Melbourne Travel Blog› entry 50 of 53 › view all entries
Melbourne doesnâ€™t disappoint! We loved it! When we arrived we take back the rental car (and p.s. they we so dissappointed that the agent in Adelaide hadn't given us the Rav4, apparently the people in Melbourne or in a panic about getting it. Yikes!). We check into our hotel, then head out to Little Italy, on Lygon Street and enjoy an amazing risotto and sparkling wine. This part of the city is buzzing with people, which is amazing for a weeknight! We strolled the city streets after dinner. Finding our way to a bar called Cookie near our hotel. This bar was recommended in a guide book I had for Australia. It was sensational! The beer menu alone was an inch thick! You can pick a beer from nearly anywhere in the world.
The next day we tour the city, taking in beautiful architecture and cafÃ© culture. We start on the east side, near Parliament House. We sit at tiny bistro tables on the sidewalk, drinking coffee and make plans for the day. I like the buzz of this place, its urban and cultured. The population is more diverse here than other Aussie cities and towns, which is reflected in the shops, cafes and restaurants. Our first stop after breakfast is the Old Treasury Building. It is considered to be on the finest buildings in Australia. If you can believe it it was actually designed by a nineteen year old architect named John James Clark.
The City Museum is a great was to being a trip to Melbourne. You get a detailed understanding of the cityâ€™s history, architecture and culture. The building is also located in a prime spot in the city for viewing other beautiful buildings, including Parliament House and the Windsor Hotel. You can also easily get to Fitzroy Gardens, which was our next stop. We walked along the winding garden paths, to Cookâ€™s Cottage. The cottage was the English home of Captain James Cookâ€™s parents.
Dave and I decide to have lunch in China town. It was perfect. Was ate dumplings and soup, all of which tasted just like my days in China. I love authentic Chinese food! Then it was off to the shops. We had a few specialty shops we wanted to see. We toured some beautiful shopping arcades and then found our way to Ben Sherman â€“ one of Daveâ€™s favourite stores. Dave got some amazing stuff!!!
That night we went to Southbank looking for a nice restaurant.
We went back to Cookie after dinner. Our bartender remembered us and was so happy to see us. He told us about a movie he had been watching the night before and how he thought weâ€™d like it. We were introduced to other staff and made ourselves at home with them at the bar. We rolled the electronic dice on Daveâ€™s phone to randomly pick beers from the huge menu â€“ we loved them all!
On our last day in Melbourne we toured the Old Melbourne Gaol (or in Canada we say Jail). Between 1845 and 1929 the site had 136 executions. Most of the Gaol has been demolished but the Second Cell Block still stands and is an interesting museum. The former City Watch House is also standing which served as the central processing and lock up area for criminals between 1908 and 1994. We took a crazy tour though the Watch House where you are arrested, processed, put in a cell and then let out to the excersize grounds. You are treated in the same inhumane way as the criminals that passed through the facility, experiencing first hand the harsh, systematic environment of the criminal system. The most well-known execution at the Melbourne Gaol was of Ned Kelly, the famous Australian bushranger. People have different opinions about Ned Kelly. Some people think heâ€™s a national hero, who fought against the oppression of English-based law, while others see him as a villian, who deserved to be caught and punished.
We walk through the city by the ornate towers of the Old Magistrateâ€™s Court, south to Flinders Station (Melbourneâ€™s main railway terminal) on the north side of Southbank, head through to the south side and find our way to the Eureka Tower to see panoramic views of the City. What a site! For anyone whoâ€™s gone up the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and stood on the glass floor, youâ€™ll know what we experienced. The Eureka tower provides the same thrills â€“ big views and scary heights. There is an outdoor observation deck which we went out on to feel the winds on our face and look down onto the city from outdoors. Awesome!After a small dinner at our beloved Kouzina we picked up our bags and headed to the airport. Time to go back to Adelaide.