I love the smell of this city! Perhaps I should say I love the way that this city smells. Melbourne is known as a city of restaurants and coffee shops. From the first moments in this great city, Alison and I were inundated with sights, aromas, and tastes that thrilled our senses! Coffee shops along the alleyways and restaurants that always seem to be cooking their best fare beckoned to us all day long.
Melbourne is a beautiful mixture of old and modern. The architecture and angles of buildings and museums and shops and art galleries invite one to participate in the city’s charm. Charming? Is it possible to consider a city of three million plus, charming? Indeed, one is tempted to employ the word “quaint!” As one resident said, “Melbournians enjoy their city.” It is, without question, a more leisurely pace in Melbourne than Sydney, or almost any other world class city of its size that I have visited. One particularly impressive spot was the reading room in the State Library. I will try to post a picture on Facebook, soon.
Visiting with friends and family were the highlight of the trip to Melbourne. We stayed with Alison’s long-time friends, Mike and Sarah Raiter. Mike is the principal (Americans would use the term “president”) of the Melbourne School of Theology and Sarah is an artist who thinks deeply about life. Fortunately, for us, Mike was on holiday. In addition to showing us the lay of the land, we enjoyed many long talks about life and ministry, one night going strong after 1 AM. The Raiters’ two adult sons, Joel and Nathan, delighted us with their company much of the three days we were in Victoria. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with this wonderful family!
One day was spent with other (new, for me) friends and (some new, some not so new to me) family. We had lunch (maybe the best lasagna I have ever had!) with Alison’s friend for many years, “Musha,” (Aussies love nicknames!), whose husband, Thomas, welcomed us into their home along with their two delightful children, Sonya and Henry. Betty (Alison’s aunt) and partner Ian, and Cousin Jane had us for dinner where we enjoyed Christmas in July, complete with decorations and mince pie! In all, I think there were three distinct, delicious desserts after a sumptuous meal of corned beef and potatoes and all the fixings.
We are back in Sydney, now, and preparing for a dinner party with 30 friends. I am sitting in McDonald’s, one of the few places that offers free wi-fi. I am not kidding, I have only seen one lap top (besides mine) open in Australia in a week’s time – and, I have been looking! The coffee shops are full, but no computers. Even in Mackers (as they call McDonald’s), no one is surfing the web. I would conclude that Aussies get their Internet fix on their phones – but, there seems to be precious little of that. Could it be that they are simply more interested in connecting with people than they are in surfing the web, at least while out in public? Good form!
Thanks for checking in. I will be back!