I know this is slightly irrelevant to the Little City Window persona, stretching beyond the borders of New Zealand however, I can’t help but write about my visit across the Tasman Sea to the stylish city of Melbourne for my 18th birthday. Is that not one of the best 18th birthday presents ever?
What can I say about Melbourne? It’s such a trendy and interesting place, not too dissimilar from the likes of Auckland, and almost merged with the quirkiness of San Francisco, although I have never been I couldn’t help but think of it as I walked through the city, imaging what San Francisco would be like, with trams trailing through the busy streets.
Personally, I think that the best way to travel around a city is to walk or via public transport, because only then can you get the true feel of the city itself- it’s personality and all. Although unfortunately, our experience with a Melbourne tram wasn’t exactly smooth…Mum and I jumped on this tram (shown above) unsuspectingly, and just when it had taken us further away from our destination than we had initially begun at, the tram brakes decided to freeze up and everyone in the tram was asked to step off. My first tram experience…and it broke down!cOh dear. I have not lost faith in tram travel, however I must say that taxis are particularly useful in a time of panic. It is entirely typical that this event would occur when we actually had somewhere to be at a specific time, I imagine that if we had not been required on schedule, the tram ride would have been quite pleasant. Who knows.
Two things that I can highlight in this beautiful city, is the food and the drink. As boring and unadventurous as that may seem, Melbourne has a million and one different places tantalise any new tourists tastebuds, and thanks to Google Maps we were lucky enough to locate some ideal places to suit our eating a drinking needs.
Having just turned 18, I was obviously on the lookout for any possible chance to whip out my ID and proudly show that I was, in fact, legal to drink alcohol. However I soon realised that having my mother around slightly tainted this advantage as I was never once asked for ID, and I hardly believe it was because I look over the age of 25. Either way, we managed to find at least one cocktail per day for me to drink, in some cases 2 or 3 different ones- drinking responsibly as always…
Our favourite discovery was most certainly the Strawberry and Chilli Mojito, served to us by a creative barman who had apparently “made up” the recipe. This was one of numerous cocktails that I chose to indulge in during my stay in Melbourne. I couldn’t help but feel exceedingly sophisticated and, as childish as it sounds, grown-up.
One of my favourite places that we went to was Naked for Satan, a modern yet somewhat grungy, Mexican-themed setting with a rooftop bar overlooking Melbourne. I couldn’t help but love this place, because as you walk through the door it is quite dark and gloomy, with a lingering red aura glowing from dimmed lights among the ground floor, then once you take the elevator upstairs to the rooftop bar and walk outside, you are met by a beautiful, bright view of Melbourne. Such contrast made the experience just that much better for me.
It seems as though when people go on holiday, all there is to it is food, drinking, culture and shopping. Well, I guess that is purely it. However, fortunately Mum’s old friend’s daughter lives in Melbourne, and we managed to meet up with her and got the proper side of Melbourne. I think that as a tourist, you never really get to see the true side of a place unless you are with someone who knows the ins and outs of it. Eliza was that person. We went through the Victoria markets and I managed to find the best bargain on the year, a denim jacket from gorman which would usually have cost at least $200, for a rather pleasing $50. Thank you Victoria Markets!
To avoid being at risk of writing too much, I will do a nice little series of food and beverage pictures in order to persuade you to fall into culinary love with Melbourne as much as I did…
Just to prove I did fit in a little bit of culture during my stay in Melbourne, below are some pictures of the NGV, the International National Gallery of Victoria, which had an Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei exhibition on at the time. I had seen many posts about this place on Instagram prior to leaving NZ and I knew I had to visit. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of walking around museums for hours on end, but this exhibition had new things around every corner. Andy Warhol is known for his colourful Pop Art style and I know little about art but I thought that the quirkiness of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei’s exhibition complimented the personality of Melbourne city perfectly.
All I can say is a huge appreciative Thank You to my Mum and step-dad for funding this wonderful trip. I’ll admit that I dearly miss Melbourne, but I was quite glad to come home, having emptied half of my bank account in exchange for clothes and alcohol (come on, I’m newly 18 and it was 2 for $59 at duty free!). I will definitely be making another trip to this beautiful city, but not before I explore more of Australia first.