Hey Milieu Pals,
Today we went on a tour of Melbourne and it was nothing more than that… just a simple tour.
The city itself is absolutely beautiful. It is clean, exudes a sense of laid back vitality (similar to Cape Town) and is retrospectively modern through its design approaches.
As part of our tour we visited the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, the Rialto Towers, which comes in at 251 meters above sea level and has 62 story’s. It won’t be the tallest for long, as they are building a new skyscraper which is set to be 297 meters above sea level and will have 92 story’s. It is projected to be completed by mid 2006 and is called the Eureka Tower.
Traveling to the top of the Rialto Towers was quite different. They apparently use a ‘bullet’ elevator, and with good reason too, as it only took us 34 seconds to travel from the ground floor to the highest floor in the building, number 63. The elevator is incredibly smooth, however, it is the changes in the air pressure that have the greatest impact. It is similar to traveling in an airplane during landing, when you experience the incredible atmospheric pressure on your eardrums and are thus forced to try and ‘pop’ the blockage. Once at the top, you are greeted by a breathtaking site of the State of Victoria and thus Melbourne. You can literally see for hundreds of kilometers in each direction, it’s simply amazing. Being at the top of the building is a little disconcerting as it slowly sways in the wind by a maximum of 250 millimeters. I’m still feeling the after effects through a bit of vertigo.
Squares are so yesterday!
The town square of Melbourne is truly a different experience. It is a mix of modern abstract architecture and the early 1920’s. They have seamlessly blended in old architectural designs with that of modern day contemporary art. It is very different but works so well. The city itself is very vibrant and quite arty. Simple structures such as bridges have strange futuristic designs. Near highways there are huge architectural pieces if art that are simply placed near buildings to help increase the cities aesthetics… it is truly very interesting and cool to see!
The city is also always alive with something somewhere with never a dull moment to spare.
What we did was essentially walk around most of the city. All they wanted to do was give us a general idea of where certain places are (shopping, eating, entertainment) so that we may be able to entertain ourselves during our free time. Navigating around the city is rather easy by foot. We have yet to try the public transport system but with plenty of Trams, Buses and Taxis we have been assured that getting around is easy and cost effective. I will let you know more about that soon enough.
I have always heard about how the people of Australia are family oriented and enjoy life. Walking around Melbourne is the epitome of such a statement. The city itself appears to be built within a jungle as there is fauna and flora practically everywhere with many ‘true’ avenues (tree’s that grow on either side of the street yet are big enough to almost meet one another in the middle creating a tunnel affect. With this, are a multitude of different parks… this is where the people of Aus land really shine.
It is so good to see families interacting with one another whether it is playing hide and seek, rugby, soccer, having a braai (BBQ) and so on and so forth. In Melbourne each park is full with people enjoying life. If they are not in the parks then they are eating out, shopping or being entertained. It is certainly a part of the world in which I wouldn’t mind settling down.
The rest of the day was good, even though I was hectically tired by the end of our tour… so much so that I fell asleep in the Tour Bus only to be woken up with a camera in my face… that picture is going to be horrid! LOL!
I have already taken photo’s, but I am currently unable to load them onto Hans’ milieu due to apllication restrictions of the University computers (all because I left my laptop at home). I will try to find a way to do it so look out for the Photo Album entilted: Aussie Adventures.
I have just recently contacted my cousins and will try to see them as best I can, lets hold thumbs that I can get my ticket extended.
Well Milieu Pals,
Check back again soon for more ‘thrilling’ info about Aus Land!
(PS: My HUGE blisters are finally starting to heal a bit… damn you LEVI Shoes! LOL!)