Wednesday, July 1, 2009

walking in melbourne vs singapore

these days, in the morning, i have been walking from waverley park to jells park and back by jells road. the walk takes me about two hours and provides me a good workout in this cold and chilly winter.

jells park is named after one of the earliest settlers joseph jell who grazed cattle in the mid to late 1800s. the park has an interesting history and was utilised as a piggery in the late 1930s to the 1960s and even a storage area for the american army during the second world war.

the area was originally the homelands of the woiworrung (wurundjeri) and boonerwrung aboriginal tribes who lived on the land for over 30,000 years prior to european settlement.

jells park was officially opened in april 1976 and is now one of the most popular parks in melbourne catering for over 1,000,000 visitors each year.

how different is walking in australian park from walking in s'pore parks? for one thing, the australian park can be real huge. jells park is a good example of a huge park. there are a few lakes and there is a restaurant within the park. its area may be greater than our botanic gardens. albert park is even bigger, big enough to accommodate the f1 racing track. of course, there are also small neighbourhood parks and playgrounds in australia.

here in australia, shared paths are more common. it means that cyclists and walkers or joggers share the same path. along certain stretches, there are also markers or broken lines to advise users which side to be on. normally, cyclists will sound the bell to warn you (walkers) of their approach.

although the vegetation is naturally different because of the difference in climate, there are certain things that are common, like the wild mushrooms and the ferns. there are also wetlands within the parks, so you get the see some of the native fauna. i came across these moorhens in jells park. they seem quite used to people around them.

australian parks attract quite a lot of dog lovers who like to take their dogs for walks around the parks. the dogs that i came across were usually leashed although some owners do let their pets free but within voice call distance. (my friend's dog returns to him each time he gives a sharp whistle.)

it would seem to me that more people use the public parks in singapore than in melbourne, australia. then again, the fewer number of visitors maybe because of the cold and chilly season. the situation may be different in the warmer months of the year.

there are also bbq pits at some of the parks but the difference is that they use gas or electricity and the users need not pay for the use; its use is based on a first come, first served basis.

i did not see any group exercing together, like what we see at our parks: organised groups doing tai chi, qigong or some other forms of martial art.

No comments: