Day 5 - September 15, 2013 - Melbourne
Early in the morning, we took Bus #600 in front of Sandringham Station which goes all the way to the beginning of Acland Street. After looking into the window displays of cakes and pastries all along Acland Street, I'm amazed none of us actually flooded the place with our dripping saliva! :p
Looking at these makes me feel like banging my head on the wall again because all we did was to stroll pass and take photos! Seriously.......who goes to Acland Street and not treat themselves with some coffee and cakes!
We also came across the Luna Park which Aunty JC claims that everyone calls it the Lunatic Park. It's not open yet and since we have crazy theme parks waiting for us back in Gold Coast, missing this one out wouldn't be a problem. However, did you know that this park was first opened on 13th December 1912? Yes, apparently even the theme parks here are historical! You can read all about its history and their cool rides at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_Park,_Melbourne
The Palais Theatre
This beautiful theater is located next to Luna Park. It has the largest sitting capacity of 2,896 people and used to be a cinema. However, it is now primary used as a concert venue although the building retained many of its original features.
St Kilda's The Esplanade Market
We finally arrived at the weekend market by the beach in St Kilda's which is only open every Sunday from 10am to 4pm (May-Sept) and 10am to 5pm (Oct-April). There are different kind of stalls along the way which makes it an interesting experience :)
The Esplanade Hotel
The Esplanade Hotel, commonly known to the locals as "The Espy" is built in 1878 and it remains one of the earliest, largest and most prominent 19th century resort hotels according to Wikipedia. The picture was taken across the street from the market and at that time, we just thought it was a beautiful hotel without knowing the history behind it. Again, this shows you how important it is to research before your trip or you'll miss out the good parts! ;)
Lunch @ Taiwan Cafe
Thereafter, we took a walk around the city of Melbourne and it's amazing to see so many types of street performers all around and mind you, they are all pretty talented!
I'm really impressed with the architecture in Melbourne and how they still maintain the old General Post Office but inside, modernized it into a shopping arcade! You can read more of its history through Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne%27s_GPO
The famous huge purse in front of The GPO!
Crown Casino & Entertainment Complex
Aunty JC and family then took us to the Crown Casino and so happen, there was a celebration in conjunction with the Mooncake Festival. So yes, I went all the way to Australia to watch a lion dance! :p Obviously we can't gamble, especially when the betting are all made with Aussie Dollars! haha
A note to be taken is that to make sure you don't miss out the Fireballs (Gas Brigades) display! Do check out the timings for the fire display as the timings differ throughout the year. Check out the schedule and learn more about them at http://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/gas-brigades
We only saw the display from afar as we were already on our way to take a tram back to St Kilda's :( It looked magnificient even from afar so you can just imagine what is it like to be near it! Don't miss them or you'll regret it, trust me!
Polly Woodside Tall Ship
While walking towards the DFO South Wharf, we came across this enchanting and beautiful ship called the Polly Woodside Tall Ship which was built in 1885. It is located next to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and Melbourne Convention Centre at South Banks. After reading online, it seemed that the ship is open for viewing but only on weekends within a certain time frame. Shall not bore you with further details so if you're interested to include it into your itinerary, just head on to their site at http://www.pollywoodside.com.au/polly_woodside
St Kilda's Pier
I was looking forward to this all day long because when the sun sets, the penguins will be swimming back to their nests among the rocks along the pier. After a quick shopping trip to the DFO South Wharf, we made our way back to St Kilda's again.
It was the longest walk to the end of the pier but imagine how disappointed I was to find that the place was close for construction. There were a group of people there standing and peeping but it was too far to see anything.
Honestly I was tempted to crawl under the fence like a few of them did but of course, the parents wouldn't allow. Some were even climbing over the railing which looked so dangerous because one slip and you would fall onto the rocks or into the sea! Now, there's no point risking your life to see penguins right? ;)
First, I didn't get to coffee and cakes and now, I don't even get to meet the penguins! What a bummer! Hopefully day 6 would be better!
Day 6 - September 16, 2013 - Melbourne
Other than seeing the penguins in St Kilda's, my other to do list while in Melbourne is to visit the colourful bathing boxes along the Brighton Beach! It was a rainy morning but I insisted on going because my heart can't take another disappointment! Uncle Steven took a day off from work just to drive us around..Thank you, Uncle Steven!
These bathing boxes are generally used as shelter, to change in and out of swimming costume and also to store your personal belongings. Aunty JC also told us each of these bathing boxes are sold at a very high price! Shall not bore you further with the details because the pictures speaks a thousand words! ;)
Shrine of Remembrance
This beautiful place was built in remembrance of those who perished served in the World War. I'm really glad Aunty JC took us here because this is really one of the must see attractions in Melbourne. It would make one more thankful and appreciative towards those who served in the war. There are also events happening on and off throughout the year so do check out their site at http://www.shrine.org.au/Home for further information! :) The place is huge and if I have the chance, I would like to revisit it again as some were closed for renovation :(
The view from the top!
The best part about this buffet is the unlimited supply of macarons and salmon sashimi. I think I just entered the food heaven! haha Each person costs AUD 29.50 which is quite reasonable priced for a buffet in my opinion without converting, of course!
Dad also arranged a meeting with his schoolmate, Uncle Tan and they had a good time catching up and talking about the old times. Dad always have friends every corner of the world!
After lunch, Dad's friend dropped us off at DFO South Wharf again for us to continue where we left off the previous day. Because all the shops closes at 5pm sharp, the time to shop is really limited! If you are looking for branded goods in affordable prices, this is the place to be! It's still cheap even after the convert!
It's already our last night in Melbourne and we felt as if both the heart and the steps grew heavier as we get ready to say goodbye. Even the Melbourne skies grew depressed as it suddenly became really dark and started to rain heavily. Were those tears of goodbye? *drama*
Being a cafe hopping lover myself, we planned to revisit Acland Street but because it was raining so heavily, we had no choice but to abandon our plans. We were stranded at the Melbourne Convention Centre but at the spur of the moment, we decided to walk back to Flinder's Station to take the train. The tram station was just right in front of us but no, we decided to become heroes and walk.
I thought that it was just a short walk back to the station but it ended up to the longest walk ever! Lesson learnt, never trust the girl with the STM (Short Term Memory)! haha It was a decision that we regretted till today because we had to walk all the way without any shelter under the rain! The parents were sharing one small umbrella and I, in my disposable Guardian raincoat! *shy* Luckily, none of us fell sick after that act of "heroism"! :P
And with that, the last night in Melbourne comes to an end as we head back to Gold Coast the next day! Stay with us!