4 days in Melbourne was not nearly enough. Not even close.
Melbourne is alive – you can feel its pulse and you can feel it move, feel it breathe. It’s modern and funky and weird. Lines between architecture and art are blurred – modern abstract structures are juxtaposed with old classical buildings, you can find a pop-up bar in literally any nook or cranny and it’s walls drip with paint of some of the most famous graffiti in the world. The buildings are sustainable and eco-friendly, they plant veggie gardens on the sidewalks and alleyways are so packed with bakeries and shops that you can’t sit without bumping into strangers. Just turn left and you discover an entirely new world that exists almost independently from the rest of this teeming city. All topped off with the laid back Aussie vibe.
We flew form Sydney to Melbourne as a group. The entire trip was technically a field trip for our Australian Culture and Society class (go BU!!) so we had to sign up for a couple of tours while there. We didn’t find it hard to settle into our INCREDIBLE apartments, complete with a beautiful balcony overlooking the city, two bedrooms and bathrooms and a full kitchen. Living the suite life huh?! (daaa so punny.) We quickly made it to a rooftop bar which was maybe one of my favorite bars I’ve been to since we’ve been in Australia, explored Federation Square, walked along the beautiful Yarra River and went out again at night. We sat through class Monday morning and then all separated for the tours we chose. On my tour, “We Built This City,” we explored the huge variety of beautiful architecture that exists in Melbourne and wandered through all kinds of cool little lane ways. It ended up actually being really interesting and I’m so glad I went on the tour – I never would have found all the magical little places she showed us on my own. I spent the rest of the day with a few of my friends here, exploring the CBD area a little and then later the St. Kilda’s area where we got to see fairy penguins in their natural habitat. It was blissful, my favorite kind of day – one filled with wonder, new experiences, good conversation and wonderful company. What more can a girl ask for? We had a fantastic family dinner and spent the night in to rest up for the big day we had ahead of us.
Tuesday we toured the Great Ocean Road. I have no words. Remember when I spoke about the dramatic cliffs of the Amalfi Coast set up against the sea and how it blew me away? Well It kind of reminded me of that except in limestone and sandstone – in greens and tans rather than grays and blues. It was gentler in a way and just utterly breathtaking. We stopped at a few different beaches along the Great Ocean Road, got to see koalas in their natural habitat and took a quick walk through this beautiful little rain forest. Apollo Bay was pure paradise..definitely somewhere I’d love to come back to. The Twelve Apostles, Loch and Gorge and London Bridge just seemed unreal. They’re too beautiful to describe so I’ll let my pictures do the talking. All I can say is I’m so grateful to have been able to see them and to have those memories stored away, ready to access for inspiration on any rainy days to come.
We went out again that night to a bar called Euro Trash which ended up being a lot of fun. It was 90’s night so we sang to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Britney Spears and I made a few new friends. The next day, we took a tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground where Australia plays its cricket and Australian rules footy games. It was a sweet opportunity and it was cool to learn a little about the sports, walk on the field and see where the players get ready and practice. We got some lunch and took a quick tour of the major graffiti streets in Melbourne which was SO COOL before getting on the plane for our return trip home. I loved the entire trip and absolutely could have spent a month there exploring and learning..just wondering around and taking new turns to see what I can discover. With that being said, I don’t think I’d trade it over Sydney with all of it’s beaches – we went cliff jumping in a place called Watsons Bay (see the panorama) and I don’t think I can really complain.
TO TOP OFF THE ENTIRE WEEK THE TAR HEELS WON TODAY!!!!!!!!! Bennett and I cried and the amount of FOMO I felt was unbelievable. But I still wouldn’t trade this for the world.