Melbourne! Awesome city, just as great as I imagined it to be. After talking so often with backpackers about the place, selling travel packages to the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and the Grampians National Park as if I had been there already, I finally got the chance to discover the place by myself.
My stay of four days was much too short, since in Melbourne you cannot really get bored: There are just too many things to see and to experience.
It is very different to Sydney, the classical, stylish part of Australia. If it comes to Melbourne, I think about adjectives like alternative, creative and European. In fact much more the way I like to live. Indeed, it reminded me a lot of Berlin, and now I can’t wait to get back to this amazing city!
Melbourne probably isn’t about this one big famous building (although there certainly are some), or following google maps through its main streets. Its famous beaches in Saint Kilda are nothing like in Sydney, on the beautiful Bondi-Coogee walk for example. Obviously the weather also was not the same as in Sydney. (Someone told me, “if you don’t like the weather in Melbourne, just wait for one hour cause it’s going to change”.)
Instead Melbourne is more about turning into those small little lanes, because it’s the hidden places that will make you stop and admire the beautiful street arts or the cute little shops and cafes. It’s more the people that make Melbourne to what it is I guess. It is a very diverse city, where you see all kind of hair colours, dresses or almost not dressed, painted houses and so many musicians in the streets. Melbourne has its own character.
Gastronomy also is a bit thing! You will find restaurants from all sort of countries, especially in the lovely area called Fitzroy. Me personally I chose “Afghan Gallery”, not only with really tasty food, but with the best waiters I’ve had in the last couple of months. They made me feel like a real guest, and since I got along so well with them they even offered me free pastries and drinks.
A very good idea if you want to learn about Melbourne’s culture, history and lifestyle, is to go on the “I’m free” tour.
And of course it’s not only Melbourne, but also all the places around the city that are so much worth being visited. Because of the limited time I had, I could “only” discover the Great Ocean Road with the twelve Apostles (that are actually eight). However the tour, our guide John, and the food (great pizza for dinner!) were perfect.
I was looking so long for Australian culture, something typical from the country. Now Melbourne did not show me anything like this at all. I saw all kinds of cultures except for the Australian one, the only language I almost did not hear in its street was Australian English, whoever was a tourist could have also lived there, just because there is no typical “Melburnian” face. But while looking for Australian culture I did perhaps forget that that is what Australia, and especially Melbourne, is about – a mixture of all countries, people and cultures.
After four days only I can say that Melbourne now became my favorite place in Australia and that if I ever was to come back to this country, I would very likely chose this city to live in.