Day 11 – Under clear skies and a promise of 33 C, we headed for Melbourne. We stopped for lunch at the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Wall at Seymour, where we found Dad’s name amongst the 60,000 or so service men and women who served in that terrible war.



I thought the  memorial was both poignant and tasteful. We found my Uncle and Aunt’s place in Melbourne with no trouble thanks to Thomas Thomas.

The next day we negotiated the idiotic Melbourne ‘MyKi’ public transport system, and headed to Scienceworks at Spotswood. On the walk from the station, I popped my head into a bloke holding a garage sale, who showed me what he claimed was one of two Mitsubishi Zero radial engines recovered from a swamp near Darwin, as well as a 1950’s Channel 9 TV camera! Slightly better than my garage sale.
Once at Scienceworks we watched a Tesla coil give some props a buzz in a lightning show before checking out the magnificent 1890’s triple expansion sewerage pumping engines before heading home. It was nice to be in air con all day with the mercury topping 37 outside.

The boys had a fantastic time creating new and improved versions of themselves in the “think ahead” exhibit.


Day 13 – Jan 23 – We spent Friday in the city to give the boys a chance to take a tram ride.  We stopped in at the Queen Victoria Markets and found a good selection of fresh and gourmet goods, and plenty of underwhelming junk stalls staffed by sullen teenagers. I caught up with my cousin Cath (who’d popped down from Sydney to catch some pro tennis), then caught the tram with Christopher and Adrianne to meet Kris and the boys at Fitzroy Gardens to see Caption Cook’s childhood house. The house was built in 1755, the same year Cook joined the navy – hence it seems unlikely that he was ever there at all. I don’t think they’ll rewrite the tourist brochures though.
Each morning we enjoyed a morning constitutional with Christopher and Sam was introduced to Geocaching, which appears to be a cross between a treasure hunt and orienteering.  Sam was smitten – we’ll see how it goes . . .

Melbourne with Christopher & Adrianne_DSC2734

6 thoughts on “Melbourne

  1. Re Cook’s Cottage – Dulcie often mentioned that her mother was invited to the opening of Cook’s Cottage because of her relationship to Cook’s family. James Cook had 6 children but no grandchildren, Dulcie’s mother died 6 months before the opening in Oct 1934 – her maiden name was Ellen (Nellie) Florence Dixon. Recently I found that the owners who put the cottage up for sale in 1933 were Dixons so I beginning to think that it was Nellie Dixon’s relationship to the former owners (since 1863) that the story germinated. Cheers, Dad

  2. Hi Julian and Kristen. It has been great to read your blog and ‘hear’ about your travels. It does sound like you are having a great time and spending quality time with family and friends, as well as seeing lots of iconic Australian landmarks.
    We have had a busy first week and tomorrow brings everyone together for the start of the school year. The swimming carnival was held last friday in fine and sunny weather with great student participation.

  3. Hello Sam & James,
    Army Tanks, and Scienceworks looked like fun.
    Did you notice how small the doors at Captain Cook’s Cottage are?
    I also watched the football final on Saturday Night and it was very exciting, especially Australia’s 2nd goal in extra time.
    Did you see the ‘Windjammers Movie’ at the Shipwreck Museum – I am glad I never had to crawl up the sails in a storm!
    Love Grandpa.

    • Dear Grandpa,
      I didn’t notice the doors, I guess It’s because I’m short enough to get through. Science works was great fun.
      I really enjoyed Flagstaff hill as well – did you see the laser show? It’s fantastic.
      love from Sam.

  4. Loved your family photo with Christopher and Adrienne. They haven’t changed one iota. Also remember Mum’s story, John, of the opening of C.C.’s Cottage. i am sure she would have been thrilled that you mentioned the story to Sam and James. I bet the boys enjoyed travelling on the tram.- the Twins were older than Sam and James but they loved travelling on something they hadn’t ravelled on before., This is just so exciting travelling with you on your journey. I can see now why my family letters from our 2014 cruise were boring but that is the way it goes – some are experts some are beginners!!!

    • Dear Aunt, it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with C&A, it really felt like a rare privilege. It was also another insight into Dad, his early life, and his parents. I noted to Christopher that it was a truly wonderful feeling to be able to sit down and share a tasty single malt with Dad, and then again with an Uncle! love Julian.