A few days ago I had my melbournniversary. Meaning, it was on the day 3 years since I flew into Melbourne to commence my WH visa. — 3 years that feels equally like yesterday, yet as a bunh of life times ago. To pay tribute to this marvelous city on the south east corner of Australia I figured it called for a dedication in the shape of a blog post extraordinaire.
What you will find is a mix of notebook scribbles from my first time there, along with some photos from the phone, 35mm + my favourite hangouts. Now, brace yourselves for a long read aka put on your reading glasses and let’s get started ↓
—— Five minutes prior to take off – what the heck have I gotten myself into? I mean, did it occur to me just how far away Australia is? If Stockholm and Bangkok are separated by 9 hours then this distance, of 7, is just about as brutal! — No job, no money, two wee contacts whereof one returns back to Europe within days.
But if it succeeds, if plan A works, then this would be freaking cool.
—— Still haven’t realized I am now in a developed country — so I keep forgetting one can actually flush paper down the toilet and am having freak outs each time someone drinks water from the tap.
—— Germany ought to be empty, as all of them seem to be in my hostel.
(Anyone backpacking Australia knows this to be true; bloomin invasion of German + French!!)
—— Two weeks in, I’m starting to get the drill. Melbourne has no problems at all with changing from rainfall to a sizzling 36° overnight.
(Ha, I should only have known. A meteorologist actually told me that four weather zones meet in Melbourne which is why the weather changes so rapidly. As a punchline he added “Best thing about Melbourne is, if you don’t like the weather – just wait five minutes!”)
Best pastimes in Melbourne
St Kilda Night Market
Thursdays throughout the summer, 5pm-10pm, O’Donnell Gardens (next to Luna Park)
Melbournetourism gives the following description: “The St Kilda Beach Night Market is a locally produced and independently run event that brings together a community of artists, crafters, designers and buyers…” — Take the tram out to St Kilda to drink beer in the grass packed inbetween strangers, watching pyroshows and energetic salsa dancers. Every Thursday for 10 subsequent weeks throughout the summer.
ACMI Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Open daily from 10am, Federation Square
Spend an afternoon wandering around these plural floors of great exhibitions. Enjoyed just as art should be — free of charge.
Queen Victoria Market
513 Victoria Street, Open daily except Tuesdays + Thursdays
According to its very own website the QVM “has been the heart and soul of Melbourne for more than a century.” I used to live just a stone’s throw away, and thus got all my fresh fruit and veg from it. Go late in the afternoon when the vendors are wanting to head home and you might get some marvelous deals. — Alike in St Kilda, they also host a night market throughout the summer. Wednesday night the venue will be filled with live music, steam from the food stalls and independent vendors.
I’m Free Walking Tour
Daily at 10:30am / 2:30pm, meeting point in front of the Sir Redmond Barry statue in front of the State Libary of Victoria
Tag along with fellow tourists for a fun + informative tour around the city. It takes approx. 2,5 hours but you may head off whenever you feel like it. It is free of charge but you will be asked for a wee contribution at the end of it.
Lentil As Anything
various venues across town (Abbotsford, St Kilda, Thornbury + Footscray)
LAA is a not for profit restaurant serving vegetarian and vegan food, all run on a pay what you can-agenda. I used to volunteer at the restaurant located at the Abbotsford Convent two afternoons a week; finding the strangely therapeutic calm of chopping up vegetables. The whole concept is amazing – bringing people the restaurant experience despite what their current financial situation might look like. (Don’t be a cheapskate though!)
All in all, Melbourne felt much like the love child of Bristol, Stockholm and perhaps NY too with all its skyscrapers, vibrance and street art. A big city, yet you get that feel of being able to walk wherever.
I tried to date other cities (Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney…)after my four months with Melbourne, but neither of them really compared. Perhaps I didn’t give them a fair chance as I was still stuck on Melbz.