I will never forget the feeling I had over a decade ago when I first walked the streets of Paris as a teenager. The bustling roads, full of cars and pedestrians of varying races; the architecture, each building a giant standing piece of art. The Seine running through the city (I am drawn to water), and the parks, how trees, plants, and the grass contrasted with the concrete jungle that gave us shelter and food. I was drawn to this city, it was mesmerizing, a new experience yet I felt at home here. I could see myself living my daily life within the streets of Paris. Well, my first night exploring Melbourne on my own, that familiar feeling came back, I felt at home, like I belonged here. I love to travel and have fallen in love with three cities (Toronto, Paris and Melbourne), in three different countries, on three different continents. Heaven help me when its time to settle down and I have to choose a place to live. I have become so accustomed to the nomadic life, that I view the world as my home, not just one place, but thats another blog for another day.
Back to Melbourne! We were in the city because we were playing against the Melbourne Boomers later that afternoon. My morning began bright an early with a visit to Neighbors Cafe with a couple of my teammates. We would later return with the entire team for brunch, but we were hungry and couldn’t wait that long. If you get the chance to visit Australia you will quickly pick up on their café vibes. There are so many different cafes, each with its own unique set up. In this particular café, you could sit in, not only with friends but with your pups as well to eat great food and enjoy the cool décor. To my knowledge, Melbourne doesn’t have a particular café that has a monopoly, like is this case of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts in the USA, and Tim Hortons in Canada. The variety is somethin I especially enjoyed here so if you enjoy breakfast/brunch foods I would highly recommend checking out Neighbors Café.
*Note: For all photo galleries in this blog, click on the far right side of the picture to see the next one.
A few hours later we played the Boomers, and suffered a heart breaking loss by two points. They are a talented team, and we competed the entire game. It was one of the first games in a while where we were starting to click, and we played well compared to the game before. So, it was disappointing to lose such a close one.
After the game my new friends Mua and Rachel (who I met through my teammates/roomates/freinds Colleen and Claire) were kind enough to give me a ride to my hotel in the city where I would be staying the night. The following day was an off day, so a few of my teammates and I opted to spend the day in Melbourne. While they were visiting with family and friends, I set out to explore the city.
I stayed at the WRAP hotel on Southbank. It was clean, nice, easy to locate and situated close enough to all of the places I wanted to check out over the next 24 hours.
Since the sun was still shining, I decided to check out Flinders lane because the side streets (ACDC Lane, Hosier Lane, Cocker Alley and Rutledge Lane just to name a few) are known for the constantly changing art. I was told that the art work you see displayed on the walls of buildings and alley ways don’t last forever because new artists are always covering the old artwork with new creations. The artist in me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see all of this creativity and Flinders lane did not disappoint! I saw everything from Marvel Characters, to NBA players; positive sayings to graffiti and everything in-between. It was definitely a big tourist attraction as a lot of people were walking the lanes, taking pictures.
While my eyes were enjoying the amazing artwork, my stomach was growling in protest of the fact that I had played a basketball game and had not yet refuelled. While I had been planning my day trip to Melbourne, my massage therapist had given me a list of places I should check out, one of them being Chin Chin. Chin Chin is a Thai restaurant on Flinders street. Not only is it super popular with a 4.5 stars rating, it is also very affordable! When I arrived there was a line out the door of people waiting to be seated. I overheard the hostess tell a party of four that they would be waiting at least an hour before they were seated. Yikes! Thankfully, when she saw that I was a party of one, I was promptly seated at the bar. The bartenders were super friendly. They answered all of my questions (I am always asking questions) and gave me suggestions on what to order from the menu. I even learned that one of the bartenders was an American, who had been living in Australia for almost a year now. I eventually ordered the stir fry prawn, which came out in less than 15 minutes! Not only were they quick but the food was delicious. I can understand why they have such a high rating and I will definitely be back!
To end my night, I enjoyed more street art before heading to Eureka Skydeck. Eureka is one of the highest residential building in the world standing at 300 meters tall. The Skydeck is located on the 88th floor, making it the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. While riding the elevator (which takes you from the ground level to the top in under 40 seconds, I might add), I learned that the building sways in the wind as much as 30 cm in each direction! Pretty scary stuff if you ask me. The elevator ascended so quickly I caught my ears popping during the ride.
If you know me, or have been reading my blogs, you’re aware that, even though I am abnormally tall (but proud!) for a woman, I have quite the aversion to heights. So when I did eventually get close enough to the windows to look out, even though I knew it was safe I refused to lean against the windows. Instead, I opted to hold on to the side of the walls. Despite my fear, the view was undeniable! From the Skydeck you have a 360 degree view of the entire city of Melbourne. There is even an option to go and sit out on a glass ledge so you can see straight down, but naturally I was too chicken for that. I did however buy the Sun & Stars ticket which allowed me two entries so I could see the view at night and during the day.
My first evening in Melbourne did not disappoint, and I was just getting started. I still had a full day of exploring the next day and I was determined to hit everything on my list. Part 2 starts with a visit to Art Vo, which you can read all about in Melbourne Part 2!
Thanks for stopping by, and God bless.
Kindly edited by Kesia Alexander