St Kilda

Cosmopolitan Melbourne

On a recent trip back home to Sydney, Australia in January, I wanted to visit my good friend Brooke, who lives in Melbourne. Months ago we had bought our tickets to the Australian Open Round 3 and were now super psyched to be finally going! We also were hoping that we’d get to see one of the top seeds ie Rafa or Roger!! But that wasn’t till later in the evening. So I had some exploring to do around Melbourne.

Upon Brooke’s recommendation, I made my way to Centre Place, which is just between Flinders Lane and Collins Street. Oh my word, was I lost for words – this lane way was AMAZING! You could really get high from the amazing coffee fumes coming out from each of the hipster cafes! I walked the length of the lane way, just to absorb the atmosphere – it really did remind me of Europe. I saw the big orange sign with “Lorca” written on it and made my way over to kick start my morning with a latte. The barista was so friendly and über hipster, he handed over my latte with a smile and I was on my way. With an awesome coffee in one hand, I was ready to start aimlessly wandering around Melbourne on a gorgeous sunny day.

I found myself in front of the State Library and given that I’m a lover of architecture I decided to go in (plus it’s free!). The inside was simply spectacular – it had a neo-classical feel to it. I came across Ned Kelly’s infamous steel helmet and attire – which had been polished so much that it was giving off a shine. We actually learnt so much about Ned Kelly and other bushrangers in primary school – something that I find odd now that I look back (I mean he was a thief!). I made my way to the “dome room” and I actually spent a lot of time in here – I was in awe of the beauty of the architecture: a dome white roof with windows, with white balcony’s along the walls coming down and the ground had parquetry floors with desks that had green lamps, ahhh so nice!

Next up was the Melbourne Botanic Gardens – and I had a lot of fun photographing the bees amongst the flowers (thankfully none of them stung me!). There was also a war memorial in the gardens – it was a mammoth of a building!

I had to meet Brooke in St Kilda, so I caught a tram from the city. I actually ran into an old friend on the tram that I went to uni with and I hadn’t seen him in 10 years – just goes to show what a small world it truly is! I didn’t like St Kilda too much – it had a Miami-esque vibe, which I’m not too fond of (exaggerated tanned people with a weird sense of what constitutes swimwear…).

The Australian Open was AMAZING!!! It turned out that we were seeing Rafa play against some guy who wasn’t even seeded, plus Maria Sharapova playing against a non-seeded girl. We got to the arena a bit early (NOTE: definitely use public transport – works so well!) to explore, there were loads of activities to do. We heard a bunch of kids asking the security guard where the players were warming up, we thought it was a grand idea, so we followed the kids. We actually got to see Fernando Verdasco warming up – which was super cool! The matches we were watching were in Rod Laver Arena. The women played first – it was a great match, despite Sharapova grunting and of course defeating the non-seeded girl. Then the men came out and boy did the crowd cheer for Rafa! He wasn’t feeling too well but he gave it his all and won in 3 sets. The final set was the most entertaining one as his opponent actually made him fight for it. After the match when Jim Courier was interviewing him, Rafa even made a few jokes and thanked the crowd for the support…

Overall, Melbourne was great, as usual. The public transport system is really good, they have something similar to an Oyster Card (London) which works on all forms of transport. If you do get a chance to go to Melbourne, make sure you indulge in the great coffee!! If you do want to go to the Australian open – the tickets went on sale in September 2014, so make sure you purchase your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment, as they definitely sell out!