Lest We Forget. Botanical wonderland. Walking the Yarra.

We woke quite early this morning and got ourselves ready for breakfast.  Given that we were working on a three hour time difference we were not too put out of shape getting up around 8.00am (11.00 am in Hong Kong!).

We dined in the hotel restaurant and enjoyed a light breakfast.  It never ceases to amaze us at how people consume plates of food when they are staying in hotels.  If they ate like that at home they wouldn’t make it out their doors!

After breakfast we returned to the room so that I could continue writing the eulogy for Nan.  The Princess also had her weekly Mastermind call today.  We have committed to a year long personal coaching course with Bob Proctor Coaching  and each week we have two calls we participate in and today was The Princess’ call.

After finishing the eulogy and the call we left the hotel for a walking tour of Melbourne city.

Melbourne has some beautiful buildings and the wide streets, trams and gardens (Victoria is called the Garden State) provide a wonderful backdrop for photographs.  At this time of the year it has a real European feel and we enjoyed exploring some of the backstreets and arcades on foot.

We stopped for lunch in Central Arcade  and enjoyed a beautiful chicken crepe and toasted panini.  Yum.

After lunch we set off in the direction of the Royal Botanical Gardens  and the Shrine of Rememberance .  One of the greatest attractions of Melbourne is the open space prevalent in the city environs.

The Princess had not had the pleasure of walking through the gardens before so it was a real pleasure to be able to watch her taking photos of the beautiful flowers and wonderful buildings.

We walked past the famous Melbourne train station called Flinder’s Street. The station has been modernised in recent times however the facade has been retained.  It is directly opposite the incredibly modern looking Federation Square.  Indeed, it is a real play on the senses when you stand on the street corner and turn your body through 360 degrees.  On one corner stands the incredible St Paul’s Cathedral.  On the other corner is famous Young and Jackson hotel.

On the two opposite corners are the station and Federation Square.  It is a beautiful place to stand – to watch the trams roll by and watch the vibrant hub of Melbourne.

After walking around Federation Square we walked across the St Kilda Road Bridge ,past the National Gallery of Victoria and into the Alexandra Gardens.

It was quite a hot spring day in Melbourne so we had to make sure we kept in the shade during the walk.  We didn’t bring any sunblock with us and I didn’t want my Canadian Princess getting burnt!

I showed The Princess the beautiful Myer Music Bowl and the external view of Victoria’s Government House.  A walking tour of this beautiful city is really worth the effort if you ever take the time to visit (or even if you live there!).

The Shrine of Remberance is a short walk from Government House so we took the time to look around and through this beautiful building.  The building sits atop a small rise in the landscape and proudly looks back toward the city – straight down St Kilda Road and on into Swanston Street.  The Shrine is a wonderful construction and we enjoyed taking time to take in the efforts of those that built it.

The Botanical Gardens are just across the road from The Shrine so we continued our day of walking and entered the gardens.  These beautiful gardens provided us with a chance to use up some more of our digital storage devices – you would think we would have had enough of taking photo’s of flowers.  Never.  How can one not appreciate the incredible beauty of nature.  For me it is mixed with the beauty of my Princess.  A incredible bonus!!

We stopped at the lakeside cafe in the gardens and enjoyed a very tasty afternoon tea (scones and jam!) before leaving the gardens around 5.00pm.

We walked across the Yarra River on the Anderson Street Bridge before walking along the banks of the river on our way back to the hotel.  It was getting late in the afternoon and this meant that the water was calm – perfect for rowers.  There were many boats on the river and many coaches giving directions through the megaphones as the rode along the river banks.  The rowers provided a great photo opportunity.

The walk back to the hotel took us past the Melbourne sport’s precinct (Olympic Park, Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and The Rod Laver Arena).  Melbourne prides itself on being Australia’s sporting capital and there is no doubt that the state can hold its head high in this sense.

We returned to thehotel around 6.30pm and took a well deserved break.  We did a lot of walking today and we were in need of a rest.

We did have some plans for supper however, after returning to the room I offered The Princess the option of take-away Chinese and some red wine.  She took about 4 seconds to respond.  And so it was!

We collapsed onto the bed after supper and relaxed for the evening.

A wonderful day touring the Garden State’s capital on foot.  Beautiful weather, wonderful exercise and a Canadian Princess on my arm – perfect.

Good night to you wherever you happen to be in this wonderful world we live in.  See you tomorrow Nan!

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