Traitor face! How could anyone from Sydney ever support Melbourne? After all, being a Sydney person to the core, shouldn’t I be calling it: “Mediocre Melbourne”?
Of course, the list of Sydney’s superlatives is endless. Starting off with the obvious trifecta, there’s the Harbour, Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Melbourne has no equivalents. Moreover, when it comes to Melbourne’s Yarra River, they might as well stick it in a drain. Lock it up. No one would miss it.
By now, I’m sure you’ve realized that there’s just a tad of rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, especially historically speaking. No self-respecting Sydney person has ever said one good word about “that place”…even if Melbourne does consider itself the food, fashion and cultural capital of the universe.
Anyway, what I can say was pretty marvellous about Melbourne, was finding family accommodation in the heart of Melbourne for $100 a night. That’s something you definitely can’t get in Sydney.
Melbourne also retained its tram network, whereas Sydney dug up its tramlines before I was born. So, it’s always been a novelty to ride a Melbourne tram. However, Sydney has had light rail now for some time and Melbourne’s trams have been updated so they’re not so much of a novelty these days. Although, as I mentioned in my last post, driving on the tram tracks with a tram heading up is more of a nightmare than fun.
Last Sunday night, we stayed in Melbourne overnight. This was the first leg of our trip to Tasmania. Monday morning, we were loading ourselves and the car onto the Spirit of Tasmania, a massive North Sea Ferry, which would take us across Bass Strait into Devonport.
This left us with only one night in Melbourne. Indeed, that left us with only a couple of hours to check Melbourne out. After touching base in the room, we headed off to explore as much of Melbourne as we could in 2 hours within the free tram zone.
Indeed, you could well ask how we could ever hope to catch even a glimpse of Melbourne when we’re merely blinking on the way through.
Well, you can see quite a lot of a place when you stick your camera out the window as you’re driving through dodging trams while looking for street signs and trying not to get lost.
We caught the train down to Brunswick Street where I spotted the familiar Brunswick Station. I must admit that I was quite surprised and shocked to see so many homeless people sleeping on the street outside. I don’t know if they were simply travellers but there were quite a lot. I don’t get into Sydney much at night but Geoff assures me there are quite a few homeless people there so it’s no doubt a universal issue once you leave the comfort of your own four walls and your blog.
Across the road, I spotted the famous Young and Jackson Pub. This is home to the infamous nude portrait of Chloe https://www.youngandjacksons.com.au/chloe. Not the sort of thing I’d usually take the kids to see but in we all went. As far as nudes go, she’s rather tasteful and I didn’t have a huge issue about it.
Spotting an impressive Cathedral, we crossed the road to check out St Paul’s Cathedral, which was flying a banner supporting our refugees.
As you could well appreciate with only having 2 hours to check out this world-class city, we were on the run.
Next stop was Federation Square across the road. It’s an interesting building which I’ll have to follow up when I’m not a week behind and trying to travel rather than write. For the time being, I’ll just share a few pics and tell you how huge and ginormous this building is and how it made me feel like an ant. This made me question why we build such huge, imposing architecture which devalues the individual and yet I’ve already answered my own question in a way having raised Sydney – Melbourne rivalry and needing to give a city a prominent place on the world stage.
While we were roaming through Federation Square, we spotted some signs to an exhibition by the world-famous street artist, Banksy. This led us on a rather intriguing search through a car park and children’s playground only to realise that it is an indoor exhibition and the best we could do was peer at some other local artists exhibiting outside through a huge wire fence. Oh well.
After chasing Banksy, we walked back to our tram stop via the railway line, which looked really, really creepy. I’m sure loads of Australian TV shows and movies must use this spot to film murders, Police chases and wayward youth roaming along the tracks at night. As much as I loved photographing this location, it really gave me the creeps.
Anyway, as I said we had about 2 hours to check out Melbourne and that was it…one blink and you’ll miss it tour but when you’re trying to carpe diem and seize the day, such moments need to be snatched and you make the most of what you’ve got.
So, now our next step in our Tasmanian Odyssey is catching the Spirit of Tasmania across Bass Strait to Devonport, Tasmania.
We should’ve prayed for calm seas but we forgot.
C’est la vie!