The street performers, the cobblestone alleys, the cafes and restaurants tucked away in the most unexpected places, the street artists, the tram, the architecture, the stadium, Federation Square, the Great Ocean Road and the way the city comes alive at night are all amongst the reasons to visit Melbourne.
TEAN planned an awesome three-day weekend to the wonderful city of Melbourne where my adventures included a walking tour of the city, followed by an evening at the MCG Stadium to catch an AFL footy match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St. Kilda Saints. On the walking tour of Melbourne, the things that stood out to me were the architecture and the street art. I studied studio art and art history throughout high school and a bit even before that when I was in middle school and so personally, I’m always looking for a vantage point and taking in the overall composition of large works. Hosier Lane and Tattersalls Lane had to be my favorite places. Despite being tourist attractions, both are places where street art began and expanded. The work on these walls is phenomenal in size, detail and it is all truly unique.
The footy match at the MCG stadium was pretty cool as well. Despite the weather alternating between drizzling and pouring rain, the enthusiasm from the fans along with passion that the players displayed made the game fun. It was truly different from anything else I have ever seen or experienced.
Footy is as simply as I can describe, a combination of soccer, rugby and football – minus the padding – but scored using points and goals. It is truly something that one has to experience for themselves in order to understand it. It was a fun game and we had amazing seats, about seven rows up from the field and so we got a look at all action, live and up-close!
My second day in Melbourne was spent on a tour of the Great Ocean Road where we made stops in Lorne, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell National Park to see the 12 Apostles. Lorne turned out to be a quaint town by the water and filled with many cafes along the main street and because I was there on a Saturday, there was even a market going on. We were left to wander through Lorne for about forty-five minutes to an hour and I ended up picking up a green smoothie at a busy café on the main street and wandered further down into this cute souvenir shop where I picked magnets for my mum and stickers for my computer – great purchases at a bargain. Lorne reminded me a lot of Nice, France as everything is sort of built on the side of a hill and there is one main street by the water and each building is unique in itself.
Apollo Bay was where we made a short stop for lunch and then headed up the road a bit further and stopped at where I believe it was called Kennett River. There we got to feed and play with some very friendly king parrots. They flew to any open hand containing seeds and were comfortable to take a perch on your forearm, shoulder and even head.
From Apollo Bay, we were driven up to Port Campbell National Park, where I got to see the 12 (now 8) Apostles. Up here, we hit a rainstorm with high winds that whipped sand and pellets of seawater at us. Despite that, I still made the best of what I could see and took pictures. The reason why there are now 8 Apostles versus the 12 that they were named for is due to erosion. The same way in which these thick pillars of rock came to be is the same that they are slowly disappearing.
On our last day, I was left to explore the city on my own before my flight back to Brisbane. I decided to take a trip the Victoria Street Market. Now the odd thing about this place is that when you first walk into the markets through the main street entrance, all you see are meat sellers. However, when you walk to the other side of the building and exit, you happen upon stall after stall of different cuisines being cooked, then behind that are rows named A through K of an innumerable amount of vendors selling everything from winter hats and leather coats to authentic UGG boots to all sorts of trinkets and souvenirs. There were even food trucks along the ends of each row. I happened upon a churro truck and I HAD to try it and I can say it was definitely worth it.
All in all, I must say that Melbourne is worth the visit. It was a very different city from Brisbane. Things seemed to stay open later, and there is a faster yet still livable pace to life. I found the city vibe unique and it was not like any other place that I have been before. Thank you TEAN for introducing me to this city.
Stephanie Osei is a student at Quinnipiac University and a TEAN Featured Blogger. You can also read her blog, Asanteba’s World: Life & Livin’ It while she is studying abroad with TEAN in Brisbane, Australia.