Now I know that I said this blog is for my writing, and for the most part it is. But in my very first post I did mention my love for travel. As a way to practice writing (and make sure my blog isn’t all just ramblings) I have decided to share my thoughts on a trip to Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. Now I’m not one of those “hipster travelers” who think the only way to enjoy a place is to stay in an AirBnb house and do all your adventuring yourself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I like hotels, okay? I like guided tours and cheesy souvenirs. I want to stay somewhere where I have high speed internet and a pool. While it’s fun to go off the beaten track, I prefer to stay on a road where I know where I’m going.
But without further ado, let me tell you of my first day in Melbourne.
Day 1- 22nd of July, 2016
Now I’m sure all of you well seasoned travelers are used to get up early for morning flights, but for a novice like me, even a 5:30am start seemed too much. But after my sensing came online (thanks to our good friend coffee) the excitement really kicked in. See, I don’t travel a lot for financial reasons, so when I do go somewhere new it is incredibly exciting. This trip I was taking with my mum (who is the best mum ever) who is just as much as a travel nut as I am, but is also restrained by pesky money.
We were departing from Brisbane Airport- a small airport by comparison to most but one that held a place in my heart. After all, BNE Airport was my launchpad to the entire world. Though everyone could tell what travel novices we were after we struggled to figure out the baggage self check in (in our defense it was 6:00am and we hadn’t had breakfast). After some much needed food, we headed to the Jetstar terminal just over an hour later. Now, for most flying is nothing special- it’s a way to get from point A to point B. But for some reason I love flying. I’ve been on a couple of flights in my life, all domestic thought, but every time I am just so excited to get on that plane. Perhaps it’s the speed and wonder of the planes, perhaps it’s the fact that they take me to new places. What ever the reason is, I am always ecstatic when I board my flight. I spent most of the two hour flight (short by a travelers’ standard) playing Shovel Knight on my 3DS. It paid off, since I finally defeated Plague Knight, a boss that had been plaguing me for months.
As we began our descent into Melbourne, I noticed two things. One- Victoria was covered by a thick layer of grey clouds and two- the land below was incredibly green. My home state of Queesland is always brown, yellow and very dry, so it was nice to see a state that was so green and lush. The city itself and its surrounding suburbs looked quite similar to Brisbane’s from the air, except perhaps a little bigger.
Finally, we landed and took our first steps into Melbourne. Well, technically it was mum’s first steps into Melbourne, but I had been there once before with a school band tour, though I didn’t remember a lot. Though I could remember glimpses of memories of the airport. Somehow I still remembered where to go. Once outside, I was surprised that the weather wasn’t too bad, since Melbourne is notorious for bad weather. It was cloudy with patches of blue, and it was cool, but nowhere near as cold as Melbourne could be. After a rather long wait for our airport transfers, we were off into the city.
I must mention that my home city, Brisbane, is a rather new city, whereas Melbourne is a very old one, at least by Australian standards. So I was quite struck at how different Melbourne was to Brisbane. You could see Melbourne’s historical side, characterized by old, Europeanesque buildings merged with it’s new, artistic side, characterized by sleek, modern buildings with artistic architecture. Even the foliage was different, and many trees were bare for the winter, which is something you don’t see in my sub-tropical home city.
Excitement was high as the taxi brought us to our hotel- the Crown Promenade. It was situated in the perfect spot- in the heart of Soutbank right over the Casino, and with an excellent view of the city. It was by far the fanciest place I ever stayed at, which probably says a lot about my previous accommodations. I mean, it even had a fancy pond and a water feature INSIDE the foyer itself. How cool is that? AND a man took our luggage to our room for us! For those used to the high life, that probably is nothing, but to us it made us feel rather fancy. Despite the upper classiness of the place, everyone was still very welcoming and friendly.
Our room was a pretty standard size, but very luxurious. You should’ve seen the size of that shower! The hotel’s class and proximity to the Casino gave it a sort of “James Bond” sort of feel, and it was easy to imagine this being the sort of place where international espionage took place in the Casino below.
After settling in, we decided to acquaint ourselves with the area. A brief visit to the Casino introduced me to a whole new world of upper-class Capitalism. But what was more impressive was Melbourne’s beautiful Southbank area. From an incredible selection of dining (including the best Indian food I’ve ever had) to a scenic walking path along the Yarra river and the spectacular nightly fire show, it certainly blows Brisbane’s Southbank out of the water. After an hour or two of exploration and the fire show, we called it a day, since there was much more to come and we needed plenty of energy to take it head on.
Day 2 coming soon (soon being when I get round to writing it)