Melbourne Journals

Melbourne: The City That Ticks All the Right Boxes

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A September 2005 trip to Melbourne by actonsteve

The Crown Casino Complex Photo, Melbourne, Australia More Photos
Quote: Despite being Australias second city. Melbourne reaches for the sky and shies away from its roots in a torrent of glass and steel.

Melbourne: The City That Ticks All the Right Boxes

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Overview

South Bank Promenade Photo, Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
Ambitious, modern and determined to make its mark on the world, Melbourne ticks all the right boxes.It is a "nice" city with cafe culture, good shopping, skyscrapers, clean streets and a beach in its backyard. Its a city determined to impress; money has been spent freely creating glittering skyscrapers, marble riverwalks and cutting-edge sport stadiums. It was a city built on the proceeds of the 1850s gold rush, and Victorian bombast pokes through occasionally amongst all the chrome and glass. Melbourne can be a hard city to define. Melbourne can be genteel and European but at the same time has a skyline that resembles Dallas or Los Angeles. Melbourne is a mixture of 19th-century civilisatio...Read More

Claremont Bed & Breakfast

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Hotel | "The Claremont Hotel - a piece of class in trendy South Yarra"

Claremont Bed & Breakfast Photo, Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
What would be your worst nightmare while staying at a hotel? Surely the fire alarm going off while you were in the shower would be close.This happened at the Claremont while I was staying there. I was already dressed when the fire alarm went off, but others were not so lucky. The sight of bleary-eyed guests standing around reception in towels was not one I will forget in a while.But it is a very good hotel. Without a doubt, it was one of the best things about my stay in Marvelous Melbourne. For starters, the location is brilliant, only a few steps west to the entrance to South Yarra train station. The entrance is simply a door on to the street--one, however, with Victorian wrought iro...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2005

Claremont Bed & Breakfast
189 Toorak Rd.
Melbourne, Australia
(03) 9826 8000

Queen Victoria Market

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Attraction | "Queen Victoria Market - "just how much is that slab of kangaroo?""

Quote:
One of the best places to take a tram to is Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne's premier mercado. The easiest way to get there is via the CBD loop and the station at Flagstaff. When you take the escalator up (incidentally they stand on the left in Australia), you emerge at La Trobe Street on the edge of the business district. The place is full of businessmen scurrying around, but across the street is Flagstaff Gardens. If you follow the tram tracks north, you come to a 100-foot-long shed with the words VICTORIA MARKET emblazoned across its roof. As Rolf Harris would say, "Have you guessed what it is yet?" And to think I was worried about not being able to find it....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2005

Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth St
Melbourne, Australia 3000
+61 (0)3 9320 5822

Federation Square on a rainy day Photo, Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
"Please do not feed the possums..."This is a sign in Fitzroy Gardens. For sheer novelty value, you can't beat wild possums infesting your local park, and it is one of those exotic touches which make Australia, well, Australia I suppose.Fitzroy Gardens is one the edge of the CBD. Your main point of arrival in the Central Business District will be Flinders Street Station and Federation Square. Flinders Street Station, I would say, is the most distinctive building in Melbourne. A major rail termini dating from Victorian times and the expression of meeting "under the clocks" is a Melbourne legend. The frontage of the railway station itself overlooks where Flinders and Swa...Read More
The Crown Casino Complex Photo, Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
You have to fight the temptation to gamble in Melbourne. One of the things I did not expect was a full-scale Vegas-style casino in the city centre within a stone's throw of the Yarra river. One evening I sat perched on a stool while the croupier spun the roulette wheel. Without knowing it, $30 was quickly up in smoke. But I enjoyed myself at the Crown Casino Complex. It brought back memories of Las Vegas. Melbourne and Las Vegas? Surely two different cities? Well, yes and no, just take a look at the CBD skyline from the riverwalk. It certainly looks like an American city.And the best place to see the skyline (see photos) is the riverwalk, which stretches from the Melbourne Exhibitio...Read More
Chinatown in Little Bourke Street Photo, Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
"Neighbours is recorded in a studio the size of a Lilliputian telephone box, with furniture that looks like MFI rejects, and walls that wobble whenever an actor picks up the phone. The designs may be cheap and wooden but not as wooden as the acting and the dialogue; it soon becomes clear that the most moving thing on the show is the scenery."Victor Lewis-Smith, Evening Standard, 1993Australia doesn't have the monopoly on awful soap operas (Britain and Brazil have a good showing as well--by its very nature, soap opera is ridiculous). And there is a lot more to the Melbourne Museum than the exhibits featuring the above programme. For starters, it is has won a b...Read More
One of the attractions of Melbourne - green spaces Photo, Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
I got used to the "newness" of Australia.You know the feel and smell of something when the wrapping has just been taken off--that was the feeling I got with this country. Everything is new and unused. This is made evident in the excellent Immigration Museum, which charts the movement of the worlds peoples to the blank page of Australia since its discovery in 1770. And since many people visit Australia and then decide to move here, it is one of the world's most relevant museums, its recent history given poignancy in the thousands who make this country their home each year.Opened only in 2000 and given the thumbs up from Bill Bryson in his "Down Under" bestseller, I have to join the cho...Read More