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The day my friend leaves, I need solace. What better way to get it than riding a ferry for two hours in the breeze and sun. We cruise through the industrial heartland of Melbourne, under a number of the sixty-eight bridges that span the Yarra. Cranes, containers, sheds, cement trucks, and towers line the river, and city buildings rectangle into the sky. We pass the development of Docklands: low townhouses that would set you back a cool $3 million, and cheaper apartments in tower blocks. The occasional black swan rides our wake. After an hour we reach a forest of masts in a marina, heralding Williamstown, with its inviting colonial history and glimpses of interesting architecture. Not for today. I settle in a seat just behind the captain for the return journey: his window is open; the breeze becomes brisk; and the sun challenges tired eyes.

I disembark in late afternoon Melbourne bustle, and head back to my 20th storey apartment which has a panoramic view over Victoria markets and out to a twist in the river. I watch the city lights take over from sunset-rimmed clouds, pleased with my day and its echoes of the working waterway of Gdańsk.

PS My tribute to the van Gogh exhibition seems to have disappeared from the Reader. Here’s the link if you want to join the master of brush strokes in Melbourne.