Friday, January 9, 2009

Tourist in my own town - part two

I did the touristy thing again today. I threw my camera and a copy of Walking Melbourne (The National Trust's guide to Melbourne's historic and architectural landmarks) in my bag and off I went to explore.

I managed to visit close to 50 landmarks (of the 250 or so in the book) and took photos of each. Some are well-known stops on the tourist trail - like Flinders Street Station, St Paul's Cathedral and the Fitzroy Gardens - while many others are less grand and well-known - the type of buildings which tend to merge into the streetscape. It was great to find out more about them and their historical significance.

There was one prominent and grand building I visited for the first time and that was St Patrick's Cathedral, Victoria's largest church (above). Regardless of your religious bent (or lack thereof) it's a very impressive and imposing structure, and the gardens are pretty and peaceful, with lavendar and rose beds. (I was too scared to venture inside in case they have some sort of heathen detector that would smite me dead).

It's also the first time I have taken a photo of a public toilet (below)! Did you know Melbourne has the world's second most extensive set of cast iron urinals after Amsterdam? No? Well, now we all do! Can't recall seeing that boast on the That's Melbourne website!

I finished the day with a disgustingly decadent chocolate overload at Chokolait while I relaxed and read the paper.

Yep, I admit it was a little too much chocolate


Julian said...

If by any chance one of your NY's goals was to get even fitter, I'm thinking you're going to be after all this sightseeing! ;)

Sightseeing in my own city is something I should do more of at some point soon, esp. seeing as I'm currently down for showing visiting travellers around Melbourne. :)

I definitely didn't know about the extensiveness of our cast iron urinals, but now I do. You learn something new every day. ;)

Oh wow: if I hadn't already eaten, that chocolate picture would be making me feel hungry. :) I wouldn't worry too much about the decadence level: you probably earned it after all that walking around! Where is Chokolait? (He asked innocently.)

(Re-posted due to typing error!)

Becca said...

It may be decadent, but it doesn't look like too much chocolate to me. It looks luxurious and yummy! And it's made me crave chocolate...
I'm enjoying the photos of your city through tourist eyes. Unfortunately I'm only from a small town so there aren't any big cathedrals or libraries to visit, but I'm inspired to explore some new nooks and crannies :)

Frisky Librarian said...

Hi Julian. Getting my fitness back into the 'excellent' range is one of my 101/40 goals, though sadly wandering around the city probably won't do much in that respect (unless I run). But thankfully it does help to compensate for chocolate blow-outs!

I'd highly recommend getting to know your own town even better, because it's the "hidden gems" that really make Melbourne what it is, I think, and you'd be able to give your couchsurfers a different, deeper perspective (depending on where their interests lie, of course).

Chokolait is in the Hub Arcade, which runs off Lt Collins St and into the Royal Arcade. It's not far from Koko Black, but it's not as busy - it's a chocolately oasis away from the hustle and bustle.

Hello Becca! I thought I'd feel ill after eating it, and I did start to feel a bit ew towards the end of the chocolate mousse cake, which had a rich, thick base, but I had a rest and read the paper and drank some water, and then I was ready to get to work on the hot chocolate (the sort that's made with milk and real chocolate) and I felt fine when I finished that. So yes, perhaps in hindsight it was just right!

There would be much less to see in a small town, but still, you might be surprised about the history of some of the older buildings (if there are older buildings left). Is there a historical society?

Frisky Librarian said...

Hello again Becca. I just visited your blog. I like! I tried to comment but it didn't work (could be my computer, it's been cantankerous lately). I'll come back later and try. Thanks for the link to my blog too. I don't know why it doesn't update with each new post. I've had that problem on someone else's blog too but I don't know how to fix it. Dang.

Abbeysmum said...

Hi Jayne, I discovered an interesting list on a blog called "Rossandmegan", I'm sure you can find it.
Chocolate is good for you.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it...and NO it doesn't give you zits.
You can get fit just have to walk fast from place to place,much kinder to the joints than running or jogging.

Frisky Librarian said...

Hi Abbeysmum. Generally I don't believe indulging in chocolate is a vice. When not attempting some sort of allergy elimination diet, I eat it virtually every single day, but usually only in small amounts. My Chokolait blow-out is a rarity.

I did walk between all 48 landmarks and I walked home afterwards, but because I'm already reasonably fit, I find walking - even fast walking, which is usually the only kind I do! - doesn't raise my heart rate enough to deliver any significant fitness gains (unless I walk uphill). But all activity is good activity.

I walk A LOT because I don't have a car and I live walking distance to most place I go regularly (well, I consider a 40 minute walk to my osteopath walking distance - most people with cars wouldn't). I walk a minimum of 70 minutes a day during the week and I'm often on my feet for 2, 3 or 4 hours on weekends. Which makes me wonder how many kilometres I walk in a week. I'm going to buy a pedometer to find out! I reckon it would be well over 30kms a week.

Thanks for the list suggestion - will check later as I'm just off to walk into the city to buy my pedometer.

Becca said...

I'm not sure if there's a historical society or anything like that, but there's a small museum above the library which I'm sure would be worth a look, and there are still some lovely old buildings to see, although they're few and far between these days :(
I also noticed that your link doesn't update to show each new post. I don't know why either, but I do hope people still click on the link and visit you!

Anonymous said...

If you like exploring the city you should keep and eye out for the city's laneway arts program. Its commissioned every year, and some of the '08 works still exist (I believe).

Frisky Librarian said...

Hi Becca. The museum sounds like a great idea. Being an English town, it probably has a much loooooooonger history than Melbourne.

Hello Anonymous. Yep, I'm onto the Laneway Art Commissions. I did a tour of the 08 ones a few months back and have altered my route to work to walk past the lump on the wall that grows and shrinks throughout the day (As It Happens).

Small Footprints said...

I love being a tourist in one's own town. It's such a "green" activity. I've lived in many big tourist cities (San Francisco, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle) and I think ... wow ... other people come here for vacation so ... maybe I should check things out.

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

Small Footprints

Fantastic Forrest said...

Blasphemy! There is no such thing as too much chocolate. Ever.

Jayne said...

Playing tourist is fun and opens your eyes to so many little things you haven't noticed before.
You absolutely must go inside St Pats, it's gorgeous, as is the innards of St Paul's near Flinders Street.
The gargoyles of St Pat's are great little imps to snap ;)