We landed in Melbourne after travelling for far too long. I decided not to blog about the journey & the jet lag as I have no desire to relive it. Two longer than long flights & a 17 hour delay in the dull Doha airport; use your imagination (I won’t mind if you don’t bother).
Melbourne was hands down my favourite place of those we visited. Each aspect of the trip had its own flavour; this place was so ‘me’. Here are some observations I noted after our first day exploring.
- There are gourmet chocolate shops everywhere. Every cluster of shops offers a different variety of hand crafted deliciously flavoured cocoa-ey goodness.
- I have never seen this many Asian people, outside of Asia.
- They don’t seem to have an accent that is unique to Melbourne, in fact I barely noticed the Australian accent. (I’m a big eavesdropper on public transport.)
- I can’t seem to gauge what class people are. I always find this interesting to try when I’m in a new place, not because it matters to me what class people are, but how this plays out is an insight into the society.
- There are iPhones aplenty! I began to wonder if they came in the luxury crackers, Christmas 2010.
- Buskers are awesome. Especially the saxophone guy in Federation Square.
- Dusk can make cold cement high-rises beautiful.
- A river flowing through can soften a city.
- Men here are really fashionable.
- I love public transport! Free tram that runs around the city – you rock!
Melbourne to me is like Observatory meets Kalk Bay meets CT City Bowl, with a dollop of its own charm on the top. Full of interesting people, many dressed unusually, lots of students & hippie types, lots of cafes & alleyways. Vintage & second-hand shops abound & you can buy food from as many nations as you can think of. (In the style of many nations, as opposed to having been brought from those far away places – all that travel may kill the flavour.)
Its still a city though, which I love; traffic, noise, corporate types marching towards big office blocks with highly polished floors. The ornate old buildings & the beautiful river than runs through it dilute the sharpness of the business district for me & my imagination is full of stories of who used to live here, indeed those who do. Restaurants along the water boast of their chilled wine & hearty meals as patrons stream off the busses & onto their decks.The sun is setting & people are picnicking on the grass as we start our journey back to the YWAM base, our Melbourne home. A first day well spent!
We had only a few days in this great city, (in which I discovered the shops!) and a few on our way home to South Africa, but it was all too short. If you ever have the chance to visit, take it. Melbourne, I’ll be back.
*All pictures my own. Except that gorgeous one at the top.