Melbourne - Cosmopolitan City of Soul

My family's recent holiday in Melbourne was a great adventure, spanning 8 days and covering different kinds of experiences. Its difficult to capture everything in one blog post, so I will split it into several parts, interspersed with regular posts on marketing. First on Melbourne City itself.

Led by Lord Mayor John So (a Chinese no less), Melbourne City presented a unique melting pot of different cultures while being both sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Walk along its streets and chances are that you will see people of different ethnicities happily mingling with each other. One of its major advantages is the weather, which is mostly cool and breezy any time of the year without going to extremes.

Melbourne residents are sports fanatics, and it was interesting to see many of them jogging, cycling and playing Aussie football at virtually any time of the day. The city is also full of life, with museums, historic buildings, art performances, restaurants, shops and parks adding much colour and vibrancy. A quirky aspect of the city is its transport system. You can either get around on foot, bicycles, buses, trains, trams, taxis, cars, and even skateboards and horse-drawn carriages!

Here's a shot of the street showing how busy traffic conditions can be in Melbourne. Of course nothing like our CBD crunch!

Melbourne has plenty of nice historic buildings, like St Paul's Cathedral seen here in the background with Tina and Ethan posing beside its spire.

Ye olde Flinders Street train station located just across the road from our hotel.

St Michael's Church also known as Mingary (the quiet place) located along Russell Street.

A contrast with the old historic buildings are the super-modern complexes at Federation Square. It houses swanky upmarket restaurants, performing arts venues, and an art museum (part of National Gallery Victoria).

Another view of Federation Square at night.

Fresh flowers galore along Swanston Street, with florists selling the sweetest smelling blooms in resplendent colours.

This oriental archway welcomed us to Melbourne's Chinatown at Little Bourke Street. Together with Lygon Street (Italian) and Lonsdale Street (Greek), these ethnic precincts added to the cultural diversity of the city.

Food was generally plentiful and delicious in Melbourne, with farm fresh produce available from rural areas in the state of Victoria. Here's Tina and Ethan tucking into some warm pho at a Vietnamese restaurant.

A view of Lygon Street, Melbourne's "Little Italy", which is quite a great hangout for food connoisseurs like myself.

More feasting! This time at an Italian restaurant along Lygon Street which serves heavenly Risottos and Pennes. Mama mia!

Parking is very expensive in Melbourne City, and it isn't surprising that most people choose to either walk or take public transport. Of course, there are also other more romantic options...

... like this horse-drawn carriage here!

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