Monday, May 14

A day at leisure in Melbourne / Melbourne Zoo

We don't have anything in particular planned for today, but we expect to be wandering the city, perhaps going to the well-respected Zoo.

Today's Update:
We went to the Melbourne Zoo, and while we saw quite a few animals, we were a bit disappointed.  We thought it would be bigger, and have more of an Australian feel.  It was kind of a conventional old-style zoo, with animals segregated by species, and while they were in "natural habitat" they weren't combined like they would be in the wild, which is the way new-style zoos are doing it.  That is, they would build an artificial Serengeti with zebras and whatever else lived there and let them coexist.  Here they were pretty separate.  It's a nice zoo, but if you've been to the Bronx or Washington DC you're not really missing anything.

Nevertheless, here are some pix from what we saw today.  One thing that was special was the Butterfly Aviary - thousands of butterflys flying around you.  Very pretty, and as you'll see, Mom made yet another friend.

We've also decided some things about Melbourne - if you've been to New York City and have gone there enough that you don't feel a need to go there again, then you really don't need to come to Melbourne.  I'm sure it's a city that impresses the Aussies, but to us it feels just like midtown NYC.  It's got everything that the streets in the 40s have from one river to the other, including a Times square area, places for junkies, weirdos, homeless, etc.  Maybe the natives come here to feel what "the big city" is like but we've been there, done that.  Some of the bathrooms here have plastic containers where you can put your used hypodermic needles, and stores are around like this:

Yes, there are a wide variety of bongs for sale.  Didn't take a picture of those, sorry.

The city has a rich pricey section with Versace stuff, but we're down where the gentry shop:

We went down to St. Paul's anglican cathedral this afternoon.  The boys choir has an evensong every day at 5:10 which we didn't make today but may tomorrow.  It's an interesting church, because it's got a very strong Orthodox feel to it - they sell Icons at their store and the chapel looks very Eastern with lots of gilt paintings.  You won't see much in the pix below but you'll get the idea:

Both pictures have been taken to brighten up the scene - neither is really as bright as displayed here.

Tomorrow we have a bus tour of the city in the morning, and we'll finish shopping in the evening.  We booked a trip down the southern coast for wednesday which should yield some very beautiful photos if it doesn't rain.

See ya soon!