of Sydney sandstone.

After St. Paul's Cathedral, we used our graffiti trail map and walked through the heart of Melbourne's alleys in search of crafty, unusual, clever, beautiful, and sometimes tacky street art. And, wow, we found lots of it. 

And now for photos of assorted graffiti and street art...quite fascinating!

Duckboard Place graffiti/street art.

Duckboard Place graffiti/street art.

Duckboard Place graffiti/street art.

Duckboard Place graffiti/street art.

Duckboard Place mural.

AC/DC Lane murals/street art.

The concrete figure bursting through
the brickwork is Ronald Belford "Bon"
Scott, lead vocalist for AC/DC.

Attribution for the artwork in the photo above.

AC/DC Lane murals/street art.

AC/DC Lane murals/street art.

AC/DC Lane murals/street art.

Flinders Lane art.

lush/lushsux is a graffiti artist from Melbourne
known as the "Aussie Banksy." This
piece is called "Chicken Nugget."

Bob in front of the Melbourne
FIFA Trophy Tour mural. 

The next few photos are part of the Australian version of the 12 Days of Christmas. These murals line one length of a construction fence.

We stumbled into this alley. It may be Higson Lane.

Probably Higson Lane.

Probably Higson Lane.

As we wandered downtown Melbourne in search of art, we also passed the State Library Victoria (closed for the holidays), RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), the Chinatown Gate, and went shopping. I needed some dressy shoes for dancing. 

We passed the Chanel store but did not stop in.

Collins 234 Mall used to be Coles Book Arcade. There was a display of eight historical markers about Coles Book Arcade, I'm including the first one here.

The first history panel of eight
(the only one in my blog) about
the early history of Collins 234 Mall.

Collins 234 Mall now.
Art in front of State Library Victoria.

State Library Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

To find nice shoes for dancing, we braved the Boxing Day crowds in a department store. The shoes were displayed at the bottom of the clothing racks. No boxes, just shoes lined underneath the hanging clothes. It wasn't an ideal way to shop. I found a pair of flat, silver, sparkly sandals. Then we had to wait in a long line that snaked through the ground floor to get to a cashier! That was quite an experience! One I don't want to repeat. Ever.

Boxing Day shoppers on Swanston Street,
Melbourne, Australia.

Chinatown Gate, Melbourne, Australia.

Royal Melbourne Institute of
Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia.

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia.

At this point in our exploration, we were tired and hungry. There were so many restaurant choices, but nothing sounded good. We really wanted "pies," but couldn't find any. I was "hangry" and wanted only to sit and eat.

Since we couldn't decide on a place, we decided to take the Circle Tram from where we were back to Flinders Street and look for food there. The Circle Tram is a rickety, historical electric tram. It was packed to the gills with shoppers and we had to stand. That caused much lurching on our part trying to stay upright. It did not help my mood. When several people got off, a gentleman offered me a seat. That was sweet. I thanked him and sat down. It was nice to see more of Melbourne from a motor conveyance!

When we exited the tram on Flinders Street, we started toward the shuttle bus. On the way, we found a very old pub called Young and Jackson. We took the last table. For lunch, I ordered fish and chips. I can't remember what Bob ordered. While we dined, the skies opened up bringing drenching rain and the dreaded wind.

Thank goodness I had my umbrella. Bob and I tried to share it, but the wind wanted to blow it away. The umbrella turned inside out a couple of times. One time, it collapsed and dumped all the water on my head. It was a 1/2-mile walk to the shuttle bus to the port. 

It was a grand, tiring day. If we make it back to Melbourne, I have now added these things to our bucket list:
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Shrine of Remembrance
  • Immigration Museum
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Old Melbourne Gaol
  • Old Treasury Building
  • Melbourne Skydeck
  • ACMI (Australian museum of screen culture)
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • See the inside of the State Library Victoria
Once back on the ship, we went to the Atrium so Bob could play Sports Trivia. He did very well. 

We departed Melbourne around 5:15 p.m.

The cruise ship port in Melbourne, Australia.

Port of Melbourne, Australia.

Central Business District, downtown Melbourne,

Lots of sailors in Melbourne, Australia. 
This is a small sampling of the sailboats
out and about.

After we sailed from Melbourne, we went to our cabin and took a short nap until dinner at Silk, a complimentary Asian Fusion restaurant. It was good, but not my favorite place to eat.

After dinner, we saw "Tom Ward: Guitarist" in the Stardust Theater. His unique way of playing his guitar brings out a deep resonance that leaves you in awe. His guitar is handmade with specific woods that create soul-stirring sounds. We loved listening to his music.

For silly entertainment, we watched the "Newlywed/Not So Newlywed" game show in the Spinnaker Lounge. We laughed a lot. 

To end our evening, we wanted to watch Karaoke Idol #1. There were hardly any people in the theater. The people who did sing sucked. We left after ten minutes.

We walked eight miles today. That's it. We were on the go all day. Now we must sleep!

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