"Ray's Melbourne" Melbourne by ray_d
Melbourne Travel Guide: 3,341 reviews and 7,498 photos
Melbourne itself is a quiet city.
Although it is expansive in length and breath, it never gives you the impression of being large. The Lady reclines along the North and East of Port Phillip Bay. Tides are small as this huge body of water has but a few Kilometres to let the Ocean in.
The Yarra river splits the city across a South, South, West / North, North East orientation. The poor old river is very much maligned. Known locally as the upside down river, it is relatively unimpressive. It flows into the bay without as much as a murmur. Its journey is long and is taken through Mountains, Forests, Vineyards, and countryside of spatacular proportions. Its speed varies depending on Season but the pleasure it gives is undiminished throughout the year.
Melbourne's suburbs vary in hugely. One finds old, tightly packed, inner Suburbs practically overflowing with hidden treasures. In these places small businesses thrive. Young Clothes Designers in miniscule shop-fronts mix with Bars and Restaurants. While Ethnically diverse Shops flog anything from Moroccan lanterns to Indian sauces.
Southwards of the city the bay breezes change the temperature. This part of Melbourne is the full of old and renovated Suburbs. Australia has only a small European settled history and this area is close to being the youngest and oldest..
A previous shipping and storage precinct, Port Melbourne, is now a modern, multi-storey, well-to-do Suburb. Albert and Middle Parks sit comfortably on low ground, mainly sporting older style one to two storey houses from Victorian and Georgian Period. St. Kilda is for fun. This is one place that is not shy of brightness, noise, colour and people. Tourists mix with locals and Melbourne is so cosmopolitan that it is not easy to pick the tourist if they do not carry a camera. The Penguins tend to get a bit uptight but they should be used to the noise by now.
Elwood is an open slightly quirky and Brighton is heavy with Old money and stately houses.
Psst.. tell no one but if you wake up early enough Elwood beach occationally hosts Dolphins.
The North progressively changes from tightly packed houses to open out to the rolling plains of Victoria. European immigrants have been established here forever. This area includes past favourite eating precinct where the smells of Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Greek cooking delight the palate.
The East teems with diversity from dense housing of Richmond, it flowers and washes into hills and Mountains. Hilly and pretty, the East takes vast amounts of realestate.
The West lies solidly flat and more spread out. Vast areas of new Building estates are within half an hour of the City centre. Some call it the Industrial Powerhouse of Melbourne. It is this way that one passes through for the delights of the Great Ocean Road.
Once called a very English City, Melbourne sparkles with people from most parts of the World. This place breeds acceptance and is rewarded by having mini-countries and mini-cultures where one would not expect them. Ethnic Markets abound and if you have the name of the ingredient, wherever it is grown or made, you will find it in one of these colourful markets.
Weather is not an issue. Volumes have been spoken about it and a hobby has developed in predicting the best way of being disappointed by it.
In reality Melbourne shimmers in the warmth of the tepid Sun in Winter; Coolly lit by its clean Light and perfumed airs in Spring; Heated progressively over days of patient calm in Summer and enhances the colour of the wind-felled leaves in Autumn.
This is interspersed by rain, any time, any day. However the rain is in context to the season. Brief and heavy in winter, light and sprinkle in spring, indifferent in summer and drizzly in autumn. It is also infrequent but also in evidence and makes Melbourne not only clean in mind and spirits but also clean in air and sea.
Safe and conservative, Melbourne is the place for raising a family. It tales little getting used to neighbours that live differently, pray differently, but are as proud to call Melbourne home. Politics are as unimportant as water on Mars.
Certainly not a Europe, Europe takes itself too seriously; It is not an America, America thinks itself invaluable; Nor is it Asia, Asia is too disciplined in its indiscipline; It is Australia: all accepting, mildly irreverent, unashamed proud, childishly playful, uniquely different, seriously funny, prolifically inventive and incredibly different to anything yet imagined.
Be very afraid, the next travelling Australian could be coming to a Suburb near you and make you smile!
- Pros:The attitude
- Cons:Tyrany of distance
- In a nutshell:Go for the food not the nightlife
The Queen Victoria Market On any weekend, this market is open for Tourist and Local alike. Brimming with an amazing... more travel advice
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