Thursday, July 3, 2014

Melbourne Day 7 - 3 July 2014

The day's itinerary revolves around  Melbourne's arts precinct. I started the day at Flinders Street and Federation Square. After a hearty breakfast of churros and latte, I strolled along St Kilda's road across the Yarra River, making my way to the Arts Centre and The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

At NGV, I visited the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition. Even though the entrance fee costs $26, it's worth every penny as it showcases excellent Italian artworks from Spain's Royal Court, Museo del Prado. There are more than 70 paintings and 30 drawings from the early 16th to 18th century, spanning some 300 years of Italian art. Some artists being represented included Raphael, Correggio, Titian and more. I was just taken away by the quality and magnificence of these artworks and amazed by how they've been beautifully preserved after all these years. Never before have I seen such a wonderful collection of Italian art anywhere!  I'm just so glad this exhibition has coincided with my trip and that I've made the effort to pop by for a look! Unfortunately, photography is prohibited, thus I'm unable to share what I see here. 

Besides this exhibition, I also visited various galleries in NGV which showcased Asian and European art. No wonder the NGV has been highly endorsed by all art lovers. Their collection of both native, Asian and European is also one of the best I've been! What created a lasting impression was the European art gallery which had paintings of all genres on the walls which was about 10 metres high!

I spent almost 4 hours at NGV alone! After leaving NGV, I made my way to the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA). Though the gallery is not as big as NGV, the artworks there are pretty impressive and very well curated. I love how photographs from all walks of life adorn the four walls of the first gallery I entered. Interesting way of representing artworks from different artists. 

The arts precinct is well-located along St Kilda Road. Just across the road is King Albert Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, two very popular and beautiful gardens. I didn't have time to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens as I was running short of time but I made a point to visit the Shrine of Remembrance which is also just across the road.  This attraction is a monument to honour Anzacs who had sacrificed their lives during World War II. It's quite similar to our Kranji War Memorial but more grandeur and significant in structure.

After leaving the arts precinct, I met up with Hwee at Harbourtown in Docklands for more shopping. We didn't find what we wanted there as most shops were closing, so we decided to dine & shop in Bourke Street instead.  Dinner was at a small cafe called Shan Dong Mama which served authentic Shan Dong cuisine. The fish dumplings are just so yummy!

I think the beautiful part of this trip is not just about the holiday itself, but opportunity to spend time and catch up with old friends!

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