We love our Lego. I grew up with it as a kid and Alex has been given some amazing sets for birthdays and Christmas. Even B built a couple of sets recently. We’ve been to Legoland in Malaysia and Japan, to Lego House in Denmark, stayed in a Lego Hotel. Watched most of the Lego Masters series on television.
But our activities are nothing compared with serious aficionados.
While searching for activities to do in Melbourne, the other two found Brickvention, a Lego event at the Royal Exhibition Building. Not only is it Lego, it’s a chance to go inside one of Melbourne’s most memorable buildings.
First we head by tram to another famous Melbourne landmark: The Queen Victoria Markets. While I queue for a bag of the famous American Doughnuts, the others go to McDonald’s for no apparent reason. There is an African food festival going on at the markets and plenty else.
All we buy are some Tasmanian cherries and a hat for Alex.
With dark clouds threatening rain I send us walking up Victoria Street towards Carlton. We turn off along Lygon Street, famous for its Italian restaurants, but now full of a world of other cuisines. Our destination is back a bit at Nasi Lemak House.
It’s another disappointing Malaysian eating experience in Melbourne. We’ve had better nasi lemak, curry chicken and beef rendang in Sydney and in our own home.
The Exhibition Building sits in the middle of picturesque Carlton Gardens, where I used to ride my bike as a kid. It’s not far from the restaurant and we have time to sit and admire the Star Wars cosplayers raising funds for charity. Did I say Star Wars? Isn’t this Lego?
But nerds with nerd and anyway, Melbourne and Star Wars are always connected for me.
The Lego exhibition, our first, is amazing. Apart from the incredibly intricate Lego scenes, both recreating books and movies and original creations, there are Lego railway layouts and an enormous Great Ball Contraption.
The GBC is a series of different Lego mechanisms designed to transport small balls around a rectangular track of maybe 50 metres or more in length. The range and capabilities of mechanisms on display was mind-blowing, from grabbers, to conveyor belts and trains.
And the train layouts. There were two massive displays from the Melbourne L-scale Model User Groups. One was a Lego version of Australian scenery with Australian rolling stock, reminiscent of those I’d seen at actual model railway exhibitions. The other was more conventional.
Of course there were some Lego Master celebrities. Brickman signing Brickman merchandise, David of David and Gus, the villain Cade. There were rare and old sets for sale. I appreciated seeing some of the versions of the old sets on the floor. They brought back many memories.
The amount of work that people have put into their Lego creations is astounding. Even if you aren’t into Lego, I think it could still be well appreciated.
Our feet are tired by the time we leave the exhibition and return to the city to shop for a school backpack for Alex. Pro-Palestinian protestors are dispersing from around the Parliament House, police stand on the corners. Further down, another crowd is emerging after watching Grease: The Musical.
We ride a packed tram from Bourke Street Mall to just before the casino, then walk back to the hotel. But there is more shopping to done at the DFO until it closes. Tired, we get a disappointing takeaway dinner from the food court. I had hoped to sit out at the nearby food truck garden and watch tennis on the big screen. Today has not been kind to my diet.
Tomorrow we get to watch the tennis live.