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  • The Chasing of Melbourne

    Melbourne seen from above

    Melbourne seen from above

    The national longing of origins put some imprint above the second largest city of Australia

    Farmers, cattle keepers and gold diggers, these were the founders of the city, the second biggest of Australia and the eternal rival of Sydney. Judging by their history, the two sisters should have been sisters, Melbourne being the younger, although it looks older. For a long time, the two cities fought for the honor to become the capital of Australia. Despite the whole fight, Canberra succeeded achieving the capital in 1913.

    15 Years after the first arrival of Colonists to Sydney in 1802, some English farmers established at 700 km south of the city, at Port Philip, where nowadays Melbourne lies. The land cultivation did not prove to be as profitable as expected, especially the aboriginal people who did not showed not even a single sign enthusiasm for the agricultural work. This fact determined many farmers to send them away to find their luck in the center of the continent.

    It was not until 1835 when the first cattle keepers established on fertile regions of Melbourne, others coming after them by time. Around 1850 was the starting point of true chase of Melbourne when gold was discovered at the region. That was the point when the uninterrupted ascension of the city started.

    Today, the former little city of gold diggers has a population of 3,5 million and with its districts with Victorian and Edwardian architecture of the 19th and the 20th century are highly visible and present.

    The effort to confer tradition to a place without traditions, in 1840, the city imported the residence of the Governor of Victoria state exactly from England, reconstructing it stone by stone on Australian soil. It is known as ” La Trobes Cottage” and today it is open the public. In 1934, the the home of explorer James Cook was also brought from Yorkshire, the original home place of the navigator, and it was reconstructed in Melbourne: Today it is called “Captain’s Cook Cottage”

    Diverse Cultural Influence

    Other cultures also put their fingerprints above the city of Melbourne. The immigrants coming from the “Middle Kingdom” flourished the city with a Chinatown and temple called “See Yup Joss”  Little Italy has also its own place here, with many amazing restaurants serving delicious Pizza, Ice Cream and Pasta, giving the neighborhood a Mediterranean air. The Richmond district has so many Greeks that it is considered the third biggest town of Greece, after Athens and Thessaloniki.

    St Kilda, Melbourne ©Reinis Traidas

    St Kilda, Melbourne ©Reinis Traidas/flickr

    At Richmond street there is a Vietnamese zone called Little Saigon, easily to recognize with its shops and traditional restaurants.

    All these powerful and diverse ethnic influence made Melbourne a friendly city filled with tremendous life. The city center being closed for cars. It is a place filled with wonderful stores, large squares and many well preserved green space, making the city a perfect destination.

    A Leisure For Everyone

    At the central square, the scene is exceptionally appealing, beautiful fountains, many artists, acrobats are filling up the peoples pleasure while at the same time many colorful and diverse ethnic people are spending their times. They enjoy the free leisure of rock concerts, dances and theatrical shows in free air and also the entrance being free.

    The cities charm is also contributed by its trams, which are at a road of extinction in Western Europe. They are mostly painted in green with wooden seats. When Elton John visited Melbourne, he fell so in love in one its 100 years old tram that he bought it for himself, and sent it back to San Francisco and exposed it to its home garden.

    Melbourne Tram ©Andrew Phelps/flickr

    Melbourne Tram ©Andrew Phelps/flickr

    The Australians artists creations, among them being aboriginal and also the group members of the School of Heidelberg, are exposed at the Victorian Arts Center. Among the treasures of this museum of art can be found old airplanes and Polly Woodside ship, constructred in Belfast, Ireland in 1885.

    Every year in March, a festival called Moomba takes place in the streets. The name “Moomba” comes from the Aboriginal language meaning ” come and have fun” but the native locals of the neighborhood disappeared from the streets of the city because of the deceases and alcoholic drinks brought by the White people, decimating them. The Aboriginals, were the true masters of the continent, They arrived in Australia about 40.000 of years.

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