April 8: Penguin parade
In the morning, we got on a City Circle to Flinders Station. From the station, we walked down to Royal Botanical Garden in south Melbourne.

The Garden is so vast that skyscrapers are visible small in the distance.
Many kinds of tall trees are planted in order. Many people enjoy walking through the forest.

(Left) Various kinds of dahlia are planted in circle boasting their full bloom. They are rarely seen in Japan today. (Right) A bush of garden salvia in the herb corner releases refreshing fragrance around the garden.
Azalea, camellia, and dandelion are in bloom beautifully.

This is hydrangea. By looking around so many flowers in bloom, they make me wonder what the season is now.
This is the information center of the garden. The garden was so large that we could walk only a bit of it.

An old observatory is turned into an astronomical museum.
The pyramid-like building is the Shrine of Remembrance. The names of the victims since World War 1 including Vietnam War are engraved on the wall.

Latr last night, Mr. Paul Ford rang and invited us to Phillips Island to see the famous penguin parade. We were too dependent on his kindness and were picked up 1 pm at the hotel. We were introduced to his family and drove down to the island 120 km to the south-east of Melbourne. On the way to the island, we stopped for a rest and took pictures at a wonderful beach.
At the foot of a bridge to Phillips Island, we started barbecue for a late lunch.

Most parks are provided with electric barbecue stoves that work on coin insertion. The first park we stopped was of course equipped with the stove, but unfortunately it was out of order. This is why the lunch turned into an early dinner. Paul told me to put a coin first to ignite the stove, and then polish up the cooking steel plate using half-cut lemon fruit.
We got an invitation call about 10 pm last night because we hadn't been in the hotel. After then, Mrs. Ford kindly prepared foods for us.
She prepared so many dishes such as vegetable salad, potato casserole, pickled eggplant, and even pie for dessert. We were deeply moved! As the pickled eggplant was so tasty, I was taught how to prepare it.
Mr. Paul entertained us with his skillfully barbecued meat dish. We have fully enjoyed his cooking. Pre-cooked potato wrapped in aluminum foil was also heated on the stove, it was really tasty.
I scattered excess breadcrumbs. What were picking them were seagulls, not doves like in Japan. It was a little bit fun for me.

Now, we have to clean up the stove quickly, because the time is coming soon for penguin parade opening. Mr. Paul again polished up the stove with lemon, newspaper, and water all of them were carried by car. The result was much more beautiful than before use.
Daylight saving time was over and turned to wintertime in this month. We hurried to the beach on which penguins come back to shore. It is said that penguins go back to their nests by wintertime.

The penguin living in Phillips Island is lovely fairy penguin whose height is about mere 30 centimeters. They are so carefully protected that taking pictures are prohibited. This is why I took a picture of the penguin at the entrance of the penguin Sanctuary. Yes, they are plastic models.
Many sightseeing buses arrived and spewed out vast amount of the visitors. All the visitors sit on the terrace provided on the beach and wait for penguin coming out of the wave.
Soon, penguins appeared on the shore in twos and threes. They toddle along toward their nests in the bush. We could see their clumsy parade very closely at hand distance. So many penguins were really lovely.

After seeing the penguin parade, the Fords kindly drove back the dark long way to the hotel. We really appreciate their kindness extended to us.