O sweet Queen-city of the golden South,
Piercing the evening with thy star-lit spires,
Thou wert a witness when I kissed the mouth
Of her whose eyes outblazed the skyey fires.
I saw the parallels of thy long streets,
With lamps like angels shining all a-row,
While overhead the empyrean seats
Of gods were steeped in paradisic glow.
The Pleiades with rarer fires were tipt,
Hesper sat throned upon his jewelled chair,
The belted giant’s triple stars were dipt
In all the splendour of Olympian air,
On high to bless, the Southern Cross did shine,
Like that which blazed o’er conquering Constantine.
–Patrick Moloney(1843 – 1904 / Australia)
A woman has to be one of god’s most beautiful creation. Patrick Moloney in his sonnet above tries to feminise Melbourne city, beautifully mentioning how it witnessed him kissing his beloved, the street-lamps, angels and Olympus. There is a Victorian feel to his verses here, as he goes on to describe the streets of Melbourne, lit with street lamps as beautiful as angels in a row. The best part is how he has painted a picture of paradise called Melbourne through the colour of his words in this poem. Oh the imagination of the poets, so beautiful that you can’t help but fall in love with this female here, Melbourne.
The title for my post has been borrowed from English journalist George Augustus Sala, who visited Melbourne back in 1885 and captured the essence of the city in 1880s when he coined the phrase ‘Marvellous Melbourne’.
Let me tell you a story about Ronnie who loved to play cricket. Ronnie who was born in Mumbai, practiced diligently at Shivaji Park Dadar where his idol Sachin Tendulkar used to practice as a kid. Ronnie had a dream, a dream to play for India one day. That day he woke up early at 4am, India was touring Australia those days, playing a test match against them at MCG. It was a ritual at his house. Dad would wake Ronnie up and Father Son duo would watch matches when India toured Australia. Ronnie was hoping India would go on to win this Test Match. He was feeling drowsy as he decided to walk up to have some water from the kitchen. As he opened the door of his kitchen he was amazed to find himself inside the dressing room of Indian cricket team in Australia.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
“Dad, Dad where are you?” he called out! But his dad was no where to be seen. It was like a dream, he pinched himself to check if it was for real. As he walked out of the Indian dressing room he realised no one could hear what he was saying, but he could listen to everyone’s conversation. The realisation slowly sinked in as he walked over to the Australian dressing room. He decided to click one picture of himself to show his dad. Pop came out his smartphone for a Selfie . Click! “Cheese“.
As he turned towards the square he was blown away by the magnificent view of the MCG. The crowd there was huge, it had gathered in large numbers for the Boxing day test match that was about to get underway, as he saw MS Dhoni and Steve Smith walk out to the square. He waved frantically at Dhoni, only to realise Dhoni could not hear him.
M.C.G the largest cricket ground in the world. It was here that the first ever test match was played between Australia and England. Like Lords MCG has a lot of history too going back to hosting matches back in the 19th century to hosting the final of 1992 world cup when Pakistan beat England. Ronnie was satisfied to have witnessed a glorious boxing day test match at MCG. He could not stop dreaming about how it would feel to witness Dhoni lifting the World Cup once again at MCG in 2015.
The day ended at the MCG and Ronnie decided to move out and explore the city. Just outside the MCG at a kiosk he got a chance to check out the Melbourne’s official Tourism website
Where should he go next?
Philip Island Little Penguins Parade Evening tour
As a child Ronnie loved Pingu a cartoon character, a penguin. The website suggested it would be a great time to go and realise his childhood dream of seeing Penguins. Ronnie took a comfortable coach, following the Yarra River through the leafy southeastern suburbs and rural countryside, before arriving at the bridge to Phillip Island. He loved the sight of hundreds of penguins emerging from their burrows, how they waddled up the beach. This was Nature at its best, stuff he had only seen in advertisements.
The day had been good so far thought Ronnie. Could the night be any better?
Best of Melbourne City Tour with Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Dinner
Once back in Melbourne Ronnie decided to go on a city tour in a 1948 colonial tram car restaurant. He was in for an unforgettable experience. The tram passed through the streets of Melbourne from South Melbourne, St Kilda, Prahan and Malvern. He as served a delicious three course dinner which he throughly enjoyed.
The day ended on this good note and Ronnie wanted to sleep early, for the day after he had to go on a Balloon tour.
Melbourne magical balloon tour
Next morning he woe up early and made his way to the hotel lobby where he was staying. A car was waiting to pick him and take him to the spot where his magical balloon ride was about to begin.
Melbourne is perhaps one of the few cities to have a Balloon tour. It was an amazing experience for Ronnie to soar high above in the air and witness the city skyline like that from the balloon. On top while he was enjoying the view he was served champagne breakfast, that he simply devoured as he was quite hungry from previous days hectic activities post the cricket match. The balloon slowly drifted over Melbourne park, and the Yarra river as Ronnie saw people wake up and make their way to work. The mood seemed festive considering it was the last day of the year.
From the balloon he could see MCG where he was yesterday. The ground looked like a huge arena, that could accommodate probably 100,000 people. Melbourne park and Albert park race track added its own charm to this city that was bustling with early morning energy. After the tour Ronnie returned to the hotel to plan his rest of the day.
After having witnessed the city from the top in the balloon ride Ronnie headed once to Eureka skydeck. It was located right in the centre of city that offered a birds eye view of the city and beyond. Ronnie thought to himself, what if India also started making such vantage points for its tourists. Ronnie took his own sweet time to soak in the view, all for himself one last time.
National Trust heritage walking tour
No city tour is complete without delving into a little bit of history about that city and so Ronnie made his way to experience the National Trust heritage walking tour. The tour helped him understand how this great city of Melbourne was built. He got a chance to see the regal Princess Theatre, Parliament House and St Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the major Gothic Revival structures in the world. He also visited a former family lodging from the 1880’s and a charming workman’s cottage.
The Dandenong Ranges
Melbourne, though its a city that is bustling with city energy is not only about buildings and streets and coffee shops, there is surely a dose of nature that can be had here. Ronnie headed towards greater Melbourne region’s Dandenong ranges. He hopped on to the narrow gauge railway that took him through the Dandenong range. The towering Mountain Ash trees on the majestic mountains painted a wonderful scenery. Ronnie even had a chance to enjoy local cuisine, and the village tour. He picked up some hand made souvenirs from the local stores.
The Great Ocean Road
Before he headed out for New Year Eve’s party Ronnie did not want to miss out on a trip along The Great Ocean Road. This 243 km vast expanse along the Victorian coast is one of the destinations amongst Australias top 10 places to see sunsets. Rohan took the coach tour and went mad clicking pictures of this scenic beauty, stopping at several places along the coast. His favourite was the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation – one of the most impressive geological highlights outside of Ayers Rock / Uluru that Australia has to offer.
Melbourne New Year’s dinner cruise
After a tiring day, Ronnie planned to go and relax for the night at New Year dinner cruise. The food laid out was yummylicious and he could not wait to devour it all. The sight of fireworks and celebrations all around brought some new hope for 2015. It was the year of World Cup 2015. The cruise made its way through Yarra River and DJ was playing some good music, Ronnie could not help but dance with his friends from the Hotel.
Just as he was enjoying the cruise and the New year’s eve party, Ronnie moved across to make his way to his washroom. The moment he opened the door he saw himself back at his house, lying on the couch with the Test match still running on TV. Did the alcohol he had proved way too strong? Was this a all a dream?He smiled to himself and said, “That was one heck of a dream”
Disclaimer: This post is a part of contest by Indiblogger
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