Tuesday began rather cold and rainy, so we headed to the Immigration Museum. The museum, housed in the beautiful former Customs House, is very well done and quite interesting. One part featured a ship that you can walk through and view various ways people traveled to Australia: The bunks of poor family in the 1840s, the elegant dining room of a steamer in the 1900s, and bunks of a post-war ocean liner during the 1950s. I think I’ll take the steamer!
It was amazing to read the personal stories of families coming to Australia and also fascinating to read about the country’s struggles with identity as an immigrant nation. “White Australia” immigration polices were only ended in the 1970s and immigration is still a very big topic in Australia today. The new prime minister is interested in cutting down the current immigration levels and there is a lot of debate going on about their policies.
After the museum the skies had cleared a bit, so we did a walking tour of East Melbourne, which features some of the city’s oldest and most elegant houses. “Sticky-beaking” is the Australian term for sort of nosing around in other people’s windows and checking out their homes. There was certainly a lot to sticky-beak at in East Melbourne! This former home is now being used as a private hospital:
There is a mix of architecture, with many homes featuring Victorian details.
As we walked back through the park, we saw this little guy, who I believe is a bandicoot (okay, maybe he’s a possum, but if so he’s the cutest possum ever).
The day came to a perfect end at Zest 89, a café near our apartment. They seated us right near the display case for the desserts, so of course I ended up with this chocolate mousse: