A Step in the right Direction
In this world there are many ways to travel, and many things to see. Here at ABitSlow we pride ourselves on doing things slow, not necessarily slowly, but slow. For christmas this year I gave my mother the gift of a weekend in Melbourne, two days to cover one of the most interesting cities in the worlds! but it can be done. Being from Sydney I haven’t visited often and my mother had only visited once or twice in the last 30yrs. So last weekend you could have found us wandering around laneways, hoping onto trams and sampling some of the delicious offering that can be found in this magical city.
We started the trip with a flight down to Melbourne, I know not very sustainable, but I did offset 🙂 and then to the Elephant Backpackers right in front of Flinders St Station. I recommend making this a starting point, it’s so easy to get around from here. Over the next two days we didn’t stop! We walked through a multitude of laneways, sat at cafe’s, stood in awe at the architecture and listned to local bands, and all the slow way. It’s amazing what you can discover about a city when you truly take the time to slow down and walk her streets and lanes, instead of flying past in a car.
The tram system which is in my opinion one of the jewels of Melbourne’s infrastructure and very useful, but in truth we only used it to get to locations that were to far to walk, such as the Queen Victoria Markets on Saturday morning (we walked back through the lanes and arcades) and the St Kilda on Sunday (waaaay too far to walk). Along these street as lanes we discovered hidden treasures from the past, local art which truly transcends the common definition of graffiti, and wonderful cafe’s and food stalls.
Melbournites truly know how to stop and take in the moment, on our walking trip back from the markets we passed through many streets and lanes, throughout the city we saw local musicians playing on the streets with large audiences in rapt attention. One such experience was upon leaving the GPO, were the local band Bonjah shown below was filling the city streets with their sweet sounds.
The rest of the day was spent exploring The Block Arcade, The Royal Arcade and Centre Place. We entered into boutiques, The Spellbox with it’s Harry Potter style interior, Cacao chocolate boutique and Mag Nation with its floor to ceiling magazines and cheap coffee.All this brought us up to 5pm and our early dinner.
The Tram Restaurant was a beutiful experience, a trip to the past with it’s glamourous interior, wonderful food and service. It took us all the way to St Kilda and down the esplanade and back to the city over a three hour, three course dinner with some of the best local wines. The Tram starts and ends across the street from the Crown casino, which was our logical end to the day with a walk through the casino, and a viewing of the famouse fire display along the yarra, where the casino towers spout a timed fire display on the hour every hour.
We walked along the Yarra with what seemed like half the city, admiringthe city lights, the gondola on the river, the buskers on the paths and bridges and the general sense of being in a city that knows how to live.