There is nothing as powerful as a weekend away to refresh a tired view of life. The four day weekend with family friends has been the tonic the MOTH (man of the house) and I needed. Life has a way of getting lost in work and home responsibilities. It was time to love on ourselves and take a trip on a jet plane to visit my girlfriend and her three boys.
Melbourne is a city thriving within an all most perfectly planned infrastructure. The transport system and the ease with which they relieve the traveller of money is painless enough to encourage one to keep exploring the sites around the city. We had a wonderful time and inspite of ridiculously early starts every day was a wonder of family and site seeing activities.
Catching the 7.45 train into the city was a rude shock to a body in holiday mode. We travelled in with one of the boys who is not only street savvy but a culture and arts’ buff. By the time the train arrived at Flinders Street Station we had a list of things to do and see to keep us on the go until mid-afternoon.
One of our stops in the day was the Melbourne’s Arts’ Centre Australia’s largest performing arts centre. The metal webbing of the spire was inspired by the billowing of a ballerina’s tutu and the Eiffel Tower. After WWII it was decided Melbourne needed an arts and culture centre and excavation on the site began in
The Arts Centre is unusual in that its theatres and concert hall are built largely underground. Hamer Hall, situated closest to the river, was initially planned to be almost entirely underground, thus providing a huge open vista between the theatre spire, the river and Flinders Street Station. However, construction problems with the foundations, including water seepage, meant the structure had to be raised to three storeys above ground.
It is not an imaginative stretch to see that the 162 metre spire under which the arts centre sits has become an iconic landmark. It rises from the arts’ centre like a beacon, visible by day or night and features a large steel spire with a wrap-around base. At night time it is illuminated by fibre optic tubing and neon lighting which makes it difficult to miss but also inspires awe at the ingenuity and creativity at work in the development of the work of art that crowns the cultural and artistic centre of Melbourne.
I am looking forward to sharing other highlights of our weekend away during which we enjoyed so much that Melbourne and its surrounding countryside has to offer. We returned home refreshed mentally although tired from a hectic weekend being shown around my girlfriend’s patch of Australia.