What I learnt from my first time visiting Melbourne: Part 1

I’ve always been too busy to visit Melbourne. I work long hours, so usually I’m racing around on weekends doing all the chores, groceries and washing.

So last weekend, I booked my first ever flight to Melbourne with a group of girlfriends. It was a dangerous one-off for us all, and you know what? We loved every wicked second.

I arrived in Melbourne on the Saturday morning feeling like a tourist. My innocence had returned; I was in a city full of mystery. The suburban streets were blooming with red autumn leaves clawing the skyline along the Yarra River banks, painting a warm and inviting route on the way to my hotel.

After I tripped down the stairs of the airport shuttle to check-in, the group jumped on a tram to Chapel Street (Melbourne’s Rodeo Drive) to explore on of the best shopping streets in Melbourne.

A few things stood out to me comparing Melbourne to other east-coast cities.

Black over white

Dress code by day in Sydney tends to be jeans and a white shirt, white Converse shoes. In Melbourne, substitute all these for black. Black coats and black boots. Black designer bags are the top accessory on the left arm; a fashionable male or dog leash on the other. Track pants are optional.

DFO is bigger, better

Sydney has Birkenhead Point and Brisbane has the Airport DFO. But I’d call the DFO in Melbourne a sizable step up on both. Much like the city’s town plan, someone put themselves in the shoes of a female shopper and knew a well-positioned cab rank would be needed to rescue sore feet afterwards.

Coffee is rite of passage

In the 1950s, the University Café on Lygon Street introduced Melbourne’s first commercial espresso machine. It’s still in the shop on display today along Carlton’s Little Italy strip. It’s a cream-coloured Gaggia. Seeing this art-deco novelty is worth a trip to the café alone.

The beep is a rattle

When you cross the road, you’ll notice the beeping sound that comes once the traffic lights change for pedestrians is rather tin-pot. The sound bellows much louder at street crossings in Sydney, even Brisbane.

My favourite photo from Melbourne is this one I took of the Yarra River.

What about you, dear reader? What are the big differences you notice comparing Melbourne to other Australian capital cities?

-       Lauren


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