Melbourne – Cosmopolitan City of Soul

September 11th, 2007   •   15 comments   

My family’s recent holiday in Melbourne was a great adventure, spanning 8 days and covering different kinds of experiences. Its difficult to capture everything in one blog post, so I will split it into several parts, interspersed with regular posts on marketing. First on Melbourne City itself.

Led by Lord Mayor John So (a Chinese no less), Melbourne City presented a unique melting pot of different cultures while being both sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Walk along its streets and chances are that you will see people of different ethnicities happily mingling with each other. One of its major advantages is the weather, which is mostly cool and breezy any time of the year without going to extremes.

Melbourne residents are sports fanatics, and it was interesting to see many of them jogging, cycling and playing Aussie football at virtually any time of the day. The city is also full of life, with museums, historic buildings, art performances, restaurants, shops and parks adding much colour and vibrancy. A quirky aspect of the city is its transport system. You can either get around on foot, bicycles, buses, trains, trams, taxis, cars, and even skateboards and horse-drawn carriages!

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Here’s a shot of the street showing how busy traffic conditions can be in Melbourne. Of course nothing like our CBD crunch!

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Melbourne has plenty of nice historic buildings, like St Paul’s Cathedral seen here in the background with Tina and Ethan posing beside its spire.

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Ye olde Flinders Street train station located just across the road from our hotel.

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St Michael’s Church also known as Mingary (the quiet place) located along Russell Street.

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A contrast with the old historic buildings are the super-modern complexes at Federation Square. It houses swanky upmarket restaurants, performing arts venues, and an art museum (part of National Gallery Victoria).

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Another view of Federation Square at night.

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Fresh flowers galore along Swanston Street, with florists selling the sweetest smelling blooms in resplendent colours.

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This oriental archway welcomed us to Melbourne’s Chinatown at Little Bourke Street. Together with Lygon Street (Italian) and Lonsdale Street (Greek), these ethnic precincts added to the cultural diversity of the city.

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Food was generally plentiful and delicious in Melbourne, with farm fresh produce available from rural areas in the state of Victoria. Here’s Tina and Ethan tucking into some warm pho at a Vietnamese restaurant.

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A view of Lygon Street, Melbourne’s “Little Italy”, which is quite a great hangout for food connoisseurs like myself.

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More feasting! This time at an Italian restaurant along Lygon Street which serves heavenly Risottos and Pennes. Mama mia!

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Parking is very expensive in Melbourne City, and it isn’t surprising that most people choose to either walk or take public transport. Of course, there are also other more romantic options…

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… like this horse-drawn carriage here!

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15 comments

  1. posted on Sep 11, 2007 at 4:33 PM

    oh man I am so loving the sky, clear blue, nice shot there brudder Walter. Great being there when it is nice and cold isn’t it?

    And yeah, parking is horrendously expensive isn’t it?

  2. ed
    posted on Sep 11, 2007 at 5:46 PM

    Thanks for sharing… I think the weather is just about turning cold there?

    I didn’t any horse carriages in Perth when I was there. never had a chance to ride on it. Waiting for more posts from you.

  3. posted on Sep 11, 2007 at 7:27 PM

    I remember having one of the nicer phos in Melbourne. But I forgot where:O

    You are all “wrapped up”? Cold? What a nice change from hot and humid Sg, right? 😀

  4. keeyit
    posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 8:26 AM

    Looking forward for the next episod.. =)

  5. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 8:41 AM

    OMG is that Papa Gino’s in Lygon Street? I hope you managed to try the Gelato at the start of Lygon. I still crave the special flavours they have….

    And the coffee in Crown cafe…

    The broken rice with pork chop in any Vietnamese restuarant…

    The fabulous tortellini carbonara in La Porketta’s near Victoria market…

    The scrumptious roast duck rice in King of Kings…

    I miss Melbourne already. >

  6. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 3:05 AM

    Ahhh… finally you are back! The weather was great huh! I love the cool weather in Melbourne. Did you try the Greek desserts? I love it.

  7. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:00 PM

    jason,

    Yes the sky was blue, the air was nice and chilly, and the birds were chirping when we were there. I can’t describe the feeling but its akin to the song “Top of the World”.

  8. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:02 PM

    ed,

    Ahhh Perth was another lovely city. Not as busy as Melbourne though. Sydney is of course the most cosmopolitan, with stunning views of the Darling Harbour and Sydney Opera House. When we arrived, it was just early Spring (in fact 1 Sep is officially the start of Spring) so the weather was still rather balmy, especially at night.

  9. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:03 PM

    tigerfish,

    That pho place could be the Mekong Restaurant? We went there twice during our trip. Of course, it can’t compare to those I had at Saigon but still its nice to have hot food in a temperate location.

  10. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:04 PM

    health nut,

    Thanks for popping by! I just had vegetarian for lunch today. hehe… yeah it was a nice trip. More pics to come.

  11. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:05 PM

    keeyit,

    Look out for it… should be coming in the next two days or so. 😉

  12. posted on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:07 PM

    daniel,

    Man oh man! I should have known to ask you before we went on where to eat! Bangs head on table… Anyway the food was great and Lygon street was lovely. Melbourne is certainly quite fun although I feel that it lacks that sincerity and rustic charm which Perth possessed. Tasmania is still my favourite Australian state for now.

  13. posted on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:18 PM

    jeremy,

    Thanks for popping by! Keep doing your musical thing. I hear that you guys have a good thing going. 😉

  14. posted on Sep 13, 2007 at 11:49 PM

    Haven’t visit Melbourne for 8 years and I like the city better than, say, Sidney and Perth. I still remembered that flower kiosk and Lygon Street. Those were happy memories. Thanks for reminding them …

  15. posted on Sep 14, 2007 at 8:41 AM

    Looks like you had a very enjoyable trip. And that shot of the horse carriage is simply beautiful. Would have “borrowed” it if only you’ve got it earlier. (You know what I need it for.)

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