Each city I visited in Australia has their own beauty and uniqueness. For me the beauty of Canberra appears in its serenity and modesty as the capital city of Australia. It gives you what you need, but not too much. I can find ‘real-time’ bus schedule and all bus routes on Google maps. Hahaha… But the story in Canberra must end. On January, 4th we started our journey to see another face of Australia.
As I wanted to try all possible public transportation lines in Australia, my boyfriend booked us VLine ticket to Melbourne using bus which took exactly four hours from Jolimont, Canberra to Albury Train Station. From Albury Train Station, we continue the journey using train to Southern Cross Station in Melbourne. What made our journey more ‘exciting’ was just few days before we started our trip, we heard that some parts of Australia was hit by the disastrous bush fire.
We have been monitoring the weather forecasts from both news and our android applications. Along the way, we were thankful that the hottest temperature occurred when we were in the bus or train. But… Apparently, as we arrived in Melbourne, the temperature shows 41 degrees Celsius. Warmer temperatures began to be felt since we got off the train and walked out of the station. Once we finally knew where should we walk to, we started walking towards the Spencer Street to find our hotel in which we will stay.
I have protected my eyes well with my sunglasses, but unfortunately, my boyfriend didn’t bring sunglasses and his hat was placed inside his bag. The temperature was really hot until make you feel like standing in front of a microwave. And my boyfriend started to shed in tears because he couldn’t stand the heat on his eyes. Finally, we decided to stop for a moment in the shade and my boyfriend put on his hat. Thankfully, our hotel (Atlantis Hotel)was not so far from the Southern Cross Station.
Beautiful first night in Melbourne 🙂
After taking a short rest and wait for the temperature to decline, we finally decided to go around Melbourne with a free city circle tram (route 35). There are two routes: clockwise and counter-clockwise. Each operates from 10 am -5 pm (from Sunday to Wednesday) and from 10 am – 9 pm (from Thursday to Saturday). Free city circle tram will take you to the tourist attractions around the city of Melbourne. Since we were too tired and we came out after the temperature began to decline, we were limited by time. Finally, after a night snacks and went around the city by the city tram, we enjoyed Melbourne at dusk. We decided to sit down and enjoyed the sunset at Yarra River side.
And guess what? We didn’t do it once. We spent another night later only to sit next to Yarra River side and enjoyed our Cone Head Fish and Chips and Sushi 🙂 Melbourne, I’m in love…
Hundred Faces Melbourne
My admiration to Melbourne is different with my admiration to Canberra. I love the simplicity of Canberra as a capital city of Australia and as a comfort place to live in, while my admiration to Melbourne is coming from the hundred faces of Melbourne. The perfect blend of a modern city with artistic ancient buildings.
St. Kilda Beach
Prepare yourself to play in St Kilda, where you can kick up your heels by the seashore. St Kilda is Melbourne’s favorite beach side suburb. Many locals walk, cycle, and skate under the palms on the foreshore or sail, windsurf, or kite surf on the bay. My boyfriend and I spent our lunch time with my family’s relative (Oma Johan and Opa Johan). Though the price was over-rated (com’on De, it’s a tourism spot anyway).
If you have time to visit St Kilda beach during summer time, don’t forget to check for Ben & Jerry’s Open Air Cinema 🙂 It’s worth the price. I was sad because at that time, we run out the ticket for Skyfall 😥
Yarra River (another story)
After coming back from St Kilda, we used the free city tram to go to Flinders Street to buy Conehead: Fish and Chips. It’s really worth it!! The tartar sauce is also very good. We then took a walk from Flinders Street to Yarra River and enjoy our afternoon snack on the river side. We sat in front of Melbourne’s Crown Casino as during the summer time every hour (from Monday to Friday) starting from 9.00 pm till midnight, there is a fire display on the eight granite towers along the riverside. It is called Fireballs (Gas Brigades). However, please note that the Gas Brigade operation is subject to weather and wind conditions on the day. Especially, when summer time, sometimes there will be a Total Fire Ban declarations).
ACMI (Australian Centre for The Moving Image)
Our random day continues to our third day in Melbourne. We previously planned to go for Phillip Island to see the penguin parade, but if we wanted to see the penguin parade, we have to spend a night in Phillip Island. Based on Oma Johan’s suggestion that it’s not worth as it will take quite sometimes to go Phillip Island, the penguin is not much as well. Oma joked that maybe the penguins had forgotten to go back home each summer :p
So, we decided to visit museums or monuments around Melbourne. We checked the free city tram’s route and decided to go down in ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image). Same with other museums that we have visited during our time in Canberra, ACMI didn’t disappoint at all. The free entrance fee and the complete collections that tells you about the development of cinematographic and other moving images (includes video games), will keep you in awesomeness. And the other luck is.. we saw an outdoor movie screening around the museum’s complex. It played Dr Zeus: Horton hears a who 😀
Shrine of Remembrance, the magnificient
After watched the movie, we then decided that this time we were going to use the free shuttle bus (another free facilities :D) And we randomly chose Shrine of Remembrance because of its history and the place is also very nice.
The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s largest war memorial. It is Melbourne’s most recognized landmark. It was built in remembrance of those who served and those who died in the Great War of 1914-1918. It was built between July 1928 and November 1934 in remembrance of the 114,000 men and women of Victoria who served and those who died in the Great War. 89,100 of them served overseas and 19,000 did not return. Unfortunately we couldn’t explore more about this place as it had been closed just before we arrived.
Hundred faces of Melbourne 🙂