Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 5 - Royal Botanic Garden

After the zoo, we got back on the tram and rode through Melbourne, across the river, and to the Royal Botanic Garden which is in the southern part of the city. On the way to the garden we walked by a large remembrance shrine to WWI, which was a large building on a hill with nice views back across the river to the city. At the time of WWI, Australia's population was less than 5 million people; just over 400,000 men enlisted, and over 200,000 were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. The impact was apparently really large in Melbourne, where almost every inhabitant knew personally someone who was killed or wounded. This shrine was built to provide the relatives and friends with a place to remember and mourn, since most of the bodies of the dead were obviously never returned to Australia.

We continued on to the garden, which is huge and really lovely. It's more like a large, semi-forested park than our typical botanical gardens; we saw very few plantings of flowers, although it is winter, which might account for this. Mostly it was alternating lawns and forested areas, with lots of walkways. It's free entry, which was really nice, and is obviously used extensively by the local residents. I made another Facebook album for this one, but here are a few of the photos we took. It was about 4:30 when we got there and you can tell it's winter by the low angle of the sun. It's been setting around 7pm.

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