It happens every year on the 1st Tuesday in November, and no it isn’t an election. Think of the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and The Preakness all rolled in one. That’s the Melbourne Cup, a two mile, actually 3200 meter, horse race that literally stops a nation while it runs. Since no one is going to do anything while the race is run, they just call it quits and make the day a holiday.
As you can see, most Aussies dress up on Cup Day, though with varying degrees of success. Possible the contradiction in dress style can be explained by remembering Australia is on the bottom of the world and and one person’s up may be another person’s down. Astute Bob.
The most common site in Melbourne, construction cranes are everywhere, with tall buildings sprouting like weeds.
Rick Steves proudly trumpets he has 44 passenger buses for the 28 people on his tours so most people can have a window seat. In Melbourne, our OAT tour has a 44 passenger bus for 16 people so everyone can have a window seat. The interesting thing was a number of people sat beside each other instead of sitting by a window, not Linda and I though, and we also know enough to sit on opposite sides to catch all the sights.
A Euro style streetside toilet.
A visit to the Melbourne Gaol.
Ned Kelly was a famous Australian Bushranger (outlaw.) He is either thought of a despicable murderer or a Robin Hood. He was hung in this jail. As luck would have it, the group was treated with the appearance of Ned reincarnated. The body armor was what he wore during his final standoff with the law when he was captured. There was a leather reproduction of his steel armour with a sign, “Kids, Dress up in Ned’s armour!”, so I did. For some reason I was the only one in our tour group to put on Ned’s armour. Bushranger Bob.
Grandma smashing another penny for our grandson, Zachary.
In this section of Melbourne the Victorian age buildings all had the most spectacular ornamental ironwork.
These buildings were definitely not a case of seen one, seen them all. We were told this relatively small three story townhouse sold for 1.3 million dollars.
Not exactly like the cockpit in the coach. And what’s with the steering wheel being on the wrong side.
Linda doing what she does best, enjoying the flowers.
This one is for Linda. She takes all these photos of flowers and her heartless husband seldom puts them in the blog. This should make her a happy girl. Kind Hearted Bob.
I don’t know what they are,but sure are weird. I’ll leave it to you readers to determine just what all in the photo the word “weird” is referring to.
Saw this in the Remembrance Memorial which honors those who have lost their lives to keep Australia free.
In the afternoon we joined the crowd at Federation Square to watch the Melbourne Cup.
Sitting on the bricks just like all the other Aussies watching the gigantic TV screen.
And they are off. Two miles and my horse lead 95% of the race, but ended up finishing first. We were amazed, as everyone remained seated on the bricks during the race, though they did tastefully cheer their horse on. Those that had bet on the winner did loudly cheer at the finish of the race, the rest were either silent or groaned. I like the Aussie way much better than the US way which has some idiot bozo jumping up and down in front of you so you can’t see a thing.
While the crowd made be calm, the architecture of the buildings around the square is anything but calm. Could you imagine something like this facing Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Members of the Tea Party would be having mass heart attacks. I’ll leave to you readers as to whether that would be good or bad.
Aussies shorten the names of everything. They call MacDonald’s, Macca’s, and MacDonald’s has given their hamburger joints in Australia special permission to deviate from the ironclad Macdonald’s signage enforced in the rest of the world.
Hats are the order of the day for the lady’s on Melbourne Cup Day.
Hats are everywhere, and they even show up on some gentlemen.
There were some things that definitely brought a smile to my face. The Esky, (cooler) on the floor in front of this young lady who appears to be dressed up for a Cup party, reads, George the Fishmonger.
This may well be the most spectacular sunset photo I’ve ever taken.
Penguins coming ashore on one the breakwaters around the harbor at sunset.
Everyone was taking penguin photos.
This one walked out on the boardwalk about six inches from Linda. It was so much fun watching it walk right up to her to that i forgot to take a photo of that moment. They use red lights to illuminate the penguins.
It was too dark for the video to show anything, but this is what it sounded like when the penguins started talking among themselves.