Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia. This is the skyline we viewed as we came into Port. The next ship over is one of the ferries used to move people about. The morning was gray and looked like rain. But the air was warm and would become much warmer as the clouds broke and the sun shone. The city is home to about 3 and three quarters million people. It has a very fine and extensive public transit system. I took a tram right at the Port and rode to the center of the business district.


Melbourne is much flatter than Sydney, and this is reflected in the lay out of the streets. The Yarra River flows right through the city, creating many opportunities for beautiful parks and recreational use. We were fascinated by the blend of the very modern and the older, sometimes very ornate buildings.

Melbourne was founded nearly 50 years after Europeans settled in Australia. Queen Victoria declared it a city in 1847.


The city takes its name from the British Prime Minister at the time, Wm. Lamb, who was Viscount Melbourne (Derbyshire, England). This is the Flinders Street Station, a landmark structure in Melbourne. It sees over 100,000 people move through it each day, and over 1500 trains travel through it as well. The building was designed in 1899, and construction began in 1901. It was completed in 1910. Melburnians have a saying: "meet you under the clocks," referring to the entrance of the Station.


Directly to the east of the Victorian-style Station lies the complex of buildings known as Federation Square. It is home to a number of cafes and restaurants, and to venues for various sorts of performing arts. On the day we visited, a large Greek Festival was underway. Every square inch was filled with people, or food tables, or dancing exhibitions - and music.


The "square" is actually a U-shaped plaza, with weird buildings on all sides. Melburnians have very mixed views about this project, which opened in 2002. And they are free to share their opinions with visitors. Some love it. Some hate it. Whatever, it has become a magnet for visitors to the city.


St. Paul's Cathedral is across the street from Federation Square on the north (and diagonally across from the Flinders St. Station). Its graceful spires once dominated the skyline of the city. Today, however, this active church is dwarfed by many larger buildings. This is the seat of the Archbishop of Melbourne.

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