Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Taking The Train To Melbourne City Proper

Taking The Train To Melbourne City Proper

          It was a quiet, windy day as I waited at the train station at Watergardens. There was not much activity at the station. With a V/Line train passing in blinding speed and giving out one blaring horn, I knew that the Metro train bound for Melbourne's Central Business District was due any moment. In five minutes, commuters were boarding the train. The 30-minute ride would pass Keilor Plains, St. Albans, Albion, Ginifer, Sunshine, Tottenham, Footscray, North Melbourne, Southern Cross, Melbourne Central, Parliament and, finally, Flinders Street Station.

          Seated to my right was a man in his 60s dressed to the nines. He had a cane with him. Across and one row away were two young beautiful ladies engaged in quiet conversation. Standing near the door was a man in maong pants and wearing pointed shoes. He preferred to stand near the door even when there were other seats unoccupied. He had a headphone and listening intently. I, too, was listening to an imaginary song playing in my mind: "Everybody's talking at me. I don't hear a word they're saying. Only the echoes of my mind....People stopping, staring. I can't see their faces. Only the shadows of their eyes....." A voice over jolted me as the train finally slowed down at Flinders Street Station. I was at Melbourne's city proper.

           Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria. With a population of more than 4 million scattered throughout Greater Melbourne, it is the most populous in Victoria. At the height of the gold rush in the 1800s, Melbourne was the world's richest city. It was the jump off point for people interested in gold as they made their way to the Gold Fields Region. With tons of gold being delivered and kept at the city, Melbourne authorities built grand buildings with Victorian style of architecture. Parks and gardens were also constructed that enhanced the beauty of the capital city.

          Today, Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the world's most livable cities. It is also one of the cleanest cities in the world. It boasts of the largest tram railway network and one of the most efficient train linkages. A special card enables the bearer to ride any bus, train and tram anywhere in Greater Melbourne for a discounted price. There is no fear of being robbed or mugged as the city is considered as a "reasonably safe city".

           It was late afternoon when I took the train back to Sydenham. I was seated two rows away from the door. I was more relaxed this time. I was listening again to that imaginary song playing in my mind. It was actually a Harry Nilsson song: " I am going where the sun keeps shining. Through the pouring rain. Going where the weather suits my clothes....Banking off of the northeast winds. Sailing on a summer breeze. And skipping over the ocean like a summer stone....wah, wah wah- wah wah...."

- Konted

The train station at Watergardens in Sydenham

The Metro train bound for the city proper

A 30-minute ride to the city proper

Flinders Street Station is the focal point of Melbourne's railway network.  It is a famous landmark of Melbourne.

The Yarra River

Doing it standing at the Yarra River. In background is Melbourne Cricket Grounds.  Photo taken from the Princes Bridge.

Federation Square right across Flinders Street Station. It is Melbourne's most popular public square.

A bazaar at The Atrium Bldg located at the Flinders Street side of Federation Square

Touring the city by bus. It is called Hop On, Hop Off Double Decker bus. You pay L21 and it is good for 24 hours.

The historic Forum Theater built in 1929. It is along Flinders Street.

St. Paul's Cathedral across Federation Square. It is the seat of the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne.

Bike-for-hire in front of Federation Square

Monument dedicated to navigator Matthew Flinders.  Flinders circumnavigated Australia and was the first to call it as a continent.  He  named it Terra Australis. A street and an old town were named after him. The monument is located outside St. Paul's Cathedral.

Westin Melbourne is a five-star hotel along Collins Street near St. Paul's Cathedral.

Swanston Street is one of the busiest streets of Melbourne.

Melbourne Town Hall along Swanston Street. It was built in 1870.

Spring Flowers in front of Melbourne Town Hall

More spring flowers at Melbourne Town Hall

A tram plying Swanston Street.  It is bound for Melbourne University.

A chef of a Chinese restaurant preparing hand-pulled noodles

Nando's offers grilled food items. It has numerous branches throughout Melbourne.

Instead of demolishing this old Shot Tower, the owners of Melbourne Central Shopping Center made it part of the shopping complex. The shopping complex is connected to Melbourne's Underground Railway.

The big clock at Melbourne Central

Melbourne Central's fast food center

Fresh fruit salad at Melbourne Central's fast food center

St. Francis Church along Elizabeth Street is Victoria's oldest Catholic Church. It was built in 1845, some years before the Gold Rush.

Queen Victoria Market is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Melbourne.

5 pieces for $5.50 at theAmerican Doughnuts mobile store. It has been selling doughnuts since 1950.

Australian hats at Queen Victoria Market

Boomerangs for sale at the Queen Victoria Market

More boomerangs

Mobile store selling fresh mussels at the Queen Victoria Market.

More food stalls

Sausages and grilled chicken at The Taste of Australia

Texas-style barbeque

Malaysian-Sarawakan Delights

Colored dumplings at Malysian-Sarawakan Delights stall

Special mixed rice at Malaysian-Sarawakan Delights

Shrimps with corn, green peas and carrots

Vietnamese noodles

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

State Library of Victoria being renovated. Promenaders are taking advantage of the sun.

Point of origin is Toorak.

Cart selling gelati near the State Library of Victoria

A street entertainer

Monument of Wills and Burke who had gone on an expedition but failed to return.

Tour the city aboard a horse-drawn carriage. Pick up point is at Swanston Street.

Melbourne Library at Flinders Lane

The train bound for Sydenham is about to leave Flinders Street Station.

Metro train heading back to Watergardens in Sydenham

A resto bar at Watergardens

West trans bus servicing residents of Caroline Springs and Taylors Hill

Bus leaves on time.