Monday, 18 August 2014

MELBOURNE : DAY EIGHT

I'm writing this post back in Brisbane, thinking how strange it was that only a few hours ago we were several states away! This morning we roamed around Melbourne town a bit more, checking for areas or things that we'd missed, and eventually found ourselves in the State Library of Victoria.  We had been to the library on Tuesday at the start of our walking tour, yet somehow completely forgot about it! We only had a couple of hours before we had to meet the courtesy bus, but that was plenty of time to appreciate the amazing architecture and free exhibitions available to view inside.



This is a ridiculously extraordinary building. Just quietly, this is one of many photos I took of the large scale herringbone timber floors... they are amazing. Sorry to the art on the wall, but you have competition.









I surprised myself by quite liking the use of the blue-based red paint on mass. It was very regal, very Union Jack, but quite rebellious as well I felt. I am a fan of loud colours (our back door is a very similar red), though am yet to determine my stance on their use as general wall colours. The skirting boards and architraves are more than enough to break up the boom, however, with the gilded frames managing not to look too pretentious.



 

Then there is the dome... oh my goodness. Libraries are quiet places, obviously, but I don't think I could have spoken loudly in here at all as the sheer size and detail had me in awe. The room is very conducive to wandering in circles staring at the ceiling.





This sounds like a ridiculous thing to mention, but what we couldn't work out was how they kept this room so clean! I'm talking walls, windows, ceiling, everything. It may have been deceiving, but that high domed ceiling didn't appear to have any spider webs on it!


It just so happened Ned was in the premises. Having only ever been a legend to us, seeing Mr Kelly's armour in the flesh, finding out about his life in more detail than "He was a bush ranger" made him far more interesting. No longer an Australian cliche, but an exhibit I would gladly recommend anyone check out.


For those interested in these kind of things, the library was a whole other museum we didn't really know existed within Melbourne! My mind is still boggled by the building itself. Standing in that dome, on the floor looking up and from the sixth floor balcony looking down, it commands a certain level of respect.


 Tomorrow we'll head back to Toowoomba, but for now, goodnight from Brisbane.

MELBOURNE : DAY SEVEN

Sunday was a big family day for us. Big for me because I rarely get to see the Healesville branch of my family, and big for Dan because he'd never met the Healesville branch of my family. Fun all round! Thanks to my cousin Molly who drove us out to her family home to catch up with her parents and explore the area. Our first little trek was actually to the Melbourne water supply, which is in fact a really beautiful place to visit!





We headed in to town for some amazing food, and walked up and down the main street checking out the buildings and boutiques. Healesville is very quaint, and as I was being told, very pretty in Spring if you want to check it out in a couple of weeks. I did love it on this moody day, where everything was varying shades of grey.





After a wonderful lunch, we headed back to the house to chill out over tea and brownies. Theo the cat was in a mood, whilst Dan made himself a space on the couch with a comic.




After several brownies, photo album flashbacks, and cups of tea later, we headed back to Melbourne for our final night. I was immensely amused the entire way home by Molly's pet dinosaurs. Unfortunately the highway did not permit any decent photos, so this is as good as we're going to get.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

MELBOURNE : DAY SIX

Today was market day, in many forms. We started at the Fed Square Book Markets after a wonderful sleep in. Made sure Dan was all rugged up. He was desperate for fresh air, so out we went!




Our main target for the day was Fitzroy. We'd left exploring that part of town until today because we had our sights set on the Rose St Artists Markets, which did not disappoint! I found some simple but beautiful metal earrings from Eden and Sloane. You can even shop these markets online!







There is a marvellous cafe to have lunch in right beside the markets! Fantastic coffee, awesome food and super yummy dessert pots that come with lunch! Plus an amazing interior full of textural contradictions and hanging plants!


 
We traipsed down Brunswick, along Gertrude and up Smith Streets. Finally we had found the bookstores, op shops and amazing artisan type stores we'd been looking for! We were lucky enough to find the Fitzroy Markets on at a local school too! I had so much fun I forgot to take photos...oops!




What really struck me about the Fitzroy area, and indeed all of Melbourne, were the botanical places. The Fitzroy Nursery, right on the main street. Countless amazingly, stunningly beautiful florists who present their shops with such pride and intrigue! We had to keep reminding ourselves we couldn't keep plants or flowers in our hotel room!


Hunter Gatherer is an awesome vintage store. So much stock, but so well collated. I asked if they sold online, which unfortunately they don't. Looks like this one is all yours Melbourne!



Dan found a cool old Triumph and made a friend along the way. I don't know who enjoyed this moment the most!



The Searchers is an amazing store, not only for the books, but the design of the place! All made of ply, with shelves to the ceiling, it has a wonderfully modern library vibe. I fell in love when I saw the sliding library ladder... They have a great selection of music there too! Both CD's and vinyl. For anyone after Tin Tin comics, we found one but alas, it was in French!




Only one and a half days left Melbourne! I should actually say, Victoria, because we're heading to Healesville tomorrow!