I left Newcastle on a warm, sunny morning and arrived in a bitterly cold Melbourne. But it was August after all. It had been some 2.5 years since my last visit and I realised why I felt so excited to be back in my favourite Australian City. I feel so at home in Melbourne, a friend recently said to me she always thought I would move there. True, I have considered it many times, but where would I go for my holidays?
I love the European feel of Melbourne, its late starts, its cafes and fabulous food culture, its many museums, the weather, and the ease of which you can manoeuvre around the city. But mostly I love its laneways and outstanding architecture. I could walk this city for days and still uncover hidden delights.
I never tire of the trip from Tullamarine to the City, I love the sense of excitement and the mystery of what kind of day the city has in store. This trip was no different, I waited for my luggage and joined the line for the Sky Bus which seemed longer than usual. No fear, the line moved quickly and I had barely put the change from the ticket back in my wallet and I was stepping on to the shuttle to Spencer Street Station.
The 20 minute ride into the city disembarks at Spencer Street Station and you then wait a little longer for a mini bus to deliver you to your hotel doorstop. Awesome service, by the time I arrived at my hotel, light rain had disappeared but the chill in the air remained. I rang the agent to meet me at the private apartment I had secured on Collins Street, very near to Elizabeth Street. I have a few hotels I prefer to stay at in Melbourne, but the ravages of time have gotten to them and prices were seemingly up. This lovely apartment was a better deal than a hotel anyway. I hoped it was all it looked like online.
The building was a chameleon, part actual hotel, part apartment. Known as The Plum but decorated as The Mark and The Mart...go figure. My apartment was on the 13th floor, but in the usual style of high rise buildings, the elevator went to 14 and you walked down two small flights to the 13th floor. The apartment was a large room – quite massive actually – with a balcony overlooking many buildings and view to Flinders station. The room had a Queen sized bed, two large leather sofas, a small table and chairs and a full kitchen. There was a chest of drawers, tele and DVD player, large wardrobe and a second long room with laundry and bathroom. It was very modern and perfect for a few people, spacious for me!
Yes, I was holidaying by myself! I often go to Melbourne with friends or my sister, but I love to wander and take photos of buildings and the lanes and see where the day takes me. I find even the most enthusiastic companion will tire after a few hours. And seeing as it was so long since my last visit, I needed to see the city entirely on my own terms. I was in Melbourne to see some exhibitions and King Kong the musical and also meet for the first time a twitter friend, but I would have plenty of time to just absorb all that I love.
Here are a few shots on dusk and at night.