To Market, To Market
Melbourne Travel Blog› entry 27 of 34 › view all entries
Sunday, August 30
Lots of cities have markets but Melbourne's has a certain hefty rep. We had to check it out.
First, we took the tram to a camera repair shop to see if the Pepsi-soaked camera could be saved. Michael's is a big ol' camera shop the likes of which I haven't encountered before. Our friend Susan would probably still be there if she'd been with us! In addition to selling and repairing cameras, they offer photography classes and have a camera museum. The museum is small -- one room -- but worth a visit even if you aren't a photo-junkie.
We all found versions of the cameras some male relative had in the 60s and 70s. There were spy cameras and cameras as large as a small suitcase from back in the day. There were lenses almost as long as my leg and things I couldn't even identify.
Sadly, they couldn't even fully assess the damage to the camera easily, so suggested we take it somewhere closer to home. There's a good camera repair shop about 2 miles from our house, so we'll hang on to it till then and hope for the best.
On to the market!
There are two main buildings. One holds fish, meat, and chicken, primarily. And, yes, it smells like it. It's not gross but it is apparent. If you're a vegetarian, don't go in there! You'll see animal products in all their various states. And hawkers -- guys from the different stalls standing in the aisles shouting out their specials and all about the superiority of their product.
The second building holds baked goods, spices, nuts, etc. Better smelling and much more tempting.
In addition to the two official buildings, there are 3 - 5 (?) blocks covered with the outdoor market. It's all under awnings and most of the structures are permanent, though open-sided. And out there, they sell everything. Tea, clothing, bikes, vegetables, books, donuts, tools, music, leather goods, t-shirts, tons of wool socks (sooooo tempting!), nuts, oils, games, cards, blankets, shoes (lots of Uggs!), paper, candy, perfume, postcards, musical instruments, aboriginal art......well, you get the picture.
Aisle after aisle after aisle. Mind-boggling, really. If you find something you like, you better pick it up because you might have some trouble finding your way back! Jeff bought a wallet.
We also bought lunch from one of the little lunch counters on the other side of the meat market and some pastries from building #2. Kitty was dying to try a Vanilla Slice, an Australian speciality, but we struck out on that. The pastry shop ran out before we could get back!
We spent probably two hours wandering and we were spent when we were done. According to our guidebook, there was a neighborhood (Carlton) that was supposed to be funky, hip, and full of good Italian food. We weren't all that hungry but we were interesting in checking out the street life. We consulted our handy dandy tram and bus guide (that thing was invaluable!) and worked our way there.
In fact, it looked a little quiet.
Our hosts, Sue and John, had invited us to join them at a neighbor's dinner party that night, so we headed home eventually to get cleaned up. The dinner party was great! Another musician and a couple of good friends and a real bounty of a meal. We talked a lot about music and food and travel and Australia.
Nobody ever seems to agree with our itinerary -- what else should we have included, how can we possible not go to xyz, why are we including [fill in the blank]. Six weeks is a long time, especially for Americans, but there is still a limit to what you can do and see, if you don't want to run yourself into the ground!
We slept reeeeeeally well that night!