Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday in Melbourne

Flinders Street station is a well known landmark across the road from Federation Square. The station is over 100 years old, while just visible in the background in the centre, the Eureka Tower is less than 10 years old

I woke up to a fairly breezy day, but the sun was shining so Caroline and I headed out for some much needed spring weather therapy. We've both been feeling a little under the weather recently so a dose of sunshine and fresh air was needed. Actually, instead of fresh air, we headed to Melbourne CBD. I must admit, it's been quite some time since I've been to the CBD. When i first moved to Melbourne I used to go into the centre of Melbourne quite a bit, checking out the laneways and arcades, and spending time by the Yarra on the South Bank. But after a while Melbourne's other suburbs tend to grow on you and I've spent lots of time walking by the bay in Port Melbourne, Elwood, Black Rock or even down to Mordialloc. Inner suburbs like South Melbourne, Fitzroy, Carlton and Hawthorn are also great to visit, while I love where I live in Elsternwick.

Melbourne has many alleys, arcades and lanes to explore. This is Centre Place.
The last time I remember going to the CBD was for the Polish Festival in November 2012. Today there was no event happening in Federation Square. We took a walk around the city stopping in Issus in Centre Place for something to eat and drink. It was breakfast, so I had some porridge, and a long black. The food was no better than ok, but the coffee was amazing. It was probably one of the top 5 coffees I've had since moving to Melbourne over 8 years ago. The roast was strong but not overdone, the acidity wasn't overpowering, and the initial earthy/nutty taste was followed by a liquorice hit afterwards. A beautiful smooth coffee. However, we did have to wait a long time for the coffee as someone seemed to have forgotten we had ordered it!

Cafe Issus in bustling Centre Place serving great coffee
This winter's day reached a high of about 18C with glorious sunshine. So strolling around Melbourne's CBD and along the South Bank at a gentle pace was really pleasant. One of the things I like about Melbourne (and other cities) is the blend of old and new buildings. It makes the city modern with a feel for its past. While Australia doesn't have the historical culture of European cities, it is still apparent what is old and what is new in Melbournian terms. So we strolled along graffiti lined alleys, main boulevards, across bridges, on riverside walkways and even through the (love it or hate it) Federation Square. I have to say that it felt decidedly spring like today, and hopefully we are nearing the end of winter. There are only 36 days to go before I fly to America and at least one of our destinations is currently experiencing 30C+ temperatures, so I really need Melbourne to start warming up so I can acclimatise!

Something old (St Michael's), something new (Grand Hyatt Hotel)

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