As we had read, Melbourne is a city where people love shopping and it's apparent as soon as you step downtown, where it's shop after shop after mall after shop. It is pretty impressive. Given that we still have 3 months of travel ahead of us, shopping wasn't really an option (we did a little bit of window shopping though) so we focused on the next best thing: eating and drinking!
Melbourne has a reputation as a foodie city so we (and by 'we' I mean especially Denise) were excited about trying some good restaurants. After some research and trying a couple of promising places we were a little disappointed. We were left with big bills and empty stomachs, and the food wasn't good enough to leave with empty stomachs. On two different nights we walked in this super tiny alleyway and found a big line in front of a nondescript dumpling place. We went back there during the day, when there was no line, and as luck would have it, we had our best meal in Melbourne.
We happened to walk by this alley 2 separate nights not purely by accident... The first night we stumbled in hoping for a decent drink and a place to sit to rest our weary feet. I was hoping the drinks would be decent as the venue is basically a parking lot. Old shipping containers make the bar, and the walls are plastered with grafitti. The second night we were back because the drinks were excellent and the music was good too! The bar is called Section 8, if you're ever in Melbourne, find it, and order a Mojito.
|Doesn't look like much during the day|
|That's the drinks menu|
|The Gaga drink and Grandma's punch|
We were directed to another bar by the host at the hostel where we were staying. It's called Ponyfish Island. Sounds like a kids playground, and apparently is often mistaken as one by pram toting mums in the early afternoon. It's actually a full fledged bar, built on the pylon of a footbridge over the Yarra river in Melbourne. It's small, crowded, expensive, and doesn't have a cocktail menu, but it does have an excellent view... and how could you not have at least one drink at a bar on a pylon?
Melbourne is also known for it's art, street art is no exception. The city has dedicated a couple of city central alleys to graffiti. We'd heard about the graffiti alleys... how good could they really be? Well, it's wall to wall graffiti 20 feet high to the ground, plus the trash cans in the alley way, and any doors painted. Even the garage doors. On the Saturday that we visited, we happened upon graffiti artists, couples taking wedding pictures and asians doing break dance moves (b-boy?). Yeah, it's good art!
We were also able to fulfill some of our photo challenges. Fab asked us to take photos of stuff that sounds funny in French or English, and we got a lot that are quite funny in French. We'll let you judge. Sorry if we don't provide a translation, it's not very kid friendly.
|This one is a cheat as it is in a Lush store and I had run into it already in San Francisco|
Johan asked us to take photos of badass bikers we meet in every country. New Zealand, unfortunately, doesn't have many badass bikers, but we found one at the Victoria Market in Melbourne, which happens to be the largest market in the Southern Hemesphere. So much yummy fruits and veggies. I digress.... This dude was seriously scary, and I was a little afraid of asking for a photo, but I finally got up enough nerve. And then I found out his name is Snowy. Turns out, he was a big cuddly talkative polar bear. Thanks Johan, now I'm no longer scared of big burly bikers, and we met a cool dude!
We had a really good time in Melbourne. It felt like a vibrant and hip city with a much more relaxed vibe than Sydney.
|Almost feels like Vegas|
|Honey, I stretched the Eiffel tower|
|And lulling in the backround, the noise of the Formula 1 cars, racing a few kms away|
You can find the rest of the photos here, or check them out directly on the map