Saturday, January 8, 2011

We're going to Melbourne!

Today we booked flights to visit Melbourne later this year.  Canberra is less than 3 hours drive from Sydney, so when many Canberrans visit a big city they usually go there, but I think it is worth the effort to go to Melbourne.  I know lots of people won't agree with me but I don't like Sydney anywhere near as much as I adore Melbourne.  (Though maybe I am biased because I lived in Melbourne for a few years when I was in my early 20s).

I love the different neighbourhoods of Melbourne - that Richmond (my old stomping ground) is nothing like St Kilda or Carlton or Fitzroy or any of the other neighbourhoods.  They all have their own identity and unique voice.  I love that in the city centre you can walk off the main streets into lane ways and then into alleyways.  You never know what exciting shops or places are hidden from view - the karaoke place friends and I went to one night that was off an alleyway, down a smaller alley, past the skip bins, through a small door and up an elevator.  Or the wonderful bar that was down an alley and behind an unmarked door.  Places you never find unless you explore.  I love the old arcades that are tended with such care and have become tourist attractions in their own right. 

I've travelled a bit and lived in a number of different cities (both in Australia and overseas), and I still rate Melbourne as one of the best places to live or visit.  If you've never been there, try and get there soon, and if you live there now - I am extremely envious and please tell me the current best places to go!

Here are a couple of photos from our 2009 visit to Melbourne.

 Star Wars exhibit at Scienceworks.

Penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium.

If you can't get to Melbourne, but would like to know more, you can savour the highs and lows of 1920s Melbourne in the fabulous Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood.  They are short, fun and have historical accuracy.

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