Melbourne!

We arrived in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon and flew out early on Wednesday morning. Just two and a half days there, but it was awesome. What a great city! It felt very much like London, probably due to the grey skies, chilly temperatures and drizzle that we had on and off for our stay, but it also had a hip edge like Portland. So I kind of loved it from the start!

Because this is still a running blog at heart, let me talk first about running in Melbourne. The best-known place to run is called the Tan Track and it’s a 2.3 mile loop of soft gravel which winds its way round the Botanical Gardens with only one road crossing. I headed there on our first morning and not even the rain could dampen my enthusiasm. Melbourne was packed with runners on the Southbank along the Yarra river and round the Tan and it was pretty awesome. There is one short section on pavement and one significant hill (if you’re going clockwise) but otherwise it’s fairly flat. I spotted one bathroom and not many other opportunities if nature called, so beware. I ran it on both mornings, the second morning I ran two laps, and I really really enjoyed it! I’ve not run much lately and it made me super-happy to get some miles into my legs!

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Soft surface, markers every 0.5km and lit at night!
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Yarra sunrise

On the Sunday we explored the lovely Botanical Gardens before going to our apartment. We’d rented a little place off Spencer St and we loved it. I love the countryside but I also really love big cities with big tall buildings, so it thrilled my heart to see shiny skyscrapers from where I lay in bed.

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Seriously, isn’t this where Danaerys sits to rule in Meereen?
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Botanical Gardens

Traveling with the 7-year-old Dude and the Husband’s son, Big Brother, who is 13 AND with us on a budget meant that we didn’t do the whole hipster coffee shop/cocktail bar/chic gallery thing which Melbourne does seem to excel at. That would be fun! Instead, we did some fantastic family friendly stuff. On Monday we went to the excellent Scienceworks museum. I’m not science-y but we all really enjoyed our hours there.

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They had this cool thing where you could race Cathy Freeman. She won…

We then did a tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the Husband is a big fan…

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Testing out the home team urinal
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Press conference

…and in the evening we splashed out and went up the Skydeck, the 88-floor tower with spectacular views over the city!

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Monday had been pretty spendy, so on Tuesday, we went for an urban hike at Yarra Bend Park. There I discovered some great paved trails, primarily the Capital City Trail which runs nearly 30km around Melbourne. It seemed like it would be a great place to do a long run bearing in mind it’s pretty flat, paved and has loos fairly frequently. It also seemed pretty safe…the whole of Melbourne felt very safe actually, we all noted how safe we felt at all times of day and night at least in the city centre area where we were staying. Our 5km hike there was pretty if not spectacular but it had great views over downtown Melbourne.

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Capital City Trail
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Well this made my day…

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We then explored the hip district of Fitzroy and finished off our day with the excellent Melbourne Museum which we all really enjoyed and would recommend!

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Taxidermy coat of arms!

I really liked Melbourne. It had a great feel to it as I’ve said, a real European/PNW vibe. It was safe and clean, there was loads to do especially if you’re kid-free and blessed with great weather. It felt like a really livable city. If we hadn’t just bought a house in the UK, eh? Although spiders…

On Wednesday, we were up early and got on our plane to Brisbane…but that’s a story for another blog post.

 

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