Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Friday, March 30, 2007


Well, it's time to leave Sydney, so with heavy but really excited hearts we flew to Melbourne early on Friday morning.

We got into our hostel (Flinders Station), dumped our bags and started wandering around the city. The first thing we noticed was how cold it was compared to Sydney! I can't remember the last time the temperature went below 20°!

Melbourne is a great city. Over 3 million people but it seems a lot smaller than Sydney and it's so much more laid back. Nobody was rushing around and everyone seemed really friendly. There's a tram system in the city and its cool to see the trams trundling along the middle of the roads, although you're literally taking your life into your hands crossing the road - we didn't know which way we should be looking. To often we found ourselves standing in the middle of the road only to look down and see we're in a tram track!

There are coffee shops everywhere which suits us down to the ground as we've become slightly addicted since leaving home. So after some great coffees in beautiful cafes in winding little alleyways, we headed back to the hostel to get ready for a night out. Friday night we went to see an AFL (Aussie Rules) game. Melbourne V St. Kilda in theMCG. It was a cracking match - really like Gaelic but faster paced. St. Kilda won 93 - 62. The MCG is a brilliant stadium and we had great seats - just behind the goal line where most of the action took place.

We were supposed to be meeting Nic (who we know from Sydney) before the match but it was her first time driving in Melbourne and she got slightly delayed by about 2 hours or so trying to find parking! Beer was the first thing on her mind when she eventually did get in to the MCG!

After the match we jumped on a tram to the Corner House to meet Kate and some of her friends. Kate is from Melbourne and we met her in Ilha Grande in Brazil. It was great to see Kate again and it felt like we'd only seen her last week! The bar was great with live music, but so different from most places we went out in Sydney (we couldn't get over how different the cities are!). We eventually stumbled home late...

Saturday 31st - Today we got the free City Circle tram all around the city and got off in the docklands for a wander around and to grab a nice coffee. There's so much weird architecture in Melbourne - lots of buildings built at strange angles with odd paint jobs etc.

That night, we met Kate and her friend at Riverlands bar at the side of the river Yarra. It's a great bar and sitting outside under the patio heaters we could see ourselves staying there all night. But Kate had different plans. She decided to show us the places in the city that tourists wouldn't find.

First, she brought us to a restaurant called The Waiters Club. We went down a laneway, through an unmarked door and up these rickety stairs. When we walked in we thought the place looked like a bit of a dive, but the atmosphere there was great and the food was just gorgeous. Kate then took us to a series of bars and clubs that you would just never find on your own in the city. The last club we were in we had to walk up a rubbish strewn alley past loads of graffiti and dumpsters and at the end there was a doorway in and then a really nice bar/club on the inside. It ended up taking Nic over 2 hours to find her way back to the hostel even though we were only 15 minutes walk away. That could have been something to do with the cocktails as well as the series of winding alleys we had to walk though!

On Sunday we had a lazy brunch and coffee with Nic in a great cafe (did I mention that Melbourne has great cafe's?!). We then had a look around the huge Queen Victoria Markets, said a last goodbye to Nic and the caught a tram out to St. Kilda for a walk along the beach and the pier as the sun was setting. We also saw some guys doing capoeira beside Luna Park there - very reminiscent of Brazil!

We've decided - we love, love, love Melbourne!


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