Had I known Melbourne would become my last stop — for the time being, anyway — I would‘ve chosen another song to accompany me on my flight from Sydney than Whitney Houstons „How Will I Know“. But alas, it is what it is. From now on, whenever that song plays, my mind will flash through two and a half weeks of Melbourne. At least it was a remix.
I was disappointed at first sight. Melbourne doesn‘t cater well to the tourist, there are no pretty sights like Sydneys Opera that can mesmerize you, and even the skyline looks somewhat out of place. Melbourne is proud of the fact that most of its cool places are hidden behind dumpsters or rotten doors, which basically means that you‘ll never find them if you‘re not with a local. Why thanks, I don‘t want to be here anyway.
A couple of days after my I arrival I figured that Melbourne was the kind of place you actually have to give some time to appreciate. From the Bohemian quarters of Fitzroy and Collingwood to the bustle of the CBD, the designated urban art alleys to the coffee, restaurant and live gig craze, everything tempts you for a longer stay. And, although by Australian standards not the prettiest, there‘s a beach too. Including Penguins. Yes, I said Penguins.
Here’s a rundown on what you will find in Melbourne if you open your eyes wide enough: nifty restaurants, exclusive vintage and second hand stores, live gigs from rock to jazz, roof top bars and cinemas, edgy techno clubs, bogan beach life, penguins, trams, a bit of history, the 3rd biggest IMAX screen in the world, wonderful art exhibitions and galleries, gardens and parks, fixie bikes, record stores, loads of graffiti and more cafés than in Italy and France combined. Seriously.
In any case, much of my stay in Melbourne wouldn‘t have been as insightful as it was without my fantastic friends and local tourguides — special kudos goes to Kai, who took great care of me, and even Maggi showed up to spend a couple of hours with his long lost co-author (he disappeared shortly thereafter, but some of the pictures you‘ll see are actually his work!). Thanks also to Casey, who let me stay with her for two days, and all the great people at The Nunnery. Cheers to Martin, who is still on the road, and cheers to everyone who‘s been following our travels. As for me, I‘m already back in Germany, planning for my next short trip before I come back to Berlin in time for spring and sunshine… and a bit of home.