Saturday, 13 June 2015

Melbourne, part I: Let the good times roll

Melbourne, Australia
Flinders Street station is allegedly the most recognised Melbourne icon, though I can't say I've ever seen it before. Nevertheless, it is epic. Epically big, epically busy, and epically bricky. We made our way here by utilising the city loop that is free by tram ride. 
Any tram is free within the central city zone, and there's even a touristy number 35 tram that goes endlessly in this loop and spouts interesting tidbits about Melbs. 
These trams look really old school and run every seven minutes. This is only the beginning of how great this city's public transport is. We also purchased MyKi cards (again like Snapper or Opal cards), and they have a cap of $7.52 per day - that means that after spending this amount on public transport, the rest of your travel for that day is free. 
Across from Flinders Street station is Federation Square, which is filled with weird and wonderful buildings. And UFOs. This is where ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is located and we had a look around as it was free of charge. I found it fascinating to see the development of 'movies' from their conception as almost mere flipbook images through to the modern day advancements. 
Across from Flinders on the other side, you come to Degraves Street. Crammed on both sides with cafes, you really are spoilt for choice and sometimes the best you can hope for is a free seat at one of them. You can follow little streets like this and arcades all the way through to Burke Street. 
A little further down on Flinders Street is Hosier Lane, a well known graffiti hotspot. Graffiti is a big thing here, and it gives the city a grungy feel. 
Here's an artist in action. I don't know what it is, but that doesn't make it any less cool. 
What gives, Australia? I thought you were supposed to be warm! Hot, even. And here I am, needing to buy a hat because it's all chilly. C'mon, you can do better than this. New Zealand, sure, it gets cold, but not Australia! It's unheard of. 
Across the Yarra River, you can see the cathedral behind the dome of Flinders station and a lot of tall buildings! I have on occasion just stood and stared up at them in awe. They are so tall. 
At the recommendation of our AirBnB host Adam, we dined at Le Bon Ton which was a ten minute walk from our accomodation in Abbotsford. The name derives from the Cajun expression "laissez les bon temps roulez" (let the good times roll), which has been warped until Le Bon Ton remains. 
I ordered the pulled pork sandwich with lime aioli, onion rings, jalapeƱos and apple slaw. All I can say is that it was absolutely amazing and I will probably never have a sandwich this good again. It was flawless. Five stars, two thumbs up and all that jazz. Accompanied by the Cajun fries with spicy ketchup, I wanted to come back here as soon as we left to eat this over and over again. But of course there is more to be had in Melbourne!