Monday, 1 April 2013

A Melbourne Trip

Do you ever find that life gets in the way of life?
The last two weeks have been a busy time for us with a trip to Melbourne, lots of stuff going on at home and over Easter we had two different lots of friends staying, one Friday night and one Saturday night.  We decided that we needed to take the last two days and just be at home together.  Unfortunately that means that we were tempted by chores that needed to be around the farm.  But I am happy to say that we have managed to balance them with some down time, some napping in the hammock, some reading of books, playing with Jessie and some time just sitting and talking.

Our long weekend (3 nights) in Melbourne was great.  We stayed right in the city and caught trams all around the city checking out the CBD and the surrounding suburbs.  I have to say I am a big fan of the tram system in Melbourne.  It was such an easy way to get around and we went all over the city using them.  When ever we go away Hubby says to me "Is this going to be a pressure cooker tour?"  What he means is do I have a million things planned that we must do and see.  You see when I go away I like to fill every moment of the day and night and not miss a thing.  But Hubby likes a bit more down time.  It can be a hard thing to balance and I tried to do my best and not plan too much but we still saw a lot.
We did a lot of walking and even though it was really windy on the first day (there were tornadoes in the north of the state that day) we still enjoyed ourselves.  We went to the botanical gardens and you can see in the photo below how windy it was by the angle of the giant bamboo.
Melbourne Botanical Gardens
 On our second day we caught a train out of the city and went to the Holocaust Museum.  Neither of us comes from a Jewish background but it was something we wanted to do and was really worth it.  We spent a number of hours there and could have spent longer.  The museum also had a travelling exhibition from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam including her actual diary.
It is not really suitable for young children but while we were there there were 2 groups of high school children visiting as well.
The museum has some striking sculpture work on the front  of the building
 While we were there we were lucky enough to be able to sit in on a presentation to one of the school groups from a holocaust survivor.  He told us his story and about his experiences as a teenager in the concentration camps and you can read below how close to death he was when he was freed. He said he thought he could have only lasted a few more days.

 Not long after the Jewish people started being rounded up and put in ghettos and sent off to concentration camps the word got around in the Jewish community about what was happening when they were set away so many Jews tried to flee their homes and countries.
One thing I was not aware of was that when the fleeing Jews tried to seek refuge in neighbouring countries many countries closed their borders refusing to let them in as refugees.  I had always wondered why they did not escape and was completely unaware that while they were being exterminated by the Nazis much of the rest of Europe had been unaware of the extent of the genocide.

In the Anne Frank exhibition they had a time line with Anne's life below the line and other events that were happening in relation to the holocaust above the line.  It was interesting to see how normal her life was with family holidays, trips to the beach, work for her parents and school for her and her sister, while at the same time only a few hundred kilometres away people were being killed in the street and packed onto trains bound for death camps.
It was a thought provoking and emotional place to visit.
 While we were in Melbourne the Flower and Garden show was on so we took ourselves along for a look around.
There were some great display gardens.

 And interesting stalls but we refrained from purchasing anything, although I was tempted.
 Yates had a very cute display set up showing how their Dynamic Lifter is made.
 I hope my chickens don't see this and get any ideas about needing toilet paper and a flushing loo.
 My favourite display was set up by Interflora.  They had created a couple of trees using orchid blooms.  It was spectacular from a distance and was attracting a lot of attention.

We also found time to visit the Victorian Museum and the Queen Victoria Markets and eat some amazing food too.  There are some many other things that we could have seen but when you have a limited amount of time you have to do what you can.
Plus we were supposed to be having a break and I had been told that this was not to be a pressure cooker tour.

Do you like to make the most of the time while you are away or are you the one putting the breaks on?
How do you holiday?


  1. Well done Fiona, i think you covered all the bases. I am ashamed to say i didnt even know the museum existed and ive lived here 27 years. I too went to the flower show and loved the orchid tree as well. My idea of a holiday is lots of reading, sleeping, good food, a bit of nature and happy family. Actually thats been pretty much the run of this Easter weekend so although i didnt go anywhere its been a good break before work starts again tomorrow. A holiday in my own home - the best kind.

    1. Lynda it is free to visit the museum but you pay to see the Anne Frank part, still well worth it.

  2. I am with you on the fast paced holidays, I just love being on the go all day :-)

  3. Ooh, you were down in my neck of the woods! Your trip looks action packed and it's funny, even after living close to Melbourne all of my life, I've never been to some of the places you mention. Shameful I know.

    When we go on holiday I follow the wishes of the majority. If it were up to me I'd just sit and read..or knit all day! But I realise that's not much of a holiday for them..

  4. Oh that sounds like lots of fun. We just had a week in Brisbane and so enjoyed the public transportation - trains, ferries and buses. We did see a lot, but then always sometimes just walked for miles, and of course we ate too much wonderful food :)


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