Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Old People Should Move Faster

"Old people should move faster because they have less time left!" Ileana, my daughter, tells me that every now and then and we both start laughing. And laughing. And laughing. The whole show was full of stupid jokes like that but three of us had a wonderful time, sitting for two hours on the pavement in the Federation Square. It was the International Comedy Festival in Melbourne. Maria and Ileana Ruxandra walked along the river banks or read on a park bench.

How does somebody fall in love with a city? I guess, just by visiting. But how does a city gets to feel "great" in just a matter of minutes? Is there a recipe for it? I don't know. How does it stay "great" for more than the mere first five minutes? We read a lot about Melbourne. We heard from many sources that it is a major destinations and we should come. But when I read about it in several guidebooks, I just couldn't figure it out. Ileana read as well, and had the same impression, "why are we going there?" We went nonetheless and hoped that we'll come up with something. The city is a gateway to the Great Ocean Road and to several other attractions in Victoria State. In the beginning stages of planning for this trip, that was one of the reasons to come here. We decided some time ago that we'll stay put, there was no time for traveling around.

The Clock

Looking back toward Federation Square

At 3.7 million, Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia. Apparently there is a lot of competition with Sydney and Melbournians are quick to point how special their city is. Established in 1837, it was from the beginning a city of free settlers, and in 1851 it became the capital of the newly formed Victoria state. To them it is as important as independence, they broke away from New South Wales. Soon after, gold was discovered nearby and the subsequent rush made Melbourne one of the richest cities in the world in the second part of the 19th century. It became the capital of the Australian Federation in 1901 (the transfer of power to Canberra took place in 1927). Melbourne is now considered the capital of Australian sports, shopping, art and culture. It seems to thrive in this role.

"I own this city"

We left Sydney Tuesday, April 17. It started raining in the morning and the weather woman was warning about a week of apocalyptic rains. We arrived an hour later in Melbourne, with sunny, perfect weather that would last throughout our stay. We rented an apartment in Prahran, one of the neighborhoods, and spent the most of the next 40 hours inside. I took off by myself for a little walk, but we only left together in the third day. By that time we read again all the information and still couldn't figure out what we have to see here. We really didn't need that. Just getting out on the street and taking the tram to the city center was enough to make us all excited. Maybe it is the combination of the old and new architecture, but mostly is the fact that the city is alive and the people are alive. I don't know. We liked Sydney as well, but Melbourne has more. We've been to many other fantastic cities in this world and I have no idea why and how Melbourne is such a great place.

O solo trip to the ocean

Melbourne Museum

ANZAC monument

A tree - somehow we just look different at them now 

Grazing birds - they really graze here in the Botanical Gardens

Technically, we did very little. We saw the Melbourne museum, the Royal Exhibition Hall, the ANZAC memorial, the Federation Square, the Victoria State Library and the Botanical Garden. We also went to the Romanian Orthodox Church for the Sunday Service. Living just across from it, we visited the Prahran Market, "the best in Australia", just a market nonetheless.

Olympic Stadium behind the tree line

Ioan thinks that "that" is tall

Royal Exhibition reflected in the Melbourne Museum glass

Same building face on 
World Heritage Site - interior

Mixed old and new - Melbourne
Prahran Market vendor

I still feel guilty for having such a great time, laughing at their stupid and sometimes inappropriate jokes. "If your children get the jokes it is really not my fault!"

::: Until Ileana has a chance to put a post to her video, watch her Sydney and Melbourne take here::: or

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