Monday, July 4, 2016

Adventure Down Under: Melbourne

What do you do when you have a very limited time in a place?

I had not planned on going to Melbourne, but since I had meetings to conduct I snuck in a trip and tried to see what I could. I really wanted to see the colorful bath houses, but I didn't have the time so I had to content myself with seeing what was inside the city. I was told though that I had to try the local cafes because that was what people in Melbourne did -- mega drink coffee!



Melbourne is pretty much laid back compared to Sydney. It's a university town so you'd bump into students all over the city. I know! Coz two of my favorite nephews are studying in Melbourne so I tried to spend as much time as I could with them.

The first night was a bummer though. I was so tired from morning meetings and traveling from Sydney to Melbourne, so we just contented ourselves by eating dinner at a nearby restaurant with some Melbourne based friends. Promptly slept by ten to be energized for my meetings the next day. The next day brought me across the city for my meetings, but was glad to sneak in time to try out "Pillar of Salt" which was on my friend's must-try list.

We met my nephews at Melbourne Central. They said this was where people usually go since it houses the transpo terminal too. We then went to a Operator25, a popular local cafe. The cafe's place used to be where the local telco was housed, thus the name. We just had a round of coffee and off I went to another meeting (by foot!).

Aside from cafes and yummy food, Melbourne is also know for it's art scene. I guess the laid back culture cultivates people to be more artistic. We then went to Graffiti Street to check out the artwork. The artworks expressed varied issues, feelings and styles. What was amazing though was finding a part of home in one of the paintings.



We had to rush through the area though since it was raining, but we managed to go back the next day when it was sunny and was surprised that most of the graffiti from the day before had changed already and we even saw one of the painters on top of a garbage bin busy painting. Maybe cities in other countries can do the same and allow artists to just do their thing in an alley. More about Graffiti Street here.

I have a new bucket list -- visit all the tallest buildings in the world! We headed to Eureka Skydeck 88 to see Melbourne in all its glory. I didn't dare try the open area on the deck because it was a very cold night. I just sat at a corner and appreciated how pretty Melbourne was 88 floors from the ground. Read more about Eureka Skydeck 88 here.



After working up an appetite from walking around all day we headed to Yeonga, a Korean restaurant recommended by my friend (actually my university blockmate Alex). I left the ordering to him and by end of the evening all the boys (hubby, son, 2 nephews and Alex) were so full. Read more about Yeonga here.



Also managed to squeeze in time to visit the Australian Center for Moving Image. The entrance was free and what I liked best was the exhibit for old gaming consoles. I had shared the photo of a first gen Nintendo and it generated so much likes on my FB! They also had an exhibit on the development of animation which was interesting for the bagets. It was also fun to discover some movies we watched were apparently Australian made.



I had a very good experience in Melbourne despite the very short time I was there. It was cold and rainy though, but it's one place I wouldn't mind visiting again. I'd like to explore the other areas my friends mentioned and try out other cafes. It was also fun to experience the free tram in the CBD (I'm so proud I figured it out!). And well, thank God for Uber! Haha.