Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Seeing sights

Melbourne is such a beautiful city - full of art, life and history. I was blessed with another chance to come visit again this year, but this time I went along with some friends. It was a great experience and this time I got to know the city a lot more.

We flew in really early on the 4th of June (and I mean we took the 6.15 am flight). Melbourne was bound to have a beautiful day:

This is the aerial view of Melbourne just a little past 8am.

Right after breakfast we decided to visit Queen Victoria Markets which is comparable to Sydney's Paddy's Markets. It has everything, and I mean everything in it, from shoes to boomerangs to flowers and food. I reckon it is much, much larger than the Sydney one, though I can't be too certain. One thing I know that is worth heading to while in the QVM area is this mobile doughnut place:

I assure you fresh & hot doughnuts, for an affordable price (6 for $3.90). It's certainly a classic and nothing too complicated. You can pick from a plain sugar sprinkled one, and a jam-filled one. Both are good and it's even better if you have one after the other, alternately ;-)

The Queen Victoria Markets are open from Thursday-Sunday, with varying opening & closing hours.

Afterwards, my aunty gave us the idea of taking the City Circle Tram so that we'd get to see the entire place then just choose to hop on and off wherever we wanted to go after the ocular inspection. It seemed to be the most practical idea since we wanted to maximise our time to explore the entire city, so we did that. It's good because the City Cirle Tram is a free service that takes tourists (and locals just the same) to the different hotspots in the city. If you're the impatient type (like me) you will love this service because it comes around every 12 minutes, and it runs from Flinders Street to Spring Street and back. It's easy to find compared to the normal pay trams because it is small & very vintage-looking (and more importantly, labelled City Circle, lol).

I find that the best place to come back to after a long day of going around Melbourne would be Flinders Street as it has the train station for one huge landmark:

See what I mean when I say it's a landmark? It's one of my favourite spots in the city, as it is always busy and Flinders Street Station is just a lovely sight. Right across it is something extremely modern, the Ian Potter Centre:

If in any case you get lost this is the side that you have to go to because this is where the really big information centre is complete with all the train, tram & bus routes, events lists, tour booklets, maps & of course, friendly volunteers to help you find your way.

As for my friends & I on the first day- we hopped on and off everywhere (& sneaking cat naps on the tram), took a walk at the Docklands, ate at Flinders Lane (parallel to Flinders Street) & ended up doing some shopping at Bourke Street Mall where the biggest Myer is located. I'd have to say - it was a pretty long & exhausting day, especially if you hadn't slept at all.

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