Took these night photos while going on a tram ride throughout the city of Melbourne. The view of the Yarra River at night was simply stunning and the cool weather made it all the more pleasurable. I guess this also showcased the capability of my trusty Panasonic Lumix LX3 in handling night photographs – without a tripod!
As part of my long walk last weekend, I visited the Sustainable Living Festival held at Melbourne’s Federation Square just beside the Yarra River. It was a pretty interesting encounter for me and shows the extent to which environmental and social consciousness has taken root in this cosmopolitan and multi-cultural city. There were also several lessons to be learnt from my walk through the festival which may be useful for event and roadshow organisers in Singapore. They certainly pull out all of the stops to make the experience as thematic and holistic as they come – albeit in a socially responsible manner.
The only thing I can’t bring back though is the weather. Even though it is summer here in Melbourne, the temperature was a nice cool 22 to 23 deg Celcius, and the cool winds and dry weather made it even more comfortable.
Anyway, here goes…
One of the reasons why I like Melbourne so far is because of its well manicured parks and gardens. In a way, the city is similar to Singapore, albeit with more stretches of greenery co-existing harmoniously with the concrete jungle. Coupled with the cool and dry weather, they make excellent locations for sport – lots of people run and cycle all hours of the day – having a picnic, having a snooze, or just reading a book or chilling with friends.
Being an outdoor person myself, I had to discover these parks and ventured on a very long walk today.
One of the first landmarks I saw on my walk through Victoria Street was this rather humorous though irreverent treatment of a former VIP of the city at a public park!
Today, I finally stepped into my campus officially for the first time as part of a series of briefings for international students. The briefings on what to look out for plus the dos and don’ts of varsity life was useful, although some of the points seemed more suited for primary school kids. Like the fact that you should look left and right before crossing the road, or that you should not talk to strangers etc.
After the briefings, we were treated to a BBQ lunch by the Graduate Student Association of the university which was highly popular as you can see below.
The only thing is that lunch wasn’t really barbecued meat, but more of a hamburger with either a lamb hotdog or a vegetarian burger patty!
During my walks around the city of Melbourne today – in between running a couple of errands here and there – I chanced upon the Melbourne Visitor Centre located at Federation Square along Flinders Street. The building itself was pretty nondescript as it was literally a glass box with a contemporary minimalist touch as you can see below.
However, what I experienced when I stepped inside totally blew me away! These guys have thought of possibly anything and everything needed to make a tourist feel welcomed, and they have gone to great lengths there.
Day two of my stay in Melbourne was full of largely administrative chores like opening a bank account (I chose Commonwealth Bank, which has more ATM outlets around the city), getting an Australian mobile line (Opted for 3, which is the most affordable option here), and purchasing other household items like detergent and food containers. I also took the opportunity to walk around the campus of the University of Melbourne to understand what’s available there and where the various buildings are located.
Sprawled across a vast compound at Parkville, which is just slightly north of the Melbourne CBD area, the University of Melbourne is Australia’s second oldest university which is established way back in 1852. It is considered one of the top universities in Australia for certain fields like law, arts, humanities and engineering. Because of its rich history, the buildings within the campus are an eclectic mix of old period architecture with distinctly European influence interspersed with newer more contemporary buildings.
After a pretty uneventful flight from Singapore to Melbourne – save for the need to switch seats at the inflight entertainment wasn’t working in my original place – I finally touched down in this beautiful city in the state of Victoria commencing my life as a student. What’s on the news was pretty much the raging bush fires and their aftermath in terms of loss of life and livelihoods for many Australians. Thankfully, the effects weren’t that severe here save for a slight haze and a parched and brown appearance throughout the city.
Here’s some photos of my first day in Melbourne.
I am staying at the Graduate House of the University of Melbourne, which is a pretty decent place with adequate facilities for most of my needs. Food is great and its interesting to meet people from various nationalities around the world.
Courtesy of Faisal.Saeed
I seldom respond to tags, being a rather idiosyncratic blogger, but I felt that this one by Vivienne merits attention. She blogged recently about how one should seize opportunities “like a hunter” during winter, as opposed to enjoying life and living off the fruits of one’s labour “like a farmer”.
First, I must confess that I love winter! The cold, the snow, the icy atmosphere and the chilling breezes somehow add an element of magic. Haven’t you noticed that many fantasy movies (like the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia series) are often set in a white wintry snowscape? There is something surreal and otherworldly about a world blanketed in soft white cover.