I live about 30 minutes drive from Melbourne so I have never felt the need to stay in the CBD or surrounds before. If I go to a restaurant or event in the city I normally just drive home because it’s not far. However when friends of mine decided to come to Melbourne for the weekend I didn’t hesitate to say I would stay there as well.
I suggested we stay at the Travelodge Southbank which is just south of Melbourne’s CBD and right in the heart of the restaurant belt of Southgate and Crown Casino which is my favourite part of Melbourne.
The rooms themselves are small, but very fresh and comfortable. Prices are very reasonable considering their location a few hundred metres from Crown Casino, Southgate, Federation Square and Flinders St Station. From my room on the 9th floor I could see a glimpse of Flinders St Station through the gap between the Langham Hotel and Mobil building.
Last Friday my Mum and I went into Melbourne to watch the A-League semi-final between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. We went in early so we could have dinner. Federation Square (aka Fed Square) is one of the great meeting places in Melbourne despite being very controversial in design.
Feddish overlooks the Riverwalk and the Yarra River. It would be lovely to sit outside in Summer. We sat outside because it wasn’t very cold. It is quite protected from breezes on that level and they have heaters on nearby.
We arrived in time for Happy Hour with house wine only $6 per glass and quickly chose two meals from the Sharing section of the menu. One of my favourite dishes is Salt and Pepper Calamari with Lemon Aioli so we chose that and also Traditional Arancinni. Both dishes were very light and delicious. I can’t wait to go back there for a full meal.
Each year on the night before Mother’s Day, the MCG hosts the Pink Lady Match. The aim is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. The Melbourne Football Club hosts this event that over the years has raised millions of dollars. This year my team, the Sydney Swans, played Melbourne. It’s the first time we have played in this game so my first opportunity to experience the night. I’ve only watched it on tv before.
As I walked towards the MCG from the train station I noticed the exterior of the ground was lit up pink. It looked really good lit up in the dark. Not knowing what to expect, I got to my seat and sat down to watch the players warm up before the game. Once the players left the ground I realised the light towers had been switched off. Soon after the lighting within the ground was also switched off, plunging the ground and stands into darkness.
On the way in we were given free torches that shone pink light. Once the ground lights were switched off we were all asked to point our torches on to the ground. It created the effect you see below. During this part everyone stood for one minutes silence as a mark of respect for all those that have died from, or receiving treatment for, breast cancer.
Earlier this year I went on my first cruise. I have been toying with the idea of going on a cruise 13 night around New Zealand. My Mum suggested going on a smaller cruise to see if I liked it. So we decided to do a cruise on Dawn Princess from Melbourne to Hobart to Melbourne.
We left on January 24th at 4pm. It was a beautiful summers day although looking at the photos now it was also a little cloudy.
The Seabourn Odyssey and Spirit of Tasmania were also docked at Station Pier.
Mum has been on cruises before and wanted a balcony stateroom which turned out to be one of my favourite things about the cruise. Just being able to open the sliding door when we wanted some fresh air or to see what we were sailing past without having to go up to one of the open decks was priceless. We were able to sit on our balcony waiting for the ship to move away from the dock. It is such a smooth process that I didn’t realise straight away that it was moving. It took a few hours to sail through Port Phillip Bay. We were able to unpack and have a look around some of the ship before settling upstairs in the Horizon Court Buffet while waiting to approach Port Phillip Heads. We were able to sit at a table at the front of the door and near the door so we could go outside to the front of the ship when we were approaching the Heads. It turns out we approached the Heads during the equivalent of peak hour. There were several ships entering the Heads so we had to patiently (well maybe not THAT patiently) wait our turn. It was fascinating watching the ships entering and how we had to manoeuvre to stay out of their way.
When it was our turn to sail through the Heads the sun was beginning to set. I have always wanted to sail through the Heads. I have done it once before coming back on the ferry from Tasmania but that was before dawn so I didn’t get to see it. I have been as close to the Heads on land on both sides as is possible so the last thing was to actually sail through them. It was magical and well worth waiting for.
Watching Melbourne disappear as we began our cruise
Today was yum cha day again, our first for the year. This time we visited a Chinese restaurant in the south east suburbs, Fountain Gate. We have been here before but a long time ago so thought we would revisit it. They seem to have a big emphasis on pork dishes here. We have noticed over the years that yum cha restaurants tend to have a main meat or seafood ingredient. Service was pretty good although after a few times of not taking anything from the trolleys, one lady just walked straight past us without offering us a dish. They offered us a lot at the start so needed a break to get through what we had chosen. All the dishes were really nice although the spring rolls had a lot of mushrooms so I didn’t eat those.
The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for March 13th was Wall. This photo is of Melbourne Town Hall’s Christmas projection. Each loop rang for eight minutes. It was very spectacular.
Melbourne is well-known for it’s street art. Although it is still shunned in many areas, in Hosier Lane it is embraced. It’s the sort of place you need to visit regularly because it changes every few weeks.