Thursday, August 28, 2014

Melbourne Day 5 (Thursday)

I slept in and had a lazy morning, reading, planning and blogging. Had lunch and then took the train to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for a tour of the stadium. I had a 2-for-1 offer in my Melbourne Visitor Guide iPhone app, and was planning to give/sell the other half of it to someone else, but I arrived just barely in time for the next tour, so I asked the teller to give the free admission to the next person who arrived, and tell them to pay it forward to a Canadian. So hopefully some other Canadian in Melbourne will get a nice surprise soon.

The tour was pretty interesting. The stadium is used mainly for cricket and Australian Rules Football, and has a long revered history. It's sort of like if there were one stadium that combined Maple Leaf Gardens and Fenway Park all in one. The stands were recently rebuilt, section by section over four years, so as to keep about 70,000 of the 100,000 seats available at any one time during construction. We got to go down onto the field, into the change rooms (strangely spartan and generic, as they are used by 4 different football clubs plus cricket teams, so nothing can be built in that is specific to any one team), and through the members stand and several other areas.

I thought these were irrigation machines, but they're actually lights,
moved around to cheer up the areas of grass that are mostly in the shade.

Player reserve benches on the sidelines

After the stadium tour I looked through the National Sports Museum and Halls of Fame that are inside, which focused mostly on cricket, Aussie rules and the Olympics. The Olympic display covered both the Melbourne 1956 Olympics and Australian participation at all modern Olympic events, but was tremendously summer-centric, with only tiny little footnotes about the existence of the Winter Games every 4 years.

Artsy shot of the ANZ tower as seen from inside the Collins Centre, fading into the fog

I took a tram back downtown in time to see a movie: Predestination, which I enjoyed a lot. Had dinner at a restaurant near my hotel, and then headed back for the night.

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