Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Melbourne Snapshots

It's hard to believe that our trip to Melbourne was two months ago! It didn't take us long to fall back into the routine of work, eat, sleep.

We were in Melbourne for two weeks for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and took the chance to revisit old haunts and discover new places.

We stayed in an apartment in the CBD so we were close to everything: the Comedy Festival venues, restaurants, shops, and transport. The first week was unusually beautiful and sunny; the second week more typically Melbourne - slight chill in the morning, warm during the day, cold at night.

Comedy performances

We attended six shows: Frank Woodley, Wil Anderson, Claire Hooper, Dave Hughes, and two Improv shows.

Really enjoyed them all. Late-Night Improv was OK but you have to expect that with improv. I was actually concerned I wouldn't be able to stay awake because it started at 11:30pm. Must be getting old!

Melbourne Zoo

Whenever we go to a major city we always seem to end up at a zoo or animal sanctuary. It's been about six years since we last visited Melbourne Zoo. Typical for us, we have lots of photos of animals, especially photos of meerkats.

View meerkats video

For something different, here are some lemurs. (This video feels like it's made for preschoolers!)

View lemurs video

And little penguins!

View Little Penguins video

Eureka Tower Skydeck

At 300m, the Eureka Tower Skydeck is the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere. We bought "Sun & Stars" tickets so we could see the view by day and night. The biggest problem was the blue tinge in the glass and all the reflections.

Wanderings around town

The rest of the time was spent in aimless leisure.

  • We took a tram back to Northcote and wandered up High Street. We started at the art deco Westgarth theatre, climbed Rucker's Hill, diverted into the back streets to see our old home, and ended up at our former local Thai restaurant for dinner. The street is filled with lots of cafes and restaurants, specialty shops, organic grocers. We even located a couple of bookstores - a type of store that did not exist when we lived there.
  • While Tony kept up his exercise regime with lots of power walks along the Yarra, I would spend time in retail therapy or curled up in front of the television. The factory outlets at Docklands, South Wharf and Southern Cross Station were so close - just a short walk or tram ride from the apartment.
  • This trip we had time to experience new restaurants and revisit old favourites.

    I love the atmosphere at The Spaghetti Tree, a place of contradictions - intimate yet crowded, dim and cosy, almost Bohemian. The walls are covered with old-time photos and prints, a lot of them black and white posters of movie stars. There's a bit of mystery about the place, I can never guess what the building might have been used for in the past - A theatre? A warehouse? A saloon!?

  • And last (but not least) if there are book stores or markets, we're likely to be there. We bought so many books we had to mail a box of books home.

    We visited the St Kilda arts market and wandered down Fitzroy Street. The last time we did that was on our honeymoon, 20 odd years ago! And we finally visited Prahran Market, a market we had planned to visit on our honeymoon and could never find.

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