I finally got my tourist trousers on and made it into Central Melbourne on the train and got out at Flinders Street station.
First stop, the tourist info centre at Federation Square, where I loaded up with leaflets including a few self-guided walks.
I’m booked on a guided walk on Friday which I am hoping will fill me in on history and culture in an informative and entertaining way, help me to understand what I am looking at, how to ‘read’ Melbourne.
So today has been more of a wander with frequent stops to take photographs and to sit and watch the world go by. I chose to follow Melbourne Walks #3 On the Waterfront to give my wandering some structure. I had looked at the waterfront from the train and thought I should like to see more, so it was a good choice. All settlements are built by water, so looking at the Yarra was the obvious place to start. Fortunately both Marlon Brando clones and living statues were notably absent.
Art, evidence of prosperity, and homelessness all featured; people lying on the grass in the spring sunshine, other visitors like myself, locals, tents and blankets, people keeping fit.
I broke my walk to visit the Immigration Museum. Racial screening made for sober reading, and the presence of several school parties meant some galleries were more or less inaccessible. I’m not complaining – it’s a good excuse to go back, and I hope the short film about why people leave their homes and their countries will sow seeds in the minds of the children who watched it, so they reject the current anti-refugee narrative flourishing in the West.