We left for a bit of a whirlwind holiday in Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road on Thursday 22 November 2018. This adventure would last 8 days until we returned home on Friday 30 November 2018.
I took so many photo’s on our recent trip. Most were taken with my iPhone but I did use my camera (Nikon D7100) at times as well whilst travelling the Great Ocean Road.
There are so many photos to sort through that I’ve decided that a series of posts is the best way to share the trip.
So we’ll start at the very beginning which was the 2 nights spent in Melbourne.
Arrival in Melbourne
I was excited to get to Melbourne as I was meeting my friend Rita for coffee at 3:30pm and was very much looking forward to seeing her again. I had seen her earlier in the month when I stayed in St Kilda for the BUPA Blog Awards. We arrived later than expected in Melbourne as our plane’s departure from Brisbane had been delayed for nearly an hour but I wasn’t too concerned as there was still time to get to the hotel, get checked in and then meet her on time (or so I thought!).
We arrived to a rainy Melbourne day and caught a Skybus from the airport to the city. We had pre-booked tickets online. This service was fabulous – comfortable and efficient and delivered us to Southern Cross Station in Spencer Street in the city. Our mistake was that we had not worked out prior, how to get from Southern Cross Station to our hotel! We didn’t realise how far away from our hotel we would be. We had two large suitcases, one small suitcase, a backpack and I also had a large and heavy handbag! We were at a loss, disoriented and unsure. We walked around in circles for a while dragging all the luggage with us before eventually ending up on a tram. I felt bad because all our luggage blocked the front entrance to the tram which I’m sure would’ve been annoying to commuters. However, the good thing about the trams is that there are other doors to get on and off through. We eventually got closer to our hotel and after the final drag of all the luggage up a hill and into the foyer of the hotel, I had to leave ‘the tennis player’ (hubby) to check in and run off to meet my friend Rita. My fingers and toes were crossed that I would not get lost because I was running very late!
Where we stayed
We stayed at The Victoria Hotel in Little Collins Street and it was lovely. It was in a great central city location, clean and well appointed, good service at Reception, nice and quiet, lovely wide hallways for ease of wheeling around luggage, really comfy beds and pillows! Previous visits to Melbourne I have always stayed at new and modern high-rise hotels in the city and over at Southbank. This time, the lure of this historic landmark hotel was strong. I do love old architecture and historic character and The Victoria Hotel did not disappoint. By some stroke of good luck (I’m not sure why or how) we were given a room upgrade so had a lovely extra spacious room.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
I met Rita at Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the The Block Arcade, 1-2/282 Collins Street. Thank goodness for mobile phones and the GPS and maps on them that guided me from the hotel to here without problems. I had texted Rita to let her know I was running late and was so relieved when I finally got there and saw her waiting out the front. By the time I got there I was a little bit frazzled as you could imagine but it didn’t take long till I was chilled out and enjoying great conversation.
This might seem strange when you see the beautiful sweets on offer at this place, but I had not been given any lunch on the plane and I was starving and wanted some ‘lunch’ kind of food! So, I ordered a crab salad! Yes – they have more than sweets on offer at Hopetoun Tea Rooms.
We had arrived on a Thursday and that evening we decided to go and see Bohemian Rhapsody at the movies. We saw it at The Kino cinema in Collins Street. The theatre was a lovely boutique, small and cosy one and the movie was fantastic. If you haven’t seen it you really must go!
The next day was a lot of walking and exploring around the CBD (in the rain). We tried to go and see things and places we’d not seen before.
Flinders Street Station
The gorgeous Flinders Street Station. It’s apparently a common meeting place for locals – “meet you under the clocks”.
Out and about in Melbourne’s CBD
Cooks’ Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens
We visited Cooks’ Cottage, found in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne’s CBD. This cottage was built in 1755. Originally located in Yorkshire, England, the cottage was brought to the Fitzroy Gardens by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934. Navigator and explorer Captain James Cook never lived in the cottage – he’d been away from home for almost ten years when his father built it – but this connection to the Cook family was enough to prompt Grimwade to transport the cottage to the other side of the world. Astonishingly, each brick was individually numbered, packed into barrels and then shipped to Australia, along with cuttings of the original ivy coverings.
To be honest, I was saddened by Lygon Street. It is not what it used to be. First thing you notice is that the fairy lights have been removed from all the trees up the street. Fairy lights ran the full length of trees along the restaurant strip on Lygon Street and used to be so beautiful, a highlight of my previous visits. It created such a lovely atmosphere. Next thing you notice is the massive reduction and absence all the Italian men outside their restaurants trying to coax you into their restaurant. I enjoyed the fabulous conversations you would encounter and the ambience this provided to the whole Lygon Street experience. Then you notice the massive reduction of all those gorgeous authentic Italian restaurants that used to be there. There are many factors that are behind these changes but most are just heresay to me so I won’t get into them here. I just hope that Lygon Street can be restored to its former glory one day soon. Meanwhile, we were very lucky to find an authentic Italian restaurant and our food was absolutely exquisite which is fabulous because when I think of Lygon Street, I think of exquisite food!
Discovered a gorgeous place in a laneway for breakfast that wasn’t far from our hotel. It’s Cafe Segovia, 33 Block Place, Melbourne.
Time to move on
After breakfast we headed back to the hotel, packed up, checked out, and off went The Tennis Player to collect the hire car. I waited with all the luggage in the hotel’s foyer. Next stop will be Lorne!
Ciao for now,
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