So last week, my roommate surprised me with tickets that she had won to a show in the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which had just kicked off (literally, I had just watched the live kick-off Gala that showcased some of the bigger name comedians in the festival on TV and then she came in with these tickets).  She said she couldn’t make it and asked me if I wanted them, so of course I took them.  There were two tickets, so I had to decide who to give the other one to, and after racking my brain of the extensive list of people I knew in Australia that I liked enough to spend 3 days in Melbourne with…I settled on Oscar.  We also invited Matt, our friend from William and Mary (that we actually met over here) and so on Thursday at around 8:30 pm, the three of us were on a bus to Melbourne.

We got to Melbourne around 6:45 in the morning (ugggh) – both Matt and I slept very little, but Oscar, of course, slept the whole way, but we were all too excited to be in Melbourne to need sleep.  We trudged the way from the bus station to our hostel and were slightly appalled to see the building our hostel was in was completely under construction.  It was in a 6 story building, the bottom floor was completely torn up, there was roping to keep pedestrians away from the construction area, there were dumpsters in front of the building and workmen bringing lumber and various tubing in and out of the building.

It had to be a joke.  But the sign on the building said “Space Hotel” and that’s where we were supposed to be staying.  We practically went around the block before we saw a very small sign printed on computer paper saying the reception was up the little gang plank (because there weren’t stairs there yet) into the building on the first floor.  Reception turned out to be two foldable tables with computers and a printer in a closet.  There were signs all over the place saying “new high-tech kitchen coming soon!” and “movie room under construction” – in case we hadn’t figured that out yet.  The pictures of the hostel that were on their website (and looked really cool, hence why we stayed there) turned out to be the artistic renditions of what the place will look like when it’s done.  Looks like it’ll be really cool…when it’s done.  On the upside, it was impeccably clean and the staff was very friendly.

Anyways, we dropped our stuff off then went to go check out the Queen Victoria Market, which was probably the only thing in the city open at that time.  The tour books call it the “largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere,” but we were skeptical.

Tomatoes at the Market

We got breakfast and then after wandering around the market, Oscar said that it’s probably the largest organized open air market in the Southern Hemisphere, and organized it was.  The market put our cute little Central Market in Adelaide to shame.  The meat section of the Queen Victoria Market could have swallowed our entire Central Market and still have space.  It was huge, and a whole entire half of the space was for clothes and jewelry and various touristy things and handcrafted…stuff, so we spent a good 2 hours or so there.

The rest of the day, we did the touristy things – went to a bunch of museums, saw the Royal Exhibition Building (built for the 1880 World’s Fair, the only building in Australia listed as a World Heritage site – whatever that means, but it sounds pretty cool), then wandered over to Federation Square, which is the big meeting point for Melbourne.

Royal Exhibition Building

Across the street from St. Paul’s Cathedral and the rail station, and surrounded by two museums and cafes, it’s basically just a giant city square.  There was a free comedy show going on on the stage next to the ticket booth so we saw that before getting dinner at the BEST Chinese restaurant ever – called Noodle Kingdom.  They hand make their own noodles.  It was so good, we went back the next night after the comedy show.  Most bizarre thing though, the food would come out of a little elevator behind the bar – it was like magic (and in our exhausted state on Friday, it was pretty cool).

Lights from Federation Square

Saturday, we hit the rest of the touristy stuff – State Library, the Shrine of Remembrance, and then took the tram to St. Kilda (Melbourne’s Glenelg).  We saw the comedy show that night – it was a guy that Oscar and I saw at the Fringe festival called Asher Treleaven and it was absolutely hysterical.  And we discovered Souvlaki – some kind of Greek food which, to me, looks like a gyro but apparently it’s not.  It’s like a Greek burrito – lamb or chicken shaved off a spit rolled up in a pita wrap with lettuce, tomato, and this sour dill like sauce.  We found it at a restaurant called Stalactites, a really cool restaurant in the CBD that had a stalactite-like stucco ceiling.

Sunday, Matt got up with some friends he knew in Melbourne and they took us to…COSTCO!  before our bus home.  That’s about it for Melbourne – it was awesome.  Really great food, really cool city.


3 Responses to “Melbourne”
  1. Hope you are enjoying your stay here!!

  2. Maritza says:

    Surprise, surprise Brunito slept the whole way. I hope you tried sticking objects in his wide-opened mouth with a little bit of side drool running down his face.. cute, huh?

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