The most liveable city in the world

I rarely come to places with no opinion, probably a side effect of age and exposure to people, in the case of Melbourne however this is exactly how I felt 60 hours ago.

I knew little about it apart from the fact that the Australia GP has been contested here for quite some time, it also was in Adelaide for a time, the Australian tennis open is contested here and the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) is arguably the home of Australia Cricket.

It is for this reason that I choose to spend a couple of days here before I start cycling the Australian South coast.

Saturday, May 16

First I took the tram and went around the inner circle. All the trams in the CBD are free so the movement is really easy, no worry if you have to nip back to the hostel and then continue from where you left.

The Circular tram, free, I went around the whole circle just to see what to go back and explore. The family with baby on the left are Italians, I did not make contact.

Then I went to the Queen Victoria Market, a covered market where you can find, well, pretty much everything.

The entrance to the Queen Vic Market, a busy place on a Saturday morning.
The freshest and most varied fruit and veg you’ve ever seen, as far as the eye can see.
The deli had all the salami I know about, Italy, France, Spain, the lot. You could not find this variety anywhere in Europe, perhaps in the USA.
Love the trays of oysters at $13, beat those with a stick.
The guy with the raised hand was shouting the offers for the meat counter, there was another one shouting louder further down. The meat looked fantastic, I would have not been able to chose which was best.
Buy wine and get it bottled on the spot. Looking forward to get more acquainted with Australian wines, perhaps my northern sommeliers
Outside the Market the CBD keeps growing. Apparently Melbourne has the higher population growth rate in Australia at the moment.

Adam told me that if I was coming to Melbourne I had to catch up with a very good friend of him called Andrew McLeod and I duly did, we arranged to meet at his place and that gave me the opportunity to walk to south Melbourne and see a bit of town I would otherwise have missed.

The bit of South Melbourne where Andrew lives is particularly nice, it retains most of the original features that were presents when it was first settled and even Andrew’s house has a lot of period features and huddles of character.

What I was not prepared for however was what was going to come next. I coped ok with the visit to a gallery run by one of Andrew’s friends but after that another of Andrew’s friends, Paul, joined us with his son and I was informed that the four of us were going to go to Albert Park where I would be taught how to play Aussie Rule Football.

Fortunately I left Albert Park without major concussions and only a couple of soil marks on the trousers. I knew I’d be paying for that today as I felt I was using muscles that had not been dusted in years.

Thompson Street in South Melbourne, the flavour of a bygone era.
More lovely south Melbourne Architecture with a hint of patriotism.

After I left Andrew I wondered back towards the CBD and as I was getting closer to the hostel I noticed that the headache I had been nursing since I came off the plane was coming back. That made me decide to slow the exploration right down, to take a couple of paracetamols and to entertain a more relaxed activity. What better than sink my aching body in a comfortable cinema seat and watch a movie. so I did.

After the end of it, by the way “it” was in fact the new Avengers movie, there was nothing else left than wander back and go to bed.

Walking back to the hostel after the movie and looking at the city lights.
The south side of the river had an amazing dancing flames display, lucky I caught it.
Some of the fire columns were rather impressive.
Not tired enough I went for a little wonder along Flinders Street and saw this. I did discover today that there were many more scattered all over the place.

Sunday, May 17

While the first night I had the three people room all for myself, the second night I had a full complement of roommates. This did not prove to be a problem though as they were quite quiet and I only woke up once and it was more to do wiht needing more paracetamol for the headache than the noise in the room.

The weather was fantastic so I decided to get going and decide where I was going to visit as I was going.

I got off the Tram at Federation Square and from there I started a tour that took me along the river all the way to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) and then back to the CBD after having explored a bit more of “arty Melbourne”.

The Rod Laver Arena, the home of the Australian Tennis Open with its characteristic blue surfaces.
And that’s the MCG, home of Australian Cricket, and of the Sport National Museum
Some of these faces might not be too well liked back home.
The Shane Warne hologram experience viewed with the flash turns into the Shane Warne ghost experience.
Much better without the flash, If you like Warney that is.
The daddy of them all.
And a special place is kept for the Ashes and their history. Including replicas of the urn.
And indeed of the notice posted on the papers back in 1882.
I’ve never seen one of these in my garden.
Street art in Hosier Lane, there were more people taking pictures here than anywhere else in Melbourne, it must be on Lonely Planet.
I like the juxtaposition of the graffiti the ottoman dome and the modern buildings of Federation Square across the road
It truly goes on to the very top of the lave with the most amazing graffiti.
Easy life on a Sunday morning in Christmas Square, I considered having an aperitif but then I went for a Cold+Flu Busting Juice instead.
Some more impressive buildings at the top of Christmas Square.

Round about 15:00 in the afternoon I went back to the hostel as the san was coming up in Modena and, not being sure how many opportunities I’ll have to video conference between Melbourne and Sydney, I thought it was good to touch base with my mother.

After that it was out again and down to the docklands before walking up the river and ending up at the Eureka Sky deck, the highest observation deck in the southern hemisphere from where got some spectacular view of the whole Melbourne region.

The Polly Woodside. I don’t think I’ll get one of these, I’d need a crew of 50 people only yo reverse it out of the dock.
Dockland marina and condo life, no bad location to live if you park the yacht below.
Fancy meeting Optimus Prime and Bumblebee down under.
Heading up there, 300 metres and 88 floors to be precise.
A view to the south
Focusing on Albert Park where the GP is held.
Focusing even more on south Melbourne, that’s where Andrew lives.
To the east the MCG and the RLA, where I was in the morning.
Aussie Rule Football playing today at the MCG
State Theatre and Art Centre building. Stunning and very very impressive.

Again I have been very lucky with the weather and it should continue like that for at least another day or two so I’ll probably get on my way relatively trouble free tomorrow. After that I’m sure at some point I will get the bill for all this good fortune.

P.S. I have now made an opinion on Melbourne.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I reckon I could live there… Must be something to do with all those boat sheds and crews on the river that appeals to the rowing tradition.
    Hope the headache is lifting.

  2. Clair says:

    Melbourne sounds great. What’s not to like in your description!?

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