A weekend in Melbourne

By Hand On The Hip - 5/04/2018

Hey everyone!

I am finally done bombarding you guys with Insta stories of my trip. But guess what? It is now time for the actual blog to take over! While I am waiting to board my flight at the Qantas terminal in the Tullamarine Airport (or more commonly known as the Melbourne Airport), I decided to make good use of my time by writing about my glorious weekend in Melbourne. If you plan to pay me a visit in Sydney, you must definitely fly to Melbourne for a weekend to experience some history, art and culture.

Good ol' me chilling by the Yarra River
My husband is traveling to different parts of ANZ every week and it was about time he took me with him and hence Melbourne happened. He booked a ticket for me in the same plane he was flying in (you must have already guessed that we flew Qantas) and it approximately cost him $350 for a return ticket. He also booked us a 2 night stay at the Rydges for around $150 a night. All I had to do was pack my clothes, walking shoes and a jacket and get, set, go!

Super stoked for Melbourne!

Day 1

Lunch at Fonda Mexican
We landed at around 12 pm and it was lunch time by the time we got to the city. We started looking for a decent place to eat at. While Rice, Paper, Scissors and Ho Chi Mama were our top options, we could not find a table there and went to this Mexican food place called Fonda Mexican instead. Melbourne has a lot of fabulous restaurants and cafes where you could binge on all kinds of food. Being Indians, we always crave for some spicy food and Fonda Mexican had some delicious Mexican food we could not say no to.

L to R : Broad Bean and Chickpea Falafel Burrito, Chipotle Chips 
St. Kilda Pier and Beach
Beaches are a must-do in my list no matter where I go. After lunch, we got our Myki cards and took the tram to St. Kilda Pier and spent some time there. On the other side of the pier is the beach. Although the weather is harsh and unbearably cold and we could not get into the water, we still had fun at the pier and the beach. The best part - we spotted some tiny fairy penguins!

Taking a selfie with St. Patrick's Cathedral in the background
L to R : Freezing at St. Kilda Pier, Little fairy penguin hiding at the rocks
St. Kilda Pier
St. Kilda Beach
Royal Botanical Gardens
We returned to the city at around 4 pm and decided to walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. The garden is massive and takes you hours to walk through the entire area. We also walked up to the Shrine of Remembrance which is dedicated to all the world war soldiers and then continued walking around.

L to R : A selfie at the Shrine of Remembrance, A glimpse of the Royal Botanical Gardens
A beautiful spot at the garden
Trying to do some deep thinking
Walk by the Yarra River and across the Princess Bridge
At around 6 ish we decided to walk towards Skydeck where one can see the entire city. We walked past the Yarra River and it was a very peaceful walk. We could also spot Rod Laver Arena from across the river which got the sports freak in my husband very excited. The river also has a cruise that costs about $23 for an hour or so. We proceeded on to the Princess Bridge that spans the Yarra River and walked towards our destination. We also witnessed a man juggling with fire and all sorts of street entertainment.

L to R : Trying to hold a straight face at the Yarra River, The view and the skyline at Yarra River
The skyline with Yarra River
Eureka Skydeck
By 7pm or so we were at the Skydeck. We purchased the tickets at the counter. I believe it was $20-$30 per person. I have been to Burj Khalifa and Grand Canyon, but the view of Melbourne city is not far behind. The best part was that we could spot MCG! I must tell you guys that I come from a family full of cricket fans. It was alright when we were behind the glass, but for a brief moment you can go to the open area that only has grills and no glass and it was amazing!

The view of the city from Eureka Skydeck
Dinner and drinks at Take Me I'm Yours
Since I am vegetarian it didn't seem very easy to find veg food. The good thing about restaurants here is that their menu is displayed at the entrance. We literally read through all the menus in the area and finally had some lettuce burger and beer at this fun place called Take Me I'm Yours.

My burger and fries at Take Me I'm Yours

Day 2

Breakfast and coffee at Brother Baba Budan
This cafe has a very different vibe to it. It's super hippie and the ceiling has chairs stuck to it. We had some flat white and a nutella croissant for breakfast and wanted to take it slow on the 2nd day.

L to R : The funky ceiling at Brother Baba Budan, The yummylicious nutella croissant
Federation Square and ACMI
Federation Square is another very hip and happening place in Melbourne where you can see a lot of street performers do their thing. We watched some contemporary dancers do their magic and then walked towards ACMI. ACMI stands for Australian Centre for the Moving Image. It's basically a time travel through different eras of global cinema, technology and the field of entertainment. I cannot even explain how informative and nostalgic the whole experience was. And... it's FREE!

L to R : Contemporary dance performance at Federation Square, a random street performance
Walk at Birrarung Murr
The best way to explore a new place is by walking your legs off. We happened to notice that Birrarung Murr is a stretch of land where street art and street performers do their thing. We wandered around a bit and found some interesting statues and monuments like the Federation Bells.

L to R : Federation Bells, art work at Birrarung Murr
Sea Life Melbourne
After coming all the way to Melbourne, there was no way I was going back without meeting the penguins. We booked our tickets online and got a really good deal. At around 2-2:30 pm we went to Sea Life. We spent around $23 per person and it was totally worth it. There were 3-4 levels of all kinds of exotic sea creatures like sharks, whales, sea horses, turtles, crocodiles and the icing on the cake - penguins! I cannot believe I saw them walk, pose, swim, flip and fall. It was ridiculously cute!

L to R : Fluorescent Jellyfish, Sea Horse 
L to R : Penguins at Melbourne Sea Life
Lunch at TGI Fridays
We literally went to every single restaurant in Docklands hoping to find some vegetarian food for me, but alas! Apart from fries and cheese, there was absolutely nothing I could eat. Finally we ended up at TGIF where I had a bowl of nachos and my husband had some ribs.

Nachos and garlic bread at TGIF
Movies at Kino
There was a movie theatre close to our hotel and since The Infinity War had released, we simply decided to spend the night watching a movie. Now I don't wanna spoil it for you guys, but I really enjoyed it.

The latest Avengers Movie at Kino

Day 3

Breakfast and coffee at Self Preservation
We checked out of the hotel and the plan was to spend the day just chilling by myself since my husband had to go to meetings. We started our day by having a cup of coffee and some fruit toast at a nearby cafe called Self Preservation. The fruit toast was too heavy and too sweet to be consumed during the day.

Fruit Toast at Self Preservation
Carlton Gardens, Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum
It took us like five minutes to get to Carlton Gardens from our hotel. We happened to see the Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum, but did not go inside as my husband was getting late and I wanted to spend that $30 on clothes :p But if you're into that kinda stuff, then you should definitely go.

L to R : Melbourne Museum, The Exhibition Building
Shopping at Collins Street 
I didn't really plan on going shopping, but it so happened that we lived very close to H&M. I picked up a body hugging velvet dress for just $5. It was definitely a steal! I also walked around the streets and did a little bit of window shopping at Cotton On, Dangerfield, National Opal Collection etc. So apparently at National Opal Collection, if you produce a return ticket and your passport to prove that you're visiting, you get a free gift. I hope I can claim mine before I get my visa!

L to R : Clothes at Dangerfield, Opals at National Opal Collection
Lunch at Papadam
Indian food is everything! You'll know when you live abroad. I found this restaurant called Papadam at Collins Street and had like a large meal with three curries. The quality wasn't top notch, but it didn't matter at the time. Like I said, Indian food is everything!

The glorious Indian meal at Papadam
I truly enjoyed this mini vacation/honeymoon part 2 with my hubster. Anything that involves a lot of walking around, sight seeing, partying and experiencing something new is my idea of a perfect holiday rather than just staying indoors in a fancy resort. While Sydney is known for natural beauty, Melbourne is all about culture, art and architecture. Melbourne is also relatively cheaper than Sydney and I really hope I get to live there some day. Buttttt.. it's good to be home :)

Hand On The Hip

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