Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Woke up pretty early to catch the flight down to Melbourne. I wasn't really expecting much and wasn't feeling any different after arriving there- it looked pretty similar to Brisbane..but I was to be proven wrong.
By the time we had checked in to our hotel and was ready to head out, it was getting to the late afternoon so we headed to Chinatown where we had lunch at a restaurant which my mum said there was really nice wonton noodles.
We explored the city for the rest of the day- walking over to Federation Square and Hosier Lane. Hosier Lane in particular was like nothing I had seen; the whole lane way walls were covered with graffiti. It was a great attraction for many and it was really incredible. Loved it!
For dinner we went to a Spanish restaurant called Movida. I haven't had Spanish before and it was quite different, but I think I liked it. I tried uncooked oysters for the first time and I must say, they are a bit gooey and strange.
Was super tired by the end of the day...so I was glad to go back to our hotel, put my feet and relax in front of the TV and get a good night rest.
Day Two - Wednesday 18th July
We ventured off to the Victoria Markets this chilly morning and on the way we passed by the State Library of Victoria. It is one of the most beautiful libraries I have seen! If only my uni library or slq was this amazing, it would make me study more. I spent quite an amount of time just sitting at one of the desks absorbing the amazing-ness of the library.
We arrived at the markets to find that it didn't in fact open on Wednesdays :( But that didn't rain on our parade because there were plenty of other attractions for us to see!
So instead, we walked over the the Royal Exhibition Building whilst admiring the MIT- the Melbourne Institute of Technology (they have a ridiculous amount of buildings scattered throughout the city! And they are all so attractive!)
The Royal Exhibition Building was quite a pretty building and we only went there because my mum said they they filmed Masterchef there once.
The Melbourne Museum was next door so we decided to pop in there for a squiz. We were hoping to check out the Mesopotamia exhibition but there was a fare we had to pay and it wasn't really worth it.
There was a street full of Italian restaurants so we went there to have lunch. We chose an Italian restaurant specialising in woodfired pizzas. It was quite a satisfying lunch despite one of the pizzas (Peri Peri chicken) was a tad chilly for my liking, but it was still very nice :)
With our hunger satisfied, we decided to take a tram over to Docklands. There we escaped the chilly winds with a warm coffee from Gloria Jeans and we had a little shop around Harbourtown (I found a pair of shoes there which I regret not buying!). We stumbled across Costco whilst being there. I didn't think it would be the Costco from America/the one from Modern Family, but IT WAS! :D I have always wanted to visit a Costco and be amazed by all the cheap prices and how everything was in bulk. Although I couldn't buy anything (I had to be a member in order to purchase anything), my expectations were not failed and I had the time of my life looking at everything there. Why does Brisbane not have one!?!
We trammed back to the city and made many detours through laneways on the way to dinner. We passed Little Cupcakes (a highly rated little cupcake shop) and I was thrilled to be able to buy and try the cookies and cream mini cupcake. It was definitely worth the tad expensive price. We also passed Koko Black (another highly recommended chocolate shop). There were so many different types of chocolate covered sweets and it took a while for me to choose the ones I wanted. I didn't want to eat them either since they looked so perfect. I think it is safe to say that Koko Black chocolate is the best chocolate I have ever eaten.
We had dinner at a Greek restaurant called Stalactites (it literally had stalactites on the ceiling of the interior!) The chicken and lamb and mousakka there is really delicious and I had quite a large food baby after that meal. Everything was so delicious!
Knowing that the Victoria Markets were opened on Thursdays, we went there as the first destination today. The markets were very similar to the markets in Hong Kong with the only differences being: things were more expensive, there was more room and no annoying Asians trying to hassle you.
The highlight of visiting the markets was discovering a stall selling cupcake cases and other sorts of baking needs. I bought an infinite supply of cupcakes cases there :) I was so happy.
There was also the grocery part of the markets and it was very enjoyable looking at all the produce and the bakeries. I also tried a few things there (like a chicken and mushroom sausage. YUM!); I felt like I was eating non-stop.
We went back to our hotel to drop off our purchases from the markets and along the way we passed my most anticipated place to visit: La Belle Miette- the most popular and loved macaroon shop in Melbourne! I walked in there and instantly fell in love with all the perfect macaroons lined up perfectly beneath the counter. They looked too perfect to eat! It took me a long time to choose which flavours I wanted to buy. I really didn't want to eat them because they looked too nice; but after taking hundreds of photos of them from every angle, I ate one and man, it was amazing ♥. I aspire to make macaroons as perfect and tasty as La Belle's one day.
For the rest of the afternoon, we went to the Southbank and visited the National Gallery of Victoria. It was similar to the Gallery in Brisbane- there weren't any jaw-dropping works of art but I still enjoyed it :) We then walked along the river, took some photos and waited for around until sunset time where we went up to the Eureka SkyTower. The view up there was amazing and so beautiful, I could have stayed up there forever. We watched the sun go down until all the city lights went on. It was quite spectacular.
Day Four - Friday 20th July
Day four: the last day in Melbourne! My sister wanted to go Melbourne's most popular restaurant for brunch this morning. It was called The Hardware Societe; it was a cute and neat little cafe situated on Hardware Street. It wasn't a very popular street and we were unsure if we were at the right place; but we knew we were at the right place when we saw a busy little cafe with many people enjoying breakfast or waiting in line for their coffee. Brunch was very delicious and it deserves to be the most popular restaurant in Melbourne.
We had a couple of hours to spare before we had to head back to the airport to depart back to Brisbane. We visited a shopping mall where we had a look around for a while and also did a final exploration of the city.
There was a little hiccup with our ride to the airport. We had originally booked a bus which could take us to the airport. However there were communication errors and the bus did not come to pick us up (despite the organiser saying that the bus driver had driven past our hotel but could not see us when in fact we were already waiting outside our hotel ten minutes before it was even due to come). This dampened our spirits a little bit, but the problem was eventually solved by us calling a cab.
My stomach started feeling a bit funny on the way to the airport and I think it was because I had eaten too much these couple of days or I had eaten the wrong combination of foods. But the food in Melbourne is just so delicious! There are so many different cuisines and also so many cafes and restaurants hidden in lanes and streets just waiting to be discovered. This is one thing I most love about Melbourne. There are also so much hidden arts or architecture which are inconspicuous, so you must explore and look deeply in order to find them. Melbourne is indeed a great city :)