Down Under Done
My relationship with Australia is long and personal, so it's a place I expected to visit a long time ago. Finally making it to Melbourne felt familiar and welcoming, and utterly delicious. I spent 10 days working shopping, eating and hanging out with friends and family.
My uncle moved to Melbourne when I was young, and would bring us back exotic koala toys at Christmas. Irish people are constantly visiting or living there and I distinctly remember a didgeridoo in my childhood hallway. My sisters lived in Melbourne for a year in the aughts so I tried to be closer to them by watching Aussie dramas and listening to triple J. Now with Mike working for an Australian corporation, I'm more surrounded then ever by the place and the people.
All of this exposure made being there feel like an extension of home. I was dying to spend time in a tall-people bread-centric country, my shopping list was long and my avocado craving acute.
I mixed my time between working and shopping and chucked it all it to go full tourist by Friday. Mike was working all day so we only got to meet up for dinner. Every night was busy with dinners all over the city, Essendon to St.Kilda and out to Bacchus Marsh.
Here's some stuff I saw
Melbourne used to be VERY rich...when it was a strapping young adolescent city, so those kids build some incredible buildings, all around the same time. Treasuries, government buildings, libraries and cathedrals from that era are top notch, world class architectural marvels that I was delighted to find. I guess I knew nothing about Melbourne before I went, but after all my time spent in the above-named institutions, I can now even tell you who Melbourne was named after!
I found this out just before I arrived, that Melbourne is a hive of street art. Like weird, un-commissioned stuff in back alleys, as well as the big 3-story pieces. The tourist office and some websites have an art walk that will take you through the laneways whose boarded up windows have little altars to cartoon characters, glued paraphernalia and hilarious sayings.
I had a blast running through really well tended river-side and suburban tracks. My lungs were screaming with the dry air. Next time I would like to run near the beach or along the Yarra. Oh, and not give myself tendonitis from trails and bad shoes.