Overfull trains and trams, people kicking you in the shins with prams and tripods, and all of Melbourne city lit up. This is definitely – sorry Father Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year. Too bad it only lasts for one night. Especially considered the amount of citizens and travellers that crowd up the city, dressed in garlands of LED lights.
When we finally made our way through the crowd to enter the Victorian State Library, it turned out that was not the queue yet. This led to just the surroundings, which also displayed a magnificent lightshow. The actual line to enter the building crooked around the corner and stretched until the next block. It was a race against the clock, as the line was forming faster than we could reach the end of it. We finally made it and had to wait “only” an hour and a half. I really wanted to go in though; as for the last two years I skipped the inside of the library and heard I missed out.
Maybe I had expected too much, but I have to say I found it a little disappointing. However, the lightshow was still worthwhile seeing. “Sea dragon’s lair”: a 7-minute lasting projection on the inner walls of the La Trobe reading room. The experience took you under the water surface of Port Phillip Bay. Massive crabs, clams, seals and other sea creatures seemed to be swimming along the walls.
Back outside we tried to take a shortcut to the food stands behind the library. Only to run into ‘Purple Rain’, which almost looked unreal. Purple light effects shone on sprinklers, coming down in rain-like showers. A group of people with see through umbrellas walked underneath the ‘rain’. It was hard to get any closer through the dense crowd, and maybe because of that it looked even more magical.
This year I did not see the Melbourne museum or the Melbourne town hall. I saw some still light effects on the buildings near Federation Square. The precisely fitting outlines of the walls and windows impressed me.
We had a look inside Melbourne Central at the shot tower, but all I could see here was purple light. I couldn’t quite understand what people were taking pictures of.
The last sights we viewed before being fed up with the crowd, were ‘Love this way’ and ‘Herbum Follus’ – or, as I’d like to call it, enormous grass and bunnies – in the Alexandra Gardens. We took a walk through a futuristic garden with up to 7meter high grass tussocks, and rabbits similarly sized. Across from the bunnies were all varieties of love hearts. You could step behind the love hearts and take photos. Lots of couples queued up, waiting to get a shot with their loved one.
Overall, it was a great night. Shame I won’t be here for White night 2018.