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Trip to magical Melbourne and to Australia

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  • Trip to magical Melbourne and to Australia

    I’ve never believed in filling up contest forms, for the simple reason that I feel it’s almost impossible to win among the lakhs of entries. Almost. Because once in a lifetime, fate may spring a pleasant surprise on you.

    As it did for me! I filled up a lucky draw form when I went to watch Chak De! India last year — and landed up being the sole winner! And the prize was an all-expense paid trip for two to Melbourne! So, with a ‘free’ Melbourne stay under our belt, my husband and I ventured Down Under with a not-so-free trip to Sydney thrown in at our expense!

    Melbourne’s ‘liveability’ is one of its greatest attractions. It’s a laid-back city with an endearing mix of old and new-world charm... easy-going, yet sophisticated. It’s not a place where you need to do something to feel you’re experiencing the city.

    So, you needn’t wander around Melbourne just to tick off ‘must-see’ items on your list! Instead, stroll through one of its many beautiful parks, wander around the immaculately preserved Victorian-era downtown, or simply linger over a cup of coffee at one of the trendy cafes along the Yarra waterfront to soak in the city’s vibes. The architecture and random sculptures, stylish restaurants and bars, funky shops and galleries, parks and quirky laneways — all exude a certain charisma!

    On our first day in Melbourne, we set out to explore the city on foot, to unravel its beguiling secrets. We ambled along, soaking in the Victorian feel from the gracious homes and wide avenues, to the landscaped gardens and roadside cafes. Burgundy-coloured trams imparted a quaint charm to Melbourne’s urban identity.

    On the way, we passed Flinders Street Station — its architectural grandeur and heritage style reminded me of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, only the former was cleaner and better-maintained! Finally, we crossed Princess Bridge to reach Southbank, the chic riverside strip nestled on the banks of the Yarra river.

    As I sat on the promenade, it struck me that the standard of living here is quite high and the happiness quotient even more so. Even on a weekday, people were relaxed and enjoying life. Some were sailing, others were jogging or riding bicycles along the promenade, while many were just hanging out by the waterfront.

    Then there were coochie-cooing couples, who were too engrossed in each other to notice that sea gulls were merrily picking away at their food!

    Having got a taste of Melbourne’s mesmerising charm, we decided to check out its culturally significant landmarks. So, the next day, we boarded the free City Tourist Shuttle. Our first stop was Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building, a Unesco World Heritage site, to see their spectacular display of flowers, plants, garden sculptures and fountains.

    We then proceeded to Queen Victoria Market, a vast and vibrant centre of trade & commerce, which is over 125 years old. The sprawling market is a curious blend of high-quality food shops (fantastic breads, cakes, cheese, wine, meat, fruit, veggies) and stalls with cheap clothes, bags, shoes and souvenirs. My husband couldn’t help but remark that QVM was a glorified version of Mumbai’s Crawford market!

    Our next stop was William Street, the legal district of Melbourne. The Supreme Court, with its domed library, and County Court are striking examples of the city’s grand architecture. My husband, who’s a lawyer, was excited about posing for pictures in front of the SC, but pooh-poohed my suggestion of clicking his photo outside the County Court, saying its too down-market! Well, the advocates in their starched white shirts and dapper suits looked far from down-market.

  • #2
    Wow, what a coincidence! You won a competition which took you to the city where the company in your signature is based!
    Wood Tattoos
    Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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    • #3
      What time are the busses?

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      • #4
        Well there I was just waiting for the craft element of this travelogue or thinking I'd logged into the wrong site....
        www.littlebead.blogspot.com
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        • #5
          Thought I was on the visit Australia website
          for all your paper & card needs visit www.ideasinpaper.co.uk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nolanguage View Post
            Then there were coochie-cooing couples, who were too engrossed in each other to notice that sea gulls were merrily picking away at their food!
            These sound worth seeing in Melbourne! What time's the show?

            (I think the seagulls sound like they have the starring role!)
            View my flickr

            'I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight.' - Jane Austen

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            • #7
              Sounds as if theydidn't have to "Dig too deep" to get down under then.
              Carol
              God helps them that help themselves.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ideas In Paper View Post
                Thought I was on the visit Australia website
                Yes and I thought perhaps our forum members were maybe going to get the chance of winning a visit there too! What do the mods make of this posting?

                Txx

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spirit_of_wales View Post
                  Yes and I thought perhaps our forum members were maybe going to get the chance of winning a visit there too! What do the mods make of this posting?

                  Txx
                  I'm not touching it... for entertainment value.

                  I think they win the Maximum Effort for Minimum Returns award. I've never seen so much typing to try and get a website viewed.

                  Si.
                  Wood Tattoos
                  Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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                  • #10
                    Me neither - some spams are quite entertaining, as long as they do no damage. Rest assured.........................we're watching it!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Peter View Post
                      Rest assured.........................we're watching it!
                      ... while hanging out with the coochie-cooers at the waterfront of course.
                      Wood Tattoos
                      Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nolanguage View Post
                        Even on a weekday, people were relaxed and enjoying life. Some were sailing, others were jogging or riding bicycles along the promenade,

                        I think these are the people who got lost at the olympics.... took a wrong turn and ended up in Melbourne.
                        View my flickr

                        'I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight.' - Jane Austen

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                        • #13
                          I want to know what happens next to our charming holiday makers in this delightful little story, don't you?

                          We left them taking photos of people outside the courts. Were they really there to appear in court on criminal charges?

                          Did an irate lawyer take exception to these people assessing his attire in the style of Trinny and Susannah before brutally attacking them with his attache case?

                          Were they too busy taking photos and admiring the seagulls to notice the burgundy tram bearing down on them at high speed with brakes squealing frantically?

                          Or did they get abducted by the desperate owners of a flower shop and forced to write long and romantic tales of their Antipodean travels in order to promote the floral wares?

                          I want Part II!!

                          Si.
                          Last edited by woodtattoos; 20-08-2008, 02:42 PM.
                          Wood Tattoos
                          Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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                          • #14
                            Piles of smiles! I'm so glad I joined this forum. You've really made me laugh today, and its good that you mods have left this here. I'm still laughing at woodtattoos last post and thinking how funny it would be if the poster returned with anything such as Part 2....maybe a nighttime visit of the area( oooh oooooohhh I think that might need to be censored), or from an OAP's viewpoint or child's viewpoint...the mind boggles!
                            Txx

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                            • #15
                              http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22...G=Search&meta=

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