Tuesday, April 7, 2015
In the morning, Terry and I hopped on the free trolly that circles Melbourne Australia's central business district. This rectangular grid of real estate stretched 10 blocks South West to Port Phillip Bay and four blocks North and South. It is offset from the rest of Melbourne grid of streets at a forty five degree angle. The trolly circled the business district which made it convenient to explore the city with ease. A bridge crossed the Yarra River to the South and we walked through the botanical gardens and parks. Terry had a memory of being pushed into a lake in the botanical gardens and we tried to find the site of the crime. Finding the exact spot was difficult considering it had happened so long ago when Terry was a high school senior.
As we walked back at the end of the day, we entered Federation Square. Across from the square is the Historic Melbourne Station which is always full of hectic travelers. By the time the sketch was done, he was gone. I spotted a young woman sitting on the ledge of her hotel room window three stories up sketching the station. That must have been a great vantage point for taking in the architecture. Terry had to get dressed for her reunion so she rushed back to the Windsor Hotel and I stayed behind to sketch. A Bollywood film was being shown on a big screen in the square. People sat all around Federation Square watching the film. Two star crossed lovers were working together as wedding planners. They worked together to plan a huge opulent wedding and in the mad rush of preparations they began to realize that they should always be together. Bright yellow and crimson gowns sparkled and flowers bloomed on every table. In the end the boy took the girls hand and they danced in a glistening choreographed dance scene. Soon everyone was dancing with them in unison. Destiny had been fulfilled.
In the square, I sketched the only aboriginal man I had seen on our trip. He sat on a stone retaining wall and once in a while he would talk to passer's by. I wondered what Dream Time tales he might be telling people. Workers were busy setting up barricades in the square. I asked one worker what they were setting up for. The next day the Square would be home for Diwali, the Indian Festival of Light. This Hindu festival is celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness. Terry and I returned the next day. Food trucks offered an endless variety of sweet savory Indian dishes. The scents were intoxicating. The crowd was so dense that we had to hold hands to keep from being separated. A short walk down the Yarra River there was an Oktoberfest Festival. Women dressed in Tyrolean dresses and men wore Liederhosen. All the German beer vendors were at the top of a large grass hill. One couple in costume rolled down the hill together. These two festivals intermingled in the middle since they were both so large. Busty Tyrolean dresses pressed their way through the crowd of sparkling Indian Saris and Anarkalis. As the sun set large canisters burst over the crowd sending colorful confetti everywhere. A gust of wind lifted the confetti and sent much of it towards the train station. I've never experienced a festival so large and so uplifting. Melbourne offers endless possibilities for sketching events. Federation Square is party central.