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Having returned to Melbourne rather late last night, this morning was much slower than previous days as we were feeling very tired having run around Sydney lots over the last three days and I’d had some very long days thanks to my jet lag and waking up at 5am.

After grazing through breakfast for most of the morning, a light lunch of bacon and egg on toast was cooked by Amy. After lunch we went into Melbourne on the train. My MyKi card was getting low so needed topping up and after a few minutes of waiting in the sunshine the train arrived.

The UV levels are so high in Melbourne (because of the hole on the ozone layer) that it’s possible to burn within a couple of minutes. Even cloud cover doesn’t block out the rays. I’ve managed to put sun cream on every day so far and have avoided getting burnt. Unfortunately I burnt my head yesterday as I didn’t wear a hat – I won’t forget again!

We arrived into Flinders Street station again and decided to take the tram up to the Melbourne Museum. We rode on one of the newest trams with three carriages, it was quite full but we managed to get seats for the five minute trip up Bourke street. We disembarked at Nickleson street and walked past the great exhibition building (built 1881) where there was a graduation ceremony for Melbourne University students.

The museum is opposite the Great exhibition building and is very modern, it’s glass frontage runs the whole length of the building and leans forward at a slight angle avoiding reflecting the sun. Inside felt very spacious and full of light and air. Unlike the UK museums have a small entrance fee at AU$12 and are not publicly funded at all. Despite this there were plenty of great exhibits which were very new and well presented. We started with the First People’s exhibition which gave a really interesting introduction to the local aboriginal culture. I was really impressed by the way they displayed everything which encouraged you to take in lots of the information without putting the aboriginal people on display themselves. It felt more like a celebration and explanation of their culture and very integral to Australians today rather than a them and us style exhibit which could have felt like the aboriginal people were on display. It did presume a significant amount of prior knowledge but I felt that only added to the sensitive and clever way in which it was presented.

Following on from that section we bumped into the mother of Bec (a friend of Amy’s) who works at the museum; before going up a floor to see the ‘Art of Science’ collection. This was a display of a large number of scientific pictures showing different animals and their distinctive markings. Mainly field sketches from the first visiting explorers and scientists there were also some very interesting pictures by scientists who had never visited Australia and were drawing animals based on testimonies and dead specimens!

On leaving the museum we walked along to Lygon street where we had Gelato from one of Melbourne’s oldest Italian establishments, Brunetti’s. I had a cookies and cream scoop with a mixed berries. Absolutely delicious and my mouth is watering with the memory of it.

This brought us out to a bus stop where we caught a bus all the way to Denis station a very short walk from Fairfield and home. Supper was once again kindly waiting for us; a delicious beef stew with roasted pumpkin and potatoes all cooked by Susie. In the evening we settled down to watch Spicks and Specks the Australian version of Never Mind the Buzzcocks followed by Miss Fisher’s Murder. An Agatha Christie like series set in 1920’s Melbourne, quite good fun and interesting to see.

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