Hadn’t occurred to me to visit Melbourne the times I’d visit Sydney. This being my third time visiting, I'd decided I'd better make a visit, Decision made easier as I had friends who lived there. Another reason was that a few people kept banging on about Melbourne. Saying it’s different to Sydney, you’d like, it has a different vibe etc.
Upon arrival, a friend of 20 years picked me up from the airport and took me on a quick tour of the city. He and his wife we're in love with the city having moved from Brisbane. He pointing out that drink and food is way cheaper, plus the people are friendlier and its way better than Brisbane and Sydney full stop. Saying all this and I hadn't even left the airport!
I had landed on Melbourne Cup day, so most things were shut but also saw people making their way to the races and also to local pubs to celebrate this crazy day where literally the whole city shuts down and makes way for the one of the greatest horse racing events in the world.
That evening, met up with another friend who drove me to St Kilda to see the beach huts, we walked along the beach, trying to photograph the beach huts without people in the background. Basically we were being selfish in wanting the whole beach to ourselves, eventually time played its part and we did have the beach to ourselves but only because the sun was going down and it was getting windy and cold. We also went down to the Princess Pier Port Melbourne for sunset. The colours in the sky were amazing and spent about 20 minutes taking photos. It just wasn't me on the pier, there were a few others taking photos of the stunning skies. It was one of those contemplative moments where for that few moments you realise where you are, what your doing and where your heading. I've had too many moments like on my travels over the years.
On my second day in Melbourne I decided to take a day trip to the 12 Apostles. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go as I was only going to be in Melbourne for a few days and wanted to catch up with friends. But after some goading via whatsapp by friends, decided to do it. I've written about this in another blog post with more photos but just to give you an idea of what I saw, see the photo below.
Third day in Melbourne was spent with a friend whom I hadn't seen for over 18 months since we met in Cambodia. Truth be told I was a bit worried as I hadn’t seen her in over 18 months and what would I say, what would she say, all these things go through your mind. But it was all for nothing as when we met, it like no time had passed at all. Another virtue of travelling and making great friendships that last. We chilled for a bit at Federation Square, visited the Eureka Skydeck, walked along Hosier Lane to see the vibrant graffiti, followed by a film at the IMAX at Melbourne Museum followed by dinner. I had no plans to travel in 2014 as I wanted to take some time away from travelling and just have time to relax and process the photos I had taken over the years, but one thing I realised was that the friends you make on your travels is worth the journey. Having spent the whole day with my friend, it dawned on me that distance is really no barrier to the power of true friendship and was glad I made the journey.
My last day in Melbourne was doing my usual ritual of checking all my gear over a gazillion times. Seems my OCD on checking my stuff when travelling has never let up since 2005, its pretty much stayed the same level. Spent the morning doing some last minute shopping and then getting a cab to my friends apartment whom picked me up from the airport when I first landed. Spent the whole afternoon relaxing, talking about life, how far we’ve come and to top it all off, he busted out the Christmas play we both starred in which was filmed by his grandma from way back in 1992 during our time at middle school. Never had I had so much jokes and smiles whilst watching a younger version of ourselves and many friends past and present on TV.
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