Monday, 2 March 2015

melbourne journey

Melbourne is anything great that you can think of. Between the 21st and 25th of January I had the beautiful opportunity to finally visit this lovely city, only an hour away from Sydney by plane.

Why so great? Because it was sunny, I didn’t have the 4 seasons in one day as expected and, obviously, it was the Australian Open of Tennis!

First things first. On day one, it was night so we simply settled in our new home after a great Mexican dinner at Mamasita. Best mojito I’ve had so far. I might not be difficult, but this one was magic. Oh, and the location was awesome. Just go up the stairs to a tiny little cosy room. Closest train/tram stop? Get off at Parliament.

Day two: probably the most tiring day, we literally visited the whole city. Starting with the iconic, Flinders Street Station, having a look at the things around and Federation Square, where a big buzz was going on with all the ticket selling for the tennis. Then walk around the arcades. The ones just across the streets where the prettiest. Lovely cafes for your brunch and this little cupcake place drove me insane. Continuing into the arcades, we found a lovely tea room where we decided to have our lunch. Due to the popularity (hence the cake photos) we had to queue for a while. Honestly though, we were a bit disappointed with our lunch. Maybe we should have opted for a dessert instead cause they definitely looked yummy. What I loved about this experience was all the vintage/ancient style arcades that reminded me of London. If you can, have a look at the spices boutique right in front of that team room (Gewurzhaus).

We then headed towards the street with all the famous street arts. Awesome time. After a bit of walk, direction South Bank, where a stop along the Yarra for a summer drink was a must. We found out an Ice Bar, but the entry was a huge $35, not really worth it. Still walking, and obvious tourists, we headed to the Skydeck to have an overview of Melbourne. Again, breathtaking view and scary experience at The Edge. A few cameras were present to film the Open from there. We ended the night with a Kayak session and fish and chips on the Yarra (Kayak Melbourne): a lovely experience that I will definitely do again.

Day three: Federer. Yup, not in our plans but who could resist to the Open of Tennis with Federer and Bouchard? For $115 per person, we had access to all the courts, activities and of course, a seat to see the matches on the biggest arena: Rod Laver Arena. We kept our morning to see the training sessions, visit the boutiques, try some rackets and drink a few beers. We then went to have a seat when it came down to Eugenie Bouchard playing, followed by my favourite of all times: Federer. Needless to say he lost the game in front of our eyes…

Day four: Great Ocean Road. There is no Melbourne without a GOR tour. From the tiniest to the most famous sites, the views were stunning. I booked the tour via STA Travel but a bit disappointing compared to Wild Life Tours’ schedule. $125 per person, and the lunch was awful… Besides that, mother nature satisfied me and the Lord Arch Gorge with the 12 Apostles were my favourite spots. 

Tip: go there if you can drive and do all the tour yourself, taking as much time as you can. I will definitely do it again and drive all the way to Adelaide. After the tour, we had a yummy dinner at Movida Tapas. I certainly recommend this place and do take the calamari in the Spanish cans.

Last day: Only a few hours remain until our flight. We take the train over to Brighton Beach, to see the famous cabins. Pretty but windy for sure. After a great morning walk, we were hesitating as to where to have our last meal. Somehow, we found hidden place in Brighton, were we had our best burgers ever, ever, ever. I repeat: the best burgers ever (The Royale Brothers).

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