Monday, November 10, 2014

10 Nov 14 – Day 4 (Melbourne City)

Woke up close to 9am because I was so tired. Washed up, ate breakfast which included 1.5 muffins with jam, coffee, a yellow peach and some fruit juice, then dressed up and went out at 10:10am. Took a tram to Federation Square and started the walking trails "A Walk in the Park" and "Elegant Enclave" that I found on the That's Melbourne website. Almost got lost after 10 minutes before I finally got my bearings but I still missed a few sights. I was only happy when I got to the Fitzroy Gardens because it was not so crowded. Thought I would be able to spend a considerable amount of time in the conservatory but it turned out that the conservatory was closed till this Saturday due to the changing of display. I took a few shots on the exterior of the conservatory before moving off to the other parts of the garden and continued with the residential area in the Eastern part of Melbourne where I saw a lot of nice and beautifully restored terrace houses.

The trail brought me back from the residential area in the Eastern part of Melbourne back into Fitzroy Garden by 1:15pm and I popped into the Pavilion Café for a lunch of Spaghetti Carbonara with Bacon, Egg & Cream Sauce because that was the item on offer. It took a while for the food to come because there was a lunch crowd. When the food finally came, I noticed the interesting cooking method of mixing the egg with the cream sauce. Maybe I can try the same cooking method when I return home.

I was very full from lunch so sat for a while before continuing the walking trail at 2:05pm. Lost my bearing again and mistook a random fountain as the River God fountain hence I was unable to find St Patrick’s Cathedral. After some trial and error, I finally managed to find the River God fountain. Passed by The Masonic Centre of Victoria and took a few photos of it because I was reminded of the movie “The National Treasure” as well as the drama “Sleepy Hollow” which mentioned a lot about Freemasons. Continued my walk and found St Patrick’s Cathedral, which was built between 1858 and 1897, with spires added in the 1930s.

I took some photos of its exterior before venturing into the Cathedral itself. The cathedral was not very grand but still has its own beauty. It was very quiet inside and I dare not take photos using my NEX because of the clicking sound it gave out so I ended up taking photos using my mobile phone instead and only took a couple of shots using my NEX when I heard other people’s camera clicking. On my way out, I saw a familiar face. I didn't think it was possible but it turned out that the face belonged to Judy, the old lady from yesterday’s Phillip Island day trip. We were so happy to see each other that we let out a small scream and gave each other a big hug. She was there with her friend and then we sat down on one of the benches and exchanged email addresses before going our separate ways. Went out and circled to the back of the cathedral to check out the Pilgrim Path. While I was taking photo, a guy passed by with his friend and commented, “Makes a nice photo, isn't it?” I acknowledged with a smile and he continued his way to the gift shop.

Continued on with the walking trail, missed a few turns and was a bit lost. Got angry with myself so kept the booklet and my NEX camera and just wandered around. Saw Haigh’s Chocolate and went in to get a few chocolate truffles that I had on my shopping list before walking back to the hotel. I passed by Emporium which connects Myer and David Jones so went in to check it out. While waiting to cross the road, a Caucasian lady asked me how to get to Southern Cross Station. I had to apologise and said I have no idea. Either she was very desperate or I blended in with the locals so well with my backpack and shades. Connected to David Jones wifi and whatsapped little big sis, updated the weather forecast app in my phone, checked emails and FB.

Continued my way back and popped into H&M to browse. Half way through, there was an announcement telling the customers that they were closing for the day. Checked my watch and it was only approaching 6pm. Felt disappointed that the shops in Melbourne close so early and was thinking the shops in Singapore close only about 9+pm when it gets dark. Walked to Lygon Street to look for dinner but none of the many restaurants there interest me because I had this thinking that I would feel intimidated if I were to dine alone in a restaurant amongst the Caucasians. On top of that, I didn't feel like having western food nor was I feeling very hungry. After walking one round, I ended up in the Korean restaurant called Big Mama, which was a couple of shop-space away from my hotel. Ordered my favourite tobbokki and ate slowly. It was very filling and very spicy so in the end, I didn’t manage to finish the food. I was back in my hotel room around 7:30pm and I quickly charged my mobile phone and camera. Showered, blogged, did some packing and finally went to sleep around 10pm because the next day I got to get up by 6am for the Great Ocean Road day trip with ATWAD.

Thought: I had this feeling that I stick out like a sore thumb because I am a Chinese in a country full of Caucasians. And not sure if it was because of this that I felt uncomfortable taking out my camera to take photos or it was because there were hardly any people or tourists taking photos. After some observations, I realised that Melbourne actually has a lot of Asians living, working and studying there so this realisation made me felt slightly better. On the whole, I was quite happy with my day out. The joy of exploration, not knowing what I might find was pretty exciting. I guess to top it off, the fact that I managed to see most of the sights without getting very lost is the best achievement.


hayliegrace said...

Love your blog posts! The food that you ate looks delicious, and the pictures of the cathedral look amazing. Even as a local reading your blog posts, you make me want to discover more of my own city!!

Regarding your note about feeling like you stick out a lot among the Caucasians, next time don't worry! :) Melbourne has quite a large Asian population, and we are used to it and welcome it here :)

Lolandra.S said...

Hi, thank you for reading and the kind words. Your city is really lovely. Hope to visit Melbourne again. =)