On December 9th, we went to Melbourne for 3 days.
We looked for a campsite, but the only one we could find was not only far from the city, but also with really bad ratings. A lot of feedback mention that there are a lot of former prisoners, drug addicts and dealers. Some of them even say that the police advised them not to stay here. Obviously, it discouraged us. So we chose Airbnb. We went to Northcote in a flat at Danzae’s place, a very nice australian. It cost us a lot more but at least, we were not too far from Melbourne and we were safe.
On the day of our arrival, we went in the neighborhood. There were a lot of old buildings with one or two floors, with their fronts painted directly on the walls and it contrasted with the stores now in place. We were impressed by the number of closed stores.
The next day, direction Melbourne city centre, for a walk of about 7 km. We went through Fitzroy, a very cultural, artistic and bohemian suburb where you can see a lot of street art. The atmosphere is really enjoyable.
Then, we went to the Queen Victoria Market which is open during the week in the morning, but on Wednesdays only from 5 pm to 10 pm (from November to March). It is a 19th century market. There are craftsmen, people who sell diverse stuff as in France, but also a lot of street food from all over the world (well for France forget it, there was only a ‘crêpes’ stand with a Nutella crêpe at 8$). The atmosphere is really nice and all cultures mix.
Then, we went home by foot, important fact because during this day we walked more than 20 km!
The next day, we went back to Melbourne but this time took the tram to save our legs. The tram was first introduced in Melbourne in 1885, the city has the second largest tramway network in the world after Bucarest.
We went back to the Queen Victoria Market, this time during the day, where we could find even more stands. You can find home-made cheese, delicatessen and take-away food in the Deli Hall (we – finally – found a real ‘Coulommiers’ at 16$ the half cheese, it was great even if it was expensive ; we even saw a polish stand). There is also fresh meat in the Meat Hall, fruits and vegetables at then best prices you can find. Finally, a lot of stands sell souvenirs, clothes or crafts.
Again, a very nice atmosphere where it is pleasant to stroll.
Then, we went to the italian neighborhood Carlton, where there are a lot of italian restaurants. A nice atmosphere too, and the feeling of finding a bit of Europe around us (for example, in front of a restaurant, you can see a very old Fiat 500 in excellent condition).
We really enjoyed Melbourne which has a soul for a big city. It is a very cosmopolite city (chinese, italian, greek neighborhoods…, with a history and with very nice victorian buildings.