There can be no doubt about it: Although it's still officially winter, spring is back. For a start, for the last two weeks it's quite sunny when we leave for work in the morning (sunglasses have been unleashed from their holsters), and it's also much less cool - you don't feel like limbs are about to fall off you. And on the other side of the globe the football season has begun (in a way that shows Arsenal will not get too far).
So in order to celebrate the lovely state of weather affairs, we went this afternoon to see the new Australian botanical gardens in Cranbourne.
Cranbourne is a place located 50km south of Melbourne which was named after the train line that ends there. Which is to say that there is nothing spectacular about this place other than being half way on the way to Phillip Island.
Being lazy bums we left home after a light breakfast at 13:00 or so. On the way we were too hungry so we stopped at Cranbourne's Hungry Jacks (the Australian version of Burger King, thus named due to local copyright issues which have since been resolved but the brand is too established to get rid of). I bother mentioning this because this was our first dosage of junk food for a very long while - I'm thinking something like 6 months or so.
By the time we got to the gardens it was 14:30 already, so we didn't want to pay for the new "Australian botanical gardens" section that charges $9 per adult to see a relatively small area that is shaped like Australia's red center with matching shrubbery (we did take a photo of it - check out the updates to my Flickr page). If you ask me, they should charge more: the park's access road was not paved, and our Canyonero got a bath of dust on the way in [note: I'm joking].
So we just did the walks of the free to air botanical gardens, which are quite huge in comparison.
To set expectations right, I have to add that there is nothing spectacular about native Australian shrubbery. You look at it and you realize that what you've been told about Australia being the driest continent of all is one area in which you were probably told the truth. I mean, one thing that is obvious is that when god worked on the world's functional specifications some 6000 years ago, the team that was in charge of coming up with designs for Australian shrubbery obviously had more important things to work on, and the work was allocated to a new graduate angel with a very tight deadline.
But with all that, the walk we've had was pretty enjoyable. The weather was perfect for a walk, with something like 18 degrees; it was very sunny with just slight hints of clouds; it was dead quiet so you could feel the natury stuff around you; and it's been a very long time since the last time we did something like that - back in March, probably.
So yes, it was great! We even saw a weather station (where they measure weather stuff) and an Australian wattle tree - the "green & gold" tree (more like green and yellow, if you ask me) that's the official Australian plant and the reason why Australian athletes wear green and yellow (oops, sorry: green and gold) outfits when they go about to thrash their lowly competition.
The fresh air got to us, though: we came back home tired and sleepy.