Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tourist in my own town

I can see my house from here

I spent the day being a tourist in my own town today. I like to do it every now and then to give my adopted hometown a hug and get to know it even better.

Despite having lived in Melbourne for 17 years, there's always something new to see or discover about the place and its history, which I love.

Today I caught a ride on the free tourist shuttle bus which does a circuit of the city's major attractions and landmarks. I enjoyed seeing my town with a busload of tourists who were seeing it with fresh eyes. It's easy to not really notice stuff you see all the time. (Today's sights included a cordoned off street and a bunch of police near the Magistrates Court which had been evacuated after a bomb threat, although we didn't know that at the time.)

Then I had a bite to eat at Southgate before heading to Eureka Tower, the tallest building in Melbourne and the tallest residential tower in the world, and zooming in the lift to the 88th floor at more than 9 metres a second, which is apparently the fastest lift in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 88th floor is home to the Skydeck observation deck, which offers 360 degree views, as well as a glass-bottomed capsule that slides out the side of the tower, 300 metres above the ground, but I was too chicken to try it. Apparently the tower can flex up to 600mm in high winds...

I was ridiculously chuffed at being able to see my house from the Skydeck and also to be standing in the place of all the people whose camera flashes I can see when I'm walking home through the park at night.


Just a day or so after Julian mentioned in the comments the quirky habit of people taking picutures of stuffed toys in various foreign locations, I saw a young Asian tourist taking a snap of a plush Pink Panther in front of Flinders Street Station (the hub of Melbourne's suburban train network).

Turtle stalker

I saw a turtle in a pond in the gardens on my walk home this afternoon.

Eureka Tower and Flinders Street Station

1 comment:

Julian said...

That lift really makes your ears pop, doesn't it? I liked the views from up there. You can strike up some interesting conversations with travellers, too. I went up after I'd been to South America and bumped into a South American woman visiting for a conference, which was quite cool. I gave that capsule thing a go, and yes, it made me twitch a bit, largely due to the floor being glass. With that said, my perspective isn't very reliable, because I'm one of those weirdo adventure sport lovers. :P

Being able to see your own house would be cool (but then you're talking to the person who went looking for his on Google Earth). :)