The addiction of travelling is instilled in my genes. My uncle was a globe-trotter and he left home at an early age of 21 to discover the wonderful world. He died two years ago but his stories are always an inspiration to me. One day I hope, I would be travelling like him, as free as a bird, no strings attached.
Foe the time being I’ve to reconcile myself with my dreams. Dreams to visit those places mere mention of which, portrays a vivid image in my mind. One such place is Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria and the second most populous city of the continent. As I’ve never been to the city, I want to see it from every angle. From the sophisticated financial hub of the Asia-Pacific zone, Melbourne City Centre to the vinous Yarra Valley. The inviting and exciting tour in a hot-air balloon drifting silently aloft the valley will be heavenly. A short visit to the chocoleterie and the ice-creamery and savouring the finest wine while enjoying the kaleidoscopic canvas of nature, make me drool.
An international centre for performing and visual arts, Melbourne is often regarded as the cultural capital of Australia. I want to have a glimpse of the Famous Australian Ballet ( and yes, as a lover of pop-music how can I miss the birthplace of Savage Garden). To know a city, we have to know about its past, have to delve deeper in its history. I would love to see the graceful old days of Melbourne while visiting the Melbourne Museum, the indigenous culture and social life, Victoria’s local Koorie culture in Bunjilaka, the artifacts made by them. I want to do a little shopping also here from the Museum Shops.
Who doesn’t like to have a glance at the Melbourne Zoo which is more than 150 years old and home to a variety of animals. My preferences would be visiting the enclosures of Kangaroos, Emus, Wombats, Koalas and Echidnas. Oh! and also I’ve heard that there is a greenhouse style walk-through exhibit for tropical butterflies. My heart leaps up imagining myself witnessing those animals in their natural habitat.
Then I want to quench my insatiable thirst for nature by visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is located at Birdwood Avenue ( the name suggests much). Majestic awe-inspiring trees, sprawling lawns and tranquil lakes along with more than 10,000 plant varieties from around the world has made it one of the most famous botanical gardens of the world. It’s also the home for Melbourne’s microbats. Also, a quick visit to the Philip Island Nature Park to watch the playful Penguins will complete my wild life itinerary. ( It sounds amazing)
The development of Melbourne as one of the world’s most livable city perhaps started in the year 1854, with the Victorian Gold Rush. People thronged in from different parts of the world and soon Melbourne became one of those places, whose vibrancy and vivacity in all fields are felt from every corner of the earth. There is no chance to miss the Gold Prospecting One Day Tour. I might find some ounces of gold while prospecting! Who can say !I don’t want to miss the interiors of the bank of such a wealthy city, so I would like to take the Golden Mile Heritage Walk tour, to discover the labyrinths of the city with guided help.
A visit to the Abbotsford Convent is must for me to enjoy the best works of visual artists. After visiting so many places of interest a tired body needs some relaxation. A visit to a luxurious spa will make me as fit as a fiddle to start again the next day. A laid back tour with the Bendigo Tramways Vintage ‘Talking Tram” would be ideal. Stories from the past, history of people and the town…it would be a marvellous tour. Melbourne also has the world’s largest tram network.
The best things are kept for the last. So it’s time to visit Australia’s No. 1 University, The University of Melbourne. Established in 1853, this prestigious institution also ranks as No.34 in the world. State Library of Victoria is also in my list though I know full well that it’s almost impossible to visit such expansive places while on a short tour. But how can I miss the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which witnessed the first official Test Match between England & Australia on 15th March 1877. It was where Shane Warne bagged his 700th wicket , it was where Sir Don Bradman played against the infamous ‘bodyline’ bowling. Not only for cricket, MCG is also famous for Australian football and hosted the Olympics in 1956. So, as I said, the best thing is kept for the last, at least for me, being an ardent sports lover.
Aren’t these enough reasons for a city to be adorned with the title “most livable city of the world“? An economic hub, an ever flourishing and prosperous economy, a rich heritage and culture, a centre of educational excellence, a myriad of flora and fauna, house of the holy MCG cricket ground, a city whose citizens showed enough courage during the World Wars, a city where old cultural activities thrive in perfect symbiosis with modern ones…..a city which has something for everyone, the city of Melbourne.
Still so many places are left unseen, so many activities are kept undone, the National Gallery, Shrine of Remembrance, the Unesco building and so much more. A mind-map of my tour to Melbourne has countless things to see. I want to feel the vibes of the city, want to feel it with my every sense. I will be there one day Melbourne, definitely I would be.
I’ve no photos of my own to share with this post for the time being. You can click the links to see the beautiful glimpses of the city. Visit the Tourism Victoria Website to feel the warmth of Melbourne. I’m also attaching a couple of “Come Alive in Melbourne” videos which I think you’ll enjoy.
The greatest and most happening news is, for the first time I’m hosting a contest on my blog. Tell me which of THESE PLACES would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?
The best answer will win a gift-voucher worth INR 500 (provided this blog-post entry is considered valid by the authorities) The contest is open till 4th January 2015. So rush in and write to win the GV. Best of luck.
The winner for the Giveaway Contest is Mylovingmuse. The comment showed his keen knowledge about the history of Melbourne, so after much trouble, (as all the comments were good) I finally selected him.
Thanks to all who showed their interest in the contest. Will love to see you again on this blog