After talking about taking a visit to Melbourne (Australia) for a number of years, I’ve finally made it. Although I guess this isn’t my first visit. A couple of years ago we were on a cruise which stopped in this beautiful city for a few hours. But a few hours does not give much time to appreciate what a city might have to offer.
We only allowed ourselves six days to visit and explore. What have we done? I’m not sure but the days are disappearing far too quickly. We are in an apartment in Southbank, an easy walking distance from the CBD. The weather isn’t so great. We got caught in the rain more than once, but hey, we’re on holiday so who cared. But then the sun came out for us to enjoy some beautiful, spring days.
The first impression during my visit to Melbourne was the number of high rise buildings going up. When one looked around the skyline, it seemed filled with enormous cranes. It was interesting to see some of these new structures coming from ‘within the bowels’ of historic buildings. The facades of these older buildings being kept intact. Lovely to see such character retained.
Despite the signs about free trams, the ‘circle city’ wasn’t running our first day. Then our planned market visit was disrupted by a tram drivers strike. Only for four hours, but enough for us to change plans for the day. So the shoe leather took a beating. The trams are a great way to get around. Even jumping on for one or two stops allows one to avoid the often crowded streets. There is plenty of warning on board if the tram is leaving the free area.
Our first visit to Melbourne had been on a Wednesday. We’d figured out how to get out to the Queen Victoria Markets, only to discover the markets are closed on a Wednesday. I had heard so much about these markets and was determined to enjoy checking them out this time. I’d even brought an extra bag inside our suitcase for all the goodies I planned to buy there. I had quite a long list. But what a huge disappointment. We wandered up and down the aisles of ‘shops’ for two or three hours. And bought not one item. Everything I looked at was so much more expensive than I could buy at home. I had mistakenly associated the word ‘market’ with bargain. Oh well, I’ve now been there and don’t need to return.
What an interesting and beautiful city Melbourne is. We indulged in some amazing Italian cuisine, walked until our feet ached and generally had an amazing time. It’s a city I’ll look forward to visiting again. But stay tuned for my most impressive impression of our visit.