Monday, November 1, 2010

I walked Melbourne

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

I saw this passage by TS Eliot on a banner at the State Library's Mirror of the World exhibition this afternoon after I finally finished my self-guided Walking Melbourne tour, and I thought it was apt. I have now visited and photographed every single one of the 235 significant buildings and landmarks in the National Trust guide, which also means I get to cross something else off my 101 Things To Do list.

The final section of the tour took me to the north-west corner of the CBD, the area I had been working in until last Friday, so I now know the history of some of the old buildings I had previously admired and photographed.

That part of the city has some of the city's oldest buildings, including St James Old Cathedral which is the oldest building in Melbourne (not imported from overseas). Construction began in 1839, although it was moved from its original location to a site opposite Flagstaff Gardens in 1913.

There's also this little house and shop on the corner of King and La Trobe Streets, which is one of only a few pre-gold rush buildings left in the city.

After I finished my walking tour I popped in to visit the State Library (if you've never been, this is truly one of Melbourne's best hidden gems. Go!). I admired the wonderful domed reading room and also visited the smallest book and the largest book on display in the Mirror of the World exhibition. I always look at them when I go there.  

The smallest book is the Midget Encyclopedia, a collection of tiny books smaller than matchboxes which are accompanied by a weeny magnifying glass. Today it was open to Q for quagga. The largest book is the awesome Birds of America by renowned naturalist John James Audubon. It's massive and open to a different page every time I go. (According to the State Library website, its copy is one of only 120 known copies in the world.)

The dome

I also visted the Cowen Gallery at the library. I'm not sure if they were there when I visited last, but the gallery has on display the last notes written by Burke and Wills before they died.

As well as looking at significant buildings, I also lurked about city laneways taking photos during which I saw three different renderings of the Rolling Stones tongue motif in two different alleys (probably all by the same person) - on the same day that I was to see Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (which was great, although Mick Jagger's er...pantal region was distracting). 

Walking into the city beside the river this morning I saw a bird pecking at something on the path. I thought it was a large beetle at first but when the bird took flight at my approach, I bent down to have a look and it was a tiny crab. It saw me looking at it and it adopted a fighting pose with its little claws thrust up at me. Feisty!

My Girl in Melbourne photo blog has 49 followers. Thanks guys! One more for the half century...

And that's it for day 1 of NaBloPoMo.


Fantastic Forrest said...

"Pantal region" - Ha!
Congratulations on completing your photo goal. I love the little white house/shop; it reminds me of some in Washington, DC surrounded by modern skyscrapers. And the dome pic is lovely.

Encounters with crabs are so fun. My son still talks about the time he saw one by the shore about 8 years ago. They are such cool creatures. Scorpions freak me out, but crabs are intriguing.

Deidre said...

I love that little house! It seems so out of place now though.

Hey are you coming to the Rally this weekend? for replacing hazelwood at the state library?