Having thought our journey to Sydney was the worst, we gleefully hopped onto our final Greyhound, nabbed the two best sets of seats at the front, only to be kicked off in Canberra for 10min before boarding again and getting assigned seats. Fortunately, we weren’t far from each other and were the only ones to still have two seats each but boy was it uncomfortable. We arrived in Melbourne, aching and sleep-deprived, in 16 degrees – not exactly what we expected!
A quick bus station breakfast and short tram ride later, we dumped our bags at our super smart hostel and promptly fell asleep, face down on the lounge sofas. We slept solidly for a couple of hours, even the cleaners hoovering around us didn’t manage to wake us! This was exactly what we needed and gave us the energy to stroll down to Kinfolk for one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. Melbourne knows how to do smashed avo and poached eggs.
“I don’t mind what we do, as long as we don’t walk as much as we did on our first day in Sydney”, I said to Ari after food. So we got a tram to the Botanical Gardens and did exactly what we did in Sydney, walked for kilometres and kilometres, getting a feel for the city. From the Gardens to the cityscape from the top of the Shrine of Remembrance to the graffiti-strewn lanes, we walked our little legs off.
Meaning we had very little energy by the evening but still managed to make it out to meet Ari’s ex-colleague Mark for drinks and another of Betty’s delicious burgers. After a good night’s sleep, we prepared a leisurely breakfast and ambled on down to Queen Victoria market. In terms of shopping, there was a lot of tourist tat, but food-wise, it was heaven! Fruit, veg, meat, seafood, fish – it was all there. And the deli section was amazing! Not a great place to be when peckish though… but at least that was lunch sorted.
We made the most of the afternoon to visit the NGV on Federation Square. We’d initially decided to pop in to see their excellent collection of aboriginal art but ended up gawping at several floors’ worth of exhibitions. Definitely a must-see.
After that small bout of culture, we indulged in a spot of shopping, partly as we didn’t have many cooler-weather clothes but mostly because we liked what we saw! On our final day, we trammed down to St Kilda for a brisk walk down the pier in search for penguins. Sadly, there were none to be seen as it was the wrong time of day, but we did spot a water rat.
From there, we walked all the way to Elwood, a suburb non-residents wouldn’t usually visit, but we had a purpose: a pilgrimage to the only other branch of Combi for lunch. Yet more (overpriced but delicious) smashed avo and juices!
We spent our afternoon relaxing on our roof terrace (I know!) before heading out to trendy Chapel Street to meet my old Joseph buddies, Rachel and Jenna, for some delicious Japanese food at Tokyo Tina and tasty cocktails at a crazy vodka bar. Crazy how years later we can still have such a laugh!