30.12.14

Melbourne, the most livable city in the world


I think context is very important in what you think of a new city or a place. What does it remind you of? Does it live up to the hype? Was it really worth all the fuss? Whether it’s a new city in a distant country, or a familiar corner of your own town, context is what defines its memories for you. For me, the context of Melbourne is Australia itself.

My first memories of Australia are the crisp evening air of Sydney airport, and an airport employee rushing forward to help me with my unnecessarily huge bag. I remember falling in love with the city down under. The easy smiles on the faces, the beer-guzzling patrons at the local pubs, the open areas, wedding parties giggling as the brides rushed across the streets, followed by the bridesmaids. It was like I had stepped into heaven.

It was too close to Christmas, and the markets were at their seducing best. There are often times when words fail you, and this is one of those moments. I have images of the beautiful decor, the stunning window displays, and the heart-stopping merchandise flashing through my mind, and yet, I cannot find the right words to fit those images into. And then, a friend goes and says, “Oh, but wait till you see Melbourne. Now, that’s the real deal!”

Really? Seriously? You kidding me, mate? Melbourne tops Sydney?

“By miles,” she smugly states. The temptress is Bhavna Kalra, resident of Perth, lover of all things Australian, and a big mouth-piece for Melbourne. She goes on to elaborate why Melbourne is not without a reason the most livable city in the world.

“It has character. You don’t have to love all of it, but it’s intense, and endearing, and fabulous in big ways and small ways, and ways you cannot even begin to imagine,” says Bhavna, who blogs at Just A Girl From Aamchi Mumbai. To her, Melbourne has a laid back Victorian charm, with quaint streets and lanes, and architecture that holds your gaze. A little bit of digging reveals that Melbourne does have Victorian architecture, beautifully preserved, alongside modern buildings and skyscrapers. A walk across the city is like Time Travel, only in real time.



The city has the characteristic Australian laid-back vibe that makes it as likeable as it is liveable. Right from the riverfront to the generous laneways, the beautiful and chic cafes and art galleries, Melbourne makes its visitors want to stay longer, maybe forever.

A walk across the bluestone cobbled laneway, Hosier Lane, will take you into the realms of Urban Art inspiring enough to make this one of the most well-known landmarks of the city, and earning it the title of the most artistic street in the world.




Melbourne has a bustling cafes and restaurant scene, with an impressive array of cuisines to tempt the food loving traveller. From Chinese to Eastern European, to Mexican, to Modern Australian, to Indian fine dining, it seems Melbourne loves its global cuisine and flaunts it in every corner of the city.



The city is home to some fabulous art galleries, which, mercifully, aren't being mobbed by your average tourist.

For the shopaholics, there are the city’s historic shopping arcades, most notable being the Block Arcade and Royal Arcade, with a charming assortment of boutiques, cafes and shops.



A note here on the safety factor in the city. Many solo travel bloggers stated that it is one of the safest cities in the world, and has made them feel comfortable like no other place.

This enough is pretty much sufficient for me to be sold on the city. Turns out, I haven’t even gotten started here. To know more about Melbourne, and its many charming facades, I’d suggest a good, long read of the Visit Melbourne site, which gives you a good lowdown on what, where, when and how of the city.

Now, to make things prettier, because Melbourne is involved, we have a little contest for you.
Just leave a comment stating which of these places would you like to visit in Melbourne, and why?

The last date to send in your comments is 5th January, 2015. The best answer, chosen by yours truly, will win a Gift Voucher, sponsored by Tourism Victoria and Indiblogger. So, stop dreaming about the world’s most livable city, and pick a place. It might just send a surprise your way! 

12 comments:

  1. After going through their videos, all of it. But definitely, Hosier Lane! Three blocks of street art - Wow! And Panny's Amazing World of Chocolate. Why, you ask?? Really? Okay. Because where else does one get to drown in chocolate-everything like that, 400 kgs of chocolate in three minutes and all that without the golden ticket!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful post and interesting videos that make me feel that
    Melbourne invites the eternal romantic in me to hold hands with my beloved and go see the Twelve Apostles .Go on long drives on the great ocean road. In the middle of nowhere in a vineyard spread a table and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with my dear one. Enjoy the sunsets holding hands and do lots of shopping at the Queen Victoria Market and see all the graffiti being created at the hosier lane.
    Great Post and interesting videos watching them I am sure to visit Sovereign Hill for spending some time in the era gone by. The lure of gold and panning for some nuggets is a temptation that is too much to resist. After I have found the gold I am bound to celebrate it with some wine so I will visit the vineyards and enjoy some great wine from the Yarra region .Visit the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and have my fill with this yummy delight.
    therisingstarz.blogspot.in/2014/12/melbourne-selfie-capital-of-australia.html
    http://goo.gl/ByJqvP
    therisingstarz.blogspot.in
    http://goo.gl/59Omjz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ocean road seems to be divine! I do hope you find some fabulous gold nuggets!

      Delete
  3. The Great barrier reef, what else? There's only one word to describe it completely, - Mesmerising. What more would one want if one gets to see the great barrier reef, the corals and the numerous creature our oceans have hidden away from us still preserving them for us. Ah, the sights make me yearn for a tour to Australia, atleast once in a lifetime.

    - Ranjith (http://www.alightheartedtalk.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol. I still have the coral bracelets I bought on my first trip to Australia. Really, Melbourne has so much to love, and explore. It's really high up on my Bucket List!

      Delete
  4. Interesting Post
    After reading your post and watching all the videos
    I feel I have stepped into a kaleidoscope called Melbourne
    Where Vistas of experiences would unfold one after another
    The nature lover in me is enticed by the thought of watching the penguin parade.
    Traveling though the great ocean road, soaking up the freshness as the breeze ruffles my hair gets me in the mood to pack my bags for Melbourne.
    But before I can move ,Puffing Billy whistles and invites me for a ride. The kid in me jumps with joy at the thought of visiting Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
    Even before I can deside on the list of places that I would like to see in and around Melbourne.
    What’s that noise that I hear ?
    Oh its loud cheer from MCG as the cricket world cup 2015 is about to kick start.
    So many plces to see and so much to do.
    I am thetimetraveler ( http://goo.gl/wdXDzu ) and I have decided … Melbourne here I come ( http://goo.gl/RvUCQf )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, cricket, of course! And the chocolate factory, enough to bring out the child in each one of us! Hope you get to go to Melbourne soon!

      Delete
    2. Hi, Thanks my email id is alok19us@yahoo.com

      Delete
  5. Hey ,Superb post ,so all set to pack bags to have a thrill at Melbourne,Now being high on my wish list .U’ve very well covered the best of Melbourne and for the entry in contest ,there cannot ever be a single place for me.It has to be a bouquet of places to calm down my zest to explore it.So naming ,first comes the Great Ocean road not just to linger or have a decent walk but to amaze myself with Jetskiing ,Scuba diving and to try swim with Dolphins,seal Yay,these beautiful creatures would be lucky to share a swim with me.ha ha.Then it would be Eureka Sky deck, to have an awe inspiring experience to be closest to sky and get the sky deck view of this liveable city, MCG to watch and cheer the players on one of the worlds best cricket ground!

    Wishing u Best of Luck & a great year ahead.

    Visit my blog

    http://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/a-date-for-life-timea-date-with-nature-wildlife-art-cuisine-ah-melbourne/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! It seems from your comment that you love adventure. From what I have heard, Melbourne offers tons of just that to travellers!

      Delete
  6. This is such a well written post. I've always wanted to explore Australia (well, mostly after Masterchef Australia, I admit) and your post makes me want to pack and leave right now. Keep writing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post! I have heard alot about Melbourne and it's lifestyle. I hope soon I get a chance to visit there. Thanks for sharing! Last year when I was on SF Bay Cruise tour I was planning a trip to Melbourne but I was very low in budget.

    ReplyDelete

Hope you are thoroughly enjoying your tryst with the Wonderland madness! Share your whims here. We are open to brickbats and love...