Discovering Melbourne February 2014
On Sunday 16th February, Mary on her Whittlesea U3A Discover Melbourne by Train took thirty one members to the shopping centre at Southern Cross Station to view the Mosiac of the Transport in Melbourne which was saved when the old Spencer Street Station was demolished. Imagine Mary’s surprise when she could not see the mosaic. After walking around we glimpsed it high up on a wall at the back of two shops. How disappointing that this Melbourne Icon has been hidden.
We then went on a walk around Etihad Stadium to see the new building sites and visited Docklands on the last day of Melbourne’s Chinese New Year celebrations to see the spectacular 100-metre long illuminated Docklands Dragon. As we were there during the morning, and it was drizzling rain, we did not see the full effect of the illumination of this immense Dragon. Our vantage point was on the walkway at Etihad Stadium and we took photos of the Dragon amazed at the size of it and also the 10m-high Docklands Dragon head.
Here is a video of the making of the Dragon.
Then we travelled by train to Box Hill station. At the Box Hill Market there were still signs of the “Year of the Horse” celebrations and here we had lunch and enjoyed the multicultural shopping.
Belgrave & Puffing Billy
Onwards this time to Belgrave, where we stayed and marvelled at the steam train Puffing Billy full of excited passengers.
Then homewards, two trains, a bus and then another train to return to our cars, very tired but happy members of Whittlesea U3A.
Spencer Street Train Mosaic at Southern Cross.
At the far end of the Southern Cross Station Direct Factory Outlet or DFO, you will try and find the large mural depicting Melbourne transport throughout the years. This mural features trains trams, bicycles, horse drawn vehicles, early cars and trucks and a range of other vehicles. If you search around you will find an almost hidden set of stairs leading up to a viewing platform. The mural once graced the walls of the older Spencer Street Station but has obviously been restored since then as it is gleaming like a new pin. In fact it is so bright and shiny it seems to ignore the fact that those many thousands of horses in Melbourne streets had their own emissions and tucked around Melbourne streets you will still see the necessary boot scrapers outside buildings. That is if you can get close enough to this wonderful mosaic. If you can see it, note how the horse drawn vehicles often display the name of their owner. A wonderful mosaic icon of Melbourne Transport which should be available for all to see.