Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Melbourne: Part I

R and I met about 11 years ago. We were both planning to live and work abroad, in London. After an initial meeting at a restaurant a few months before starting the trip, we met for a second time in the departure lounge at the Toronto Pearson Airport to catch our flight to London Heathrow.

We were pretty much inseparable from that point and found a flat together, along with 4 other guys (a mix of Aussies, Kiwis and Italians). I was a bit hesitant to live with 5 guys, but after hearing daily stories about my colleague's four female flatmates, I was quite content to be with a group of guys (despite the Playboy poster that hung in the kitchen).

When we started to plan our trip to Australia, we sent a message to the Aussie flatmates (who are still travelling the world) for advice. This is the first time we got a sense of the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne. Here's the advice we got from our flatmate from Sydney:
not too sure about melbourne but bring your turtle neck sweater so you can fit in with the other Melbournites when you're sipping a latte writing poetry on your computer wearing a beret.
Alrighty then!


We flew from Sydney (read about our time in Sydney here: part 1part 2 and part 3) to the last destination, Melbourne.  We were lucky to have some friends and family in Melbourne.

On our first full day, a friend who has moved from Toronto to Melbourne took us on a walking tour around central Melbourne.  We met up at Flinder's Station and went from there.  Here's just some of what we saw:

This is Flinder's Station:

Across from Flinder's Station:

Melbourne is known for its great restaurants, coffee culture and the uniqueness of the various areas of the city.  I would love to spend more time getting to know the cafes, restaurants and laneways.  This laneway is called Centre Place.

Melbourne has these fancy (I probably am not allowed to walk through here) arcades that look like something out the Victorian era.  This is the Royal Arcade.

This is the visual orgasm that is the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.  

These amazing-looking desserts can be found in the Block Arcade.

Also in Block Arcade is Haigh's Chocolate

They sell high quality chocolate, which we taste-tested for good measure:

Another thing you'll notice is that there is a lot of graffiti in Melbourne.  Sure, some of it is just tags.  But, a lot of it is really impressive.  There has even been some debate around the protection of the street art.

On a separate visit downtown, we stopped in to the Cupcake Bakery.

I think this is their molten chocolate:

and this is the lemon meringue:

View of downtown:

I'll stop there... But stay tuned because there's more to come!


bellini said...

Looks like a place to visit Pyschgrad. FYI, back in the day I lived with 4 huts as well, a lot less drama:D

Pam said...

Gorgeous pictures!

giz said...

I definitely want one of those vanilla slices.

Beth said...

Love the display of delectable baked goods - and your expression "visual orgasm." ;)

That Girl said...

I've heard your cute meet story before, but it still makes me smile to read it!