Fri 25 May 12 - Sat 30 Jun 12
Luck would have it that I was able to get a temporary job almost immediately after Justine left me in Melbourne. Just a three week position to cover a friend who was back in the UK for a visit, it was the perfect opportunity to get some much needed money back into my account!
The job itself was easy, and didn't fill up much of the day, but a minimum 1h45 commute each way made the days feel very long. But the first book of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' kept me occupied on the train and tram, and the walk from the tram stop to work (and back) was generally pretty nice (when it wasn't raining!). To get to work I had to cross Merri Creek, which was very picturesque at certain times of the day...
... and a garden full of sculptures made from old gardening tools never failed to make me smile!
Once I'd finished my three weeks of work I started to look into the opportunities for regional work, to extend my visa for a second year. An opportunity - and a travel buddy - came up relatively quickly, which gave me just a couple of weeks before relocating. More on that in the next entry, but the time between the jobs gave me a chance to see some more of Melbourne that I hadn't quite made it to yet.
A very short wander from central Flinders Street station and Federation Square took me to a series of lanes covered in some dramatic and very good graffiti. It's clearly acceptable to graffiti the walls in these lanes – there were a few people spray painting as I walked through, but nothing that looked particularly impressive.
I took another (shorter) walk through Fitzroy Gardens, one of the parks I went to with Justine, again backdropped by the city skyline:
This particular park is also home to Captain Cook's cottage, relocated from Yorkshire in the 1930s. I didn't bother to go inside the cottage – I'm pretty sure it doesn't warrant the entrance fee – but felt it would be rude not to get a picture.
Out the other side of the park is East Melbourne, which houses some of the oldest buildings in Melbourne (apparently) and has lots of interesting architecture and Victorian ironwork. The enormous church in the picture below was converted into flats after a fire – the top floor apartments must be amazing!
Taking a different route back through Fitzroy Gardens I discovered water fountains covered in sculptures and the 'People's Path', a circular walkway of 10,000 decorated ceramic tiles (http://www.fitzroygardens.com/Peoples_Path.htm).
Behind the People's Path and just across the road from the gardens is St Patrick's Cathedral, a wonderfully gothic building.
Back towards the city, I detoured south to cross the train lines going into Flinders Street station and headed down to Birrarung Marr Park, one of Melbourne's newer parks.
Out of the park and down towards the Yarra River, there's a bizarre sculpture covered in equally bizarre art, and beautiful views back towards the city.
There's still plenty of Melbourne that I haven't managed to see, but once I've completed my regional work there'll be lots of time to investigate other areas of the city and around. But for now it's goodbye Melbourne, hello South Australia!