Natural and Man-made Beauties

As you may have deduced from my previous posts, Melbourne is home to an array of beautiful sights produced by Mother Nature and man.


I had the pleasure of attending the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, established in 1954.  The event combines music, food, crafts, and, of course, tulips.  The Tulip Festival is held in Silvan, Victoria in the Shire of Yarra Ranges.  In its 61 years, the festival has grown to 25 acres of land covered in half a million tulips of over 120 varieties.


I was even able to see a bit of good ol’ Gloucester County, Virginia while visiting the farm.  There was a spread of approximately twenty varieties of daffodils–not quite as vast as the tulips, but bittersweet nonetheless.


One of Melbourne’s number one attractions is its graffiti streets.  In 1964, graffiti began to appear on buildings of suburban neighborhoods, metro trains and trams, put there by the disaffected youth of the city.  As this vandalism became recognized as an art form, it became prominent in well-seen areas around Melbourne Central.  In 2008, in admiration, Florida’s Disney World took to recreating a Melbourne laneway for a tourism campaign.

While the decorated laneways attract tourists to the Australian city, the government is torn on how to manage the production–art versus vandalism.  For now, graffiti will remain a double-edge sword.



Kiss My Sassafras

Finally, after approximately ten months of winter, spring has finally returned to my life.  Good-bye nine-degree (48˚F) mornings, hello high of 23 (73˚F)!


Torta:  spicy grilled chorizo in a flaky roll, topped with a pineapple pico de gallo

To kickoff the season’s festivities, my friends and I attended a Mexican festival held, in the heart of Melbourne City, at Federation Square.  The event was comprised of craft vendors, food trucks, sombreros, mariachi bands, and glorious Melbourne sunshine.  Mexican food craving:  satisfied.


This past weekend, Sole and I took a scenic drive into the hills to yet another quaint, country town, Sassafras.  Like many of the other small towns in Victoria, Sassafras is a single lane-way with a row of shops, boutiques and cozy cafes on either side.  We were fortunate enough to hear the work of Stephen McCulloch, a member of Team Delta from the most recent season of The Voice Australia, while browsing a cute knick-knack and home goods store, Smits & Bits.


We continued our journey through the winding roads of the Dandenong Ranges to the SkyHigh overlook (no, Dad, not where they train superheroes).  From atop Mount Dandenong one gets a panoramic view of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne CBD, and Mount Macedon.  Other attractions at SkyHigh include:  a secret garden, an English Garden, and trail walks through the ranges.

Unfortunately, we have a dreary-spell for the next few days, but you know what they say:  [September] showers bring [October] flowers.  The weather is getting progressively nicer, which means I will be increasing my explorations and discovering a lot more of Victoria’s beauty in the months to come.