Hi readers! It’s been more than a month since I last posted anything on the blog. The world of work really caught up with me and I have just been absolutely swamped since then. Everything is now a little bit back to normal, a little travels here and there, a few books and page turns sometimes, but still very much work related. After more than a month out, what have I to show for it? Well a 5 day trip to attend the Apple Distinguished Educator’s Academy for one, plus a whole lot of quick adventures in Melbourne for one.
The day started off really early, I had just gotten off a 7 hour flight from Singapore to Melbourne and had been practically traveling for 24 hours. A quick bath and proper winter attire was all I needed to start my day. Melbourne, at this time, was a chilly low of 4-6 degrees and a high of 15-18 degrees. Not too bad, but it’s always the wind chill that kills me.
That day, my first destination was the Queen Victoria Market, according to some websites: Melbourne’s largest open air market, and a place for me to buy gifts for my friends, Tricia, and my family back home. My first challenge though was, how do I get there? Since I was staying in a hotel, the concierge gave me a map of the city, along with the tram lines that travel directly to and from Queen Victoria and back. Besides the map, I finally relented and got a Myki pass from the front desk, probably the best $15 I spent that day. With my bags packed, my Myki pass ready, Google Maps set to my destination, I began my journey to the heart of Melbourne.
I’ve been to many cities where their transport has always been topnotch, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong just to name a few. Melbourne certainly does not disappoint, tram lines to and from the city are scattered practically everywhere, there are free zones and paid zones ($4.40~) and getting to the market was quite easy.
The sun was up and shining and even if it was a weekday (Thursday), the market was alive with activity. People were moving to and fro, flitting from one stall to the next, and I just took in the wonderful sights and sounds of Melbourne. On one side there were stalls with all the souvenir items you’d need and want: keychains, refrigerator magnets, pins, pens, and a whole lot of other stuff that you’d find hanging in your typical Pinoy fridge. A little farther away were art pieces, trinkets, knick knacks, and bric a brac, fidget spinners, Totoro figurines and money banks (don’t ask me why). But the one thing I had my eyes set on were the leather goods, you can smell the leather wafting in the cold morning air of the market, there were leather artisans busy hammering and finishing up belts, or stamping out names on leather items. To the left and right of me, there were signs shouting out “Authentic Italian leather”, made from “Kangaroo leather”, bags, wallets, and belts were just hanging from their hooks waiting to be touched and smelled. I did not pass up the chance to purchase one for myself (a wallet) and a leather bag for Tricia.
All in all, it was a good morning to suck up and feel the culture of Melbourne. Sights, sounds, and smells welcomed me on my first day. Even if I was feeling a little tired from my flight, I just couldn’t rest and not see the city on my first full day in a new continent, country, and city. For travelers who want to see Melbourne and Melbournians first hand, this is probably the best place to stop by first, get acquainted with the culture, see the products of the country, and just enjoy a good view of this part of the city.
Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Tuesday and Thursday 6am – 2pm
Friday 6am – 5pm
Saturday 6am – 3pm
Sunday 9am – 4pm
Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays