Saturday, February 24, 2018

Melbourne in February

Melbourne. The area of today's Melbourne was occupied by humans for the last 40 thousand years. Europeans arrived about 200 years ago. In 1835 John Batman and others from Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) settled in what is now the centre of Melbourne. It was known first as Dootigala, then Batmania, and then in 1837 Melbourne after a British prime minister.

The Melbourne's CBD is a bit too loud (old trams and cars), and too car friendly for me, but the architecture and art are amazing.

Northern New South Wales - close to Gold Coast: green and humid.

Victoria near Melbourne/Avalon - grey and dry.

Twelve Apostles - about 2-3 hours by car from Melbourne.

It's not very safe to be near these cliffs - they can crumble at any moment.

Late afternoon near the stairs.

St Kilda - looking north. There are people walking, bicycling, and even parachute landing here.

St Kilda is on Port Phillip Bay - no waves to speak of.

I love these apartment blocks - this is street art to the extreme.

Pollution is a problem - Yarra river.

RMIT building.

Two matchsticks.

Another RMIT building, minesweeper and a filter. 

Bird houses.


A view towards Federation Square.

Federation Square - SBS building.

Federation Square - Flinders station.

Centre Place lane.

The Block - shopping arcade 
Mosaic floor in the arcade.
Terrace houses.

The 888 monument - 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, 8 hours of sleep.
World Expo building.

Victoria Parliament building.

Entrance to the Chinese quarter.

The Greek infinity monument.

Purple building.

A view of Melbourne from the Shrine of Remembrance. Eureka Tower in the centre-left.

Remembrance of WW1 and sport seem to be the two true religions of Australia.

The front of the shrine.

Botanic gardens.

AAMI Park - the rectangular stadium.

Blockchain Centre

Eureka Tower

Unused higher floors.

The RAAF Museum in Point Cook is located on the grounds of an active military base.

Mirage III like many other planes used by RAAF was assembled in Australia.

Heron drone.

WW2 - captured Kübelwagen

WW2 - you don't want to meet this kangaroo.

WW1 - say YES to draft - for loyalty.

WW1 - say NO to draft - for liberty.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sydney in December

Sydney. If you want to take the train from the airport to the city, and want to save almost $14 and explore a bit of Sydney on foot, buy your Opal card at the airport station, and then walk 25-30 minutes to the closest station, which from the domestic airport is Mascot. The walk is not very pleasant: rubbish, heavy trucks driving fast near the sidewalk, waiting at the traffic lights under the scorching sun, but still, when you spend $55 on a Jetstar flight from Gold Coast to Sydney...

Welcome to Sydney!

Walking to Mascot train station.

This shack (the block) is probably worth a million dollars.

This is the other side of the street.

The entrance to the station is here. Can you find it? 

Mascot apartments next to the train station with Woolies, cafes, kindy... a 3 bedroom apartment may cost 860k here.

Pitt Street Mall, a Westfield in disguise.

St. Mary's Cathedral

Sydney Tower

Add yellow cabs on the wrong side of the road and voilà you get New York.

The Reserve Bank of Australia Museum is an interesting and free museum right next to Martin Place train station. The early colony and Commonwealth years of Australia were a mess in regards to currency (and railways). First Australian notes were printed in 1913 - 12 years after the establishment of Commonwealth of Australia. The currency thing is now sorted out (railways is not). Australia uses decimal currency, banknotes are very hard to forge and it's ok if you take them surfing - they are plastic... and we make them for 13 countries. :-)

Queensland state government printed its banknotes long before the federal government.

A private bank note, bought by the federal government, and stamped "AUSTRALIAN NOTE".

This 1000 pound note was very easy to forge and soon after issuing it was restricted to inter-bank use. Also, the sheep.

Five Australian Royals - first ask the public what they would like to call the new currency, then decide that you don't like any of their suggestions and come up with something stupid yourself, start making designs, roll back when you start receiving death threats from the public, use 'dollar' - now everyone is happy.

The year is 1963. In 1966 the new decimal currency "dollar" will be introduced: 1..12 pence -> 0.833..10 cents,  1..10 shillings -> 10..100 cents, 1 pound (20 shillings) -> 2 dollars. 

Manly Municipal Council

Christmas in summer

Manly, The Corso

Manly beach

Shelly beach in Manly

Bondi beach

Camp Cove in Watsons Bay


A postcard at sunset

An aboriginal audio-visual show at sunset, on the roof of the Sydney Opera House