|Spring at Carlton Gardens|
On arrival our first impression was SPRING!
Everything is cool and green. The trees are budding and the flowers blooming. Ahhhh. Now THIS is real and true Spring - not the subtle spring of the tropics.
Our second impression was was "Wow Melbourne has a lot of people!". In addition to residents and the typical influx of tourists, our visit to Melbourne coincides not just with the Victorian school holidays but also with the Australian Rules Football (footy) grand finals in Melbourne. Footy is really popular in Victoria and the final teams were one from Melbourne and one from Perth. Everywhere we went in the city we saw footy fans. We ended up spending some effort finding ways to avoid crowds in Melbourne and except for an unfortunate tram ride on the first day we managed this pretty well.
|the usual fairytale elements|
|A little bit of tropical Queensland in a|
greenhouse at the Botanical gardens
We also got to learn about Melbourne. Traveling with a Melbourne native meant that we could pester Gavin with arcane questions about .. well everything. "Gavin, you are from melbourne, what kind of tree is that?" "Gavin, you are from Melbourne, what restaurant should we go to?" Never mind that he left the city when he was 5 years old and remembers pretty much nothing.
All in all our 3 days in the city met our expectations: we enjoyed museums, good food, saw a show, walked through the Botanical gardens even some shopping. But when it comes down to it, we just aren't city-lovers. Robin ranked Melbourne above Paris but below Townsville, QLD. I suspect that this is purely based on population since she doesn't like crowds. I also suspect that she is the only person in the world to rank these cities in this order.