I have stopped going to Docklands to see if it has improved. In spite of the Docklands Authority having overall control, developers were allowed to run rampant with an appalling result. It is an excellent example of how to not redevelop a large site with water as the only constraint.
Nevertheless, a couple of weeks ago when I had two days off together, I asked R if he would like to go on the big ferris wheel at Docklands, properly called the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. I knew he wanted to already and I had been very disparaging about it from when it first went up, and then after a few weeks of operation, broke down and has taken years to rebuild.
I know Melbourne's tram routes well enough, but to get to where we wanted to go required some thought. While some may say Docklands is well serviced by trams, they come in from different city streets, so you have to work out which is best.
Look, here it is, the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. The commentary informed us it was one of three in the world, the other two being the London Eye and Singapore Flyer. I am not sure that is correct. I recall some time ago more were under construction.
Maybe it was because it was a weekday, but it was not busy. We bought our tickets and we could see it slowly moving around.
We went though a corridor where our photo were taken and then to a foyer, where there was a slightly interesting display. This is our Exhibition Building.
Yes, we love our coffee in Melbourne.
Tasmania is an island state of Australia. I never knew hwere it used to be connected. If this picture is reliable, it is most interesting.
Is this our carriage arriving? A very old woman with a walking stick with presumably her daughter boarded the pod in front of us. The wheel stopped for her to get on.
Our carriage arrived and as fit young men, the wheel did not stop for us. The person who shepherded us on gave us a little chat about the experience and as he pointed out, for some reason our pod had carpet. Just as well. I have a distaste for rubber matting.
We are in flight. These apartments at Waterfront City/Harbour City will not stand the test of time. It is a disgrace that such cheapness can built. The building is covered in tin!
A playground is being built. God know, everything else has been tried to attract people to the area.
The City Link exit ramp to Footscray Road with Housing Commission highrise in the background.
This is a bit better, a view across Victoria Harbour to Port Melbourne.
I watched another lot of containers arrive by train and they were joined to the ones in the foreground and the whole lot slowly moved away. You gotta find your entertainment where you can.
In the other direction from the port goods trains is the metropolitan and country train rail yard where they enter and exit from So Cross Station.
Parking is very expensive at Docklands. Maybe if you buy something at the shops, you receive a discount. An old tram can be seen, probably the free City Circle tram.
I didn't notice at the time, but there is a sailing boat in the harbour. It took about half an hour to complete a circle. It was very comfortable in the pod.
As we left the pod, we had to pass through the gift shop, of course. This wheel is made of Lego.
I had forgotten about this construction toy where you poked rods into things that held them, but it was around when I was a kid.
During our circuit on the wheel, the commentary included mentions of various attractions Melbourne has to offer. Unfortunately none of these can be seen from the wheel. I think the wheel is really marvellous, but totally in the wrong location. Docks, freeways, train lines, forests of tall building....who wants to see that?
As we almost exited the building, there was our photo and a fabulous backdrop of the wheel had been added. It was a really good photo actually and I then understood why the photographer wanted us to fling our arms in the air. The price, $35, more than the trip on the wheel cost. No thanks. We would have paid $20, maybe $25.
Once outside we decided to walk for a bit. There is an excellent mural depicting many Australian stars of tv, stage and film. This is only about 1/4 of its length.
This is the original part of Docklands. I don't mind this part, but restaurants were either dead quiet or had closed down.
Down with such ostentatious displays of obscene wealth. Bring on the revolution comrade.