I might as well have been in Europe when I was in Melbourne this past weekend. The city, with its countless amount of cathedrals, gardens and theaters, consistently made me feel as if I had jetted over to London rather than southern Australia. I marveled in its historical buildings, gothic architecture and grungy, underground feel as we walked through the streets.
Another friend from camp, Sam, was kind enough to host Leslie and I for a weekend and take us sightseeing. She lives an hour outside of the city with her boyfriend in a smaller city called Ballarat. Ballarat itself has a pretty large night scene and a lot of history so it was cool to get the more local Ballarat experience as well.
On our first evening we wandered around the city and got to see its beauty by night. The highlight of the evening was chowing down on the most delicious gnocchi and risotto I’ve ever had. Melbourne has its fair share of tasty cuisine, that’s for sure.
Saturday was mostly spent in Sam’s car, traveling to the Great Ocean Road and checking out some of its most spectacular sights. On our drive I remember taking note of how different the landscape and culture of Victoria is from Queensland. It was almost as if I was in somewhere like Ireland. The vastness of green pastures and colder air made me forget I was in Australia and reminded me how much variety there can be in one country. One of the most notable differences about Victoria from Queensland was that nobody lives on the coast in Victoria, having settled inland because of the colder climate, while Queensland is pretty much centered around its beaches.
Our first stop on the roadtrip was the 12 Apostles, a set of large pieces of limestone rock that stick up out of the water, detached from the rest of the land by the force of the ocean waves. It was a beautiful sight to see, especially after having seen so many pictures. We also stopped and walked along a couple of dirt tracks on the headlands of the coast that provided more views of weathered limestone rock. It was so cool to just stare at the views created by nature and read about the natural history of the area. We were able to go down to a beach in between a gorge that two people once survived a ship wreck in. It was such a peaceful and powerful spot. If it weren’t for all the tourists, I would’ve felt as if we were the only people who had ever been there. It felt so untouched.
That night we went out on the town in Ballarat and had a great time partying with Sam’s friends. It was cool running from old building to old building, each with an interior that was transformed into a modern bar or club. Running on the cobblestone streets so carefree, except for the cold air that was freezing my butt off, reminded me so much of my good times studying in Paris and London (shoutout to my homies).
Sunday and Monday we pretty much walked around Melbourne drinking coffee and trying out the local foodie scene. Melbourne is a super trendy, cosmopolitan city with a sophisticated coffee shop on nearly every block and an endless amount of good food. I don’t think I’ve had that much caffeine in one weekend in a while but no regrets. I took plenty of pictures, snapping away at anything that struck me as unique. It was so enjoyable to just roam around with nothing on the agenda except for eating and trying to see as many pretty things as possible. I was totally THAT girl aimlessly walking around with a camera around her neck.
I’m so happy and grateful to have had the chance to explore Melbourne, as it is a beautiful city with tons of culture, but am happy to be back in Brissy where it is sunny and warm. This weekend I’m going back to Hannah’s in the city and can’t wait to be reunited with my pals. Stay tuned for whatever other adventures come about…