Thursday, June 12, 2008

Melbourne Day 1: Wintry Walks

As far as winters go, Melbourne has mild ones where temperatures hardly dip below 5 degrees Celsius in the night. However, compared to the weather I'm used to in Singapore, it's very chilly.

Loaded up the bus in the wee hours of the morning.

Was really early, so the group just milled around aimlessly.

The architecture in Melbourne is a mix of old Victorian buildings (Hur hur. Melbourne is in the state of Victoria. If you want to die of corniness then you ought to know my friend Victor is currently studying in that very state.)

The Shrine of Remembrance.

Yarra river.

Electric train.

Fitzroy Gardens, which is really tastefully done up. Not to mention, the falling leaves of early winter makes it particularly colourful.

St Paul's Cathedral.

Flinders Street Station.

Federation Square. It's sorta ugly. Was cold. Hungry. So went to the 7-11 for a sandwich.

Queen Victoria Market, which is essentially, a Melbourne wet market plus pasar malam. Very fresh fruit and vegetables. And it's where you get all your nougats, pastries and all sorts of Australian produce and confections. Not to mention souveniors.

Afternoon arrives, and the weather's now comfortably cool, not cold like it was in the morning.

The morning tour ended, so we went by ourselves to look for lunch and explore the city centre.

Digressing a little, but one thing you notice about Melbourne is that cycling is a very popular mode of transport. No, not the slowpoke cyclists you see in Singapore, but serious cyclists that go fast along the traffic without dangerously weaving through traffic and on and off pavements. You see helmets on every cyclist and bright headlights on every bicycle.

Drivers respect cyclists and give them a wide berth for overtaking. The government respects cyclists by demarcating bicycle lanes (proper ones - not the retarded ones that are placed to the left of left-turning lanes) and creating a proper bicycle path that flanks the side of Yarra river.

It's cycling heaven, almost.

This restaurant in Little Bourke Street, Knife Fork Bottle & Cork is run by a French chef who cooks really well. The beer battered fish and chips is simply the best I've ever tasted of all fish and chips big and small. Crispy fish that remains juicy and flaky inside. A sauce to die for. And superb fries.

Servings are large too.

Chef's a friendly guy who chats with customers. Including me and my family. Cool guy.

Grilled chicken.

Duck risotto.

The food there is simply magical. If you head to Melbourne, you had better not miss this!

Just ambled around the city doing some shopping, before returning to the hotel to meet with the group for a Chinese dinner. Wasn't too impressed with the dinner, but the food ain't too shabby.

Melbournians certainly do keep their food standards very high.


There's not much to do - but alot to see - in Melbourne. So I'd just let the pictures do the talking.

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