On a Winter’s Day a Traveller in Melbourne

Sometimes when I visit Melbourne in winter, I see her as if for the first time. Perhaps it’s the light. Or maybe it’s the new energy that charges the centre with brio. Gone are the days of visiting Melbourne with an agenda, striding her university precinct to study Mandarin, travelling with trepidation to the top of Collins street to visit overpaid dentists, or trawling her centre to shop in her famous emporia.

A fleeting glimpse along Princes Bridge, Melbourne. Capturing a 1940s feel midst all that colour and modernity.

These days, I attempt to visit the city without a particular plan. When trundling along by tram, I am often awed by the highly ornate Victorian facades along the southern end of Elizabeth Street, which only become visible from the height of a tram. Winter evokes Melbourne’s past, highlighting the beauty of granite, sandstone, marble and blue stone. While surrounded by modern colour and plenty of action, my lens fleetingly lands on her historic elements.

Under Princes Bridge, Melbourne.

From Federation Square, where a group of visiting Chinese have set up a colourful display of large pandas to promote tourism to Chengdu, I wander to a quiet spot and find a lone seagull bathing in mystic sunlight, with gothic St Paul’s in the background.

Seagull in mystic light.

The familiar Flinder’s Street station, an ochre- coloured Victorian fantasy, takes on a new look as its northern facade is under restoration. Christo comes to town.

The fanciful Flinders street station turns part Christo.
Curves, bridges and station. On a winter’s day a traveller.

Included in this week’s WP Daily Post theme, showcasing photos of transition and change.

34 thoughts on “On a Winter’s Day a Traveller in Melbourne”

  1. I really loved your images of my home town. As the night temp here is 20o C and day 26 o C I miss the freezing winds gusting through the streets of Melbourne., woolly scarves, footy beanies, duffle jackets and Ugg boots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “On a winter’s day, a traveller … ” sounds like the first line of a wonderful, curl-up and read book. I love Melbourne and its feeling of history and vitality. Your last photo made me think of Jeffrey Smart’s paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeffrey Smart – high praise Jan. Yes the title does come from that novel by Calvino, ‘If on a winter’s night, a traveller…’ I’m not sure why this adaptation of Calvino’s title popped into my head.


  3. When this kid arrived in Australia the disembarkation was in a Melbourne which looked exactly as you have shown it in the second photo: thanks for the memory! And just somehow, with your first brilliant almost monochromatic ‘take’, you have encapsulated the atmosphere of the most cultured city in Australia now oft on the lists of where to live the most exciting life in the world. *smile* For me it always has, and always will be food, food, glorious food! And yes, Sydney is actually my home town ๐Ÿ™‚ ! And when I come to Melbourne the clothes bag doubles in size: crazy weather . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eha, your comment made me shiver, and not from the weather. Maybe it’s the frisson of your recognition of Melbourne as a cultured, exciting place to be ( now). Back then, when you arrived, and when I visited ‘town’ as a child, it was rather cold and boring. Melbourne has come of age. And yes, the food, always the glorious food, is enough reason to visit its lanes.

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  4. Dunno, Francesca . . . . I was there on business throughout the seventies to nineties . . . . Melbourne always had that elegance and style and one had to ‘behave’ and ‘be dressed properly’ and ‘take stock’ as opposed to Sydney’s so-called ‘modernistic’ viewpoints – I may have been fortunate enough to be amongst the first forty people formally introduced into the now world-famous Sydney Opera House . . . I have always respected the almost European ‘upbringing’ I received some 900kms south!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Come down and stay in the centre when you get a break from your busy farming schedule. There’s plenty to see , lots of things for the children, tram it to the beach for a picnic, free galleries. public art, the ferry down to Williamstown, good restaurants, and good bread ( though not as good as yours Jane). It could be a school excursion. I could be your guide.


    1. Thank you. I edited them to look that way, firstly by saturating the colour, then by using the focal black and white. In the first photo, I wanted the tram to look green. as they are a feature of Melbourne, but then the people on the bridge looked like a post war era shot so I went with the black and white. Some of the other photos are taken with an art filter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve translated wintry Melbourne beautifully via your gentle travelogue. The few times I’ve visited in that season I’ve not felt cold except when I was freezing! Winter seems to be expected, embraced… unlike further north where we tend to deny, ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful photos. I’ll probably never see Melbourne in person, so this is as close as it gets. Nice to know that dentists in Melbourne are over-paid too! Grin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks HTG.
      Dentists make a fortune, live in the best suburbs, drive flash cars, own yachts- and have the second highest suicide rate. They charge like a wounded bull.


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