Melbourne, Day 2

Such a delightful day it was. I went out to the South Melbourne Markets first thing and had a average chocolate croissant from the Aromas. That was funny. They had no signs up as to what the baked goods were called. So I asked for a pain au chocolat. The lady behind the counter after she stopped talking to the stall holder in the next stall over, looked at me like I had three heads. She asked what did I mean? So I asked for a chocolate croissant. She then went “oh” and handed me the baked goody. It was average though, pretty much the same as the ones from the Highgate Hill Bakery that you get at the various markets in Brisbane. Oh well. I could cross them off the list of places to go back to. I had a stroll round the markets and they didn’t excite me as they had in 2007. I did however pick up some goodies – I picked up two ciders and a wheat beer to taste with Matthew from Swords, the first cider is the organic cider from Samuel Smith’s in the UK and the other was Coldstream Cider from the Yarra Valley. The beer is the blackberry wheat beer from Redoak.

One of my reasons for going to South Melbourne was that I was hoping that Chef’s Hat would have 30×40 biscuit trays for my oven. Sadly they only had them on back order. I did however pick up a the measuring cup that I had been looking for. Mum has an Anchor Hocking Fire-King 1 cup measure that has 10 ml increments on it. In the shops here I could only find Pyrex ones that only had 50ml increments. Chef’s Hat had the same cup as Mum has. I bought it 🙂

Had a lovely browse in a home wares store though I guess it would really be called an interior decor store called Pomegranate. So, so, so, so many lovely goodies. I picked up a very lovely hook to put on a wall or a door somewhere/sometime. It is a sheath of wheat with two hooks a the bottom => so lovely. I will have to take a photo of it. Had a look at an op shop that I had read rave reviews of on the net. Found it just the same as the stores up in Brisbane. That is actually what I found at all the op shops I went to check out. Really just the same stuff as back home. Headed back to the hostel and dropped my loot off before catching the tram to Fitzroy to spend the day mooching round the streets. Went down and up and round Johnston, Getrude, Brunswick and Smith St, picked up a few things, had a good browse, saw some weird stuff, had some good food and basked in the Melbourne sun. My first stop was Meet me at Mikes to hopefully buy the book, the man behind the counter told me they don’t sell it. I went WTF? really surprised me with that. It was an interesting shop full of all sorts of little goodies but I sort of expected it to also have random crafty supplies which it didn’t.
Stopped in to another crafty shop a little way up the street which had the most gorgeous pressed tin goodies -> boxes, photo frames, rubbish bins etc. If I didn’t have space constraints, one of those pressed tin rubbish bins would have been coo!.

When I started getting peckish, I had a look at the patronage levels of the cafes near where I was on Brunswick St, and picked the busiest one. It was Alimentari and oh I enjoyed it. Had a gorgeous lunch of a haluimi pie with spinach and semi-dried tomaoto. It was similar in construction to a Calzone but had a much harder crust. Washed that one with a reminder of home – a Bundy Ginger Beer. I had a lovely spot to eat my lunch. Up on a stool at the window looking out at the street life in front of me.

More wandering, salivating at some of the pretty things I saw. Crossing off shops on the 12 page list I had with me of things to check out. As I wondered I took a very few photos. I think this day was the day I took the least photos, too busy strolling and looking to take photos.

Brunswick StBrunswick St



Had a Chocolate Crossiant at Babka – man oh man that was the best I have ever had or have had in a long time. Buttery, layerey, just wish it the chocolate was a bit more spread out. Oh so good.

Randomly met Tom and Tianna at the tram stop near Johnston St on the way home – so random and very cool. They were on their way to St Kilda to busk. I headed up to Lygon St, where I picked up Meet Me at Mikes at Readings, had a San Churro Hot Chocolate – man oh man they are so good! I ended up having a few more on my trip to Melbourne. In QLD there is a shop at Maroochydore – I can see myself making some trips up the Sunny Coast in the future.
Overall I wasn’t that impressed with Lygon St but maybe it is better in the morning, or on the weekend or later at night when it is alive. I did see a few groups of Italian old men and young men hanging out at the cafes.

Looking afar from

Had a late dinner at Brunetti’s of a pizza with a Chai Latte – very yummy. I ended up having a second Chai Latte the following night, so yummy. Spicy, frothy and milky!

Melbourne, Day 1

Well I am well and truly back from Melbourne, though I would move there in a heart beat and a half if offered the chance. I figure I got about 80% of the things I wanted to do in Melbourne done and I managed to get about half the things on my pre-planned shopping list.

Lesson #1, Qantas time and Helen time are not calibrated. I was supposedly 1 minute too late to drop my bag for my flight. I had already checked in online the day before but had to queue for the bag drop. I was in the bag drop line for about 4 minutes. The lady at the counter said they had put an announcement over the loudspeaker for people to come out of the line. I just shook my head and if I hadn’t been so tired I would have argued it because there was no announcement. She also tried to tell me that I had to have my backpack in a bag before it could be dropped. WTF? Never heard that before – you just buckle all the straps up and it is fine. Though I must admit I heard her a little later telling another passenger that the wooden box they were checking in as luggage had to be in a bag. WTF? I didn’t queue in her line the next time. Back to the story. $44 later I was on the next flight to Melbourne – it left Brisbane at 0655 instead of the 0555 I had been booked on. Still I was ahead because the Qantas fare was still cheaper than Virgin or Jetstar and they would have made me pay the entire fare again to get on the next flight.
When I went back to check in and drop my bag for the next flight, I joined a different queue and the man at the counter had no problems with my backpack just as long as I buckled the straps up. Silly lady.

Lesson #2, do not make eye contact with the person with the explosive trace wand, because she will target you and wave the magic wand over you.

Lesson #3, Helen ♥s Melbourne.

I picked up the May issue of Real Living at the airport, so that with The Australian and The Courier Mail courtesy of Qantas were my reading material for the flight. I ♥ Real Living. I had a really pleasant flight down. The breakfast was good and one of the flight attendants, commented on my ear-rings which was nice, I returned the comment by saying I would love to be able to style my hair in the way she had done it.

Some photos from the flight.
This is the view as we flew over the Murray, I love the patchwork.
The MurrayQantas Wings

I landed in Melbourne to drizzly rain and grey skies. ugg not the Melbourne I wanted. Still this is the city of “four seasons in one day” by the arvo it would be blue skies. I again stayed at Greenhouse Backpackers. I can not recommend them enough. $30/night, free breakfast if you are up early enough and in such a fantastic location. On Flinders Ln between Swanston St and Degraves St and it has a rooftop 🙂 It is great. Once I had unpacked my bags and grabbed a bed. I was off to explore.

I started on the corner of Flinders and Swanston and walked down to Spencer, back up Flinders Lane to Swanston, down Collins etc in a similar manner till I reached the corner of Little Lonsdale and Swanston. Oh the sights I saw and the sights I didn’t see.

Flinders Lane was great and I must say I loved living above it. The Aesop store has the most incredible fit out, the entire shelving system is made from cardboard. Didn’t go in but I loved what I saw. There was another shop just down from the Greenhouse entrance that had the most gorgeous emerald green wool shift dress in the window. If I was a size 10 and lived in Melbourne I would have stolen it from the window. Had a browse in Polyester Records but didn’t find anything that tickled my musical fancy. Had lunch at Le Petit Gâteau but that will be another post. Really enjoyed walking round the court district, lots of nice buildings and nice looking people.

Saw some lovely bicycles, one great thing about Melbourne is that because it is so flat it is very cycle friendly. I was suprised to see many ladies in full office wear, cycling home after work in high heels and all. I guess you don’t really work up a sweat cycling home in the cooler Melbourne weather.

Melbourne BikesMelbourne Bikes

Had a fantastic time on Little Bourke between Elizabeth and Queen. Wilkins and Kent was a fantastic shop, I picked up a cute little wooden tree brooch from States of Nature, a lavender heat pillow from Tonic Australia and placed a Jo Luping tile on hold that I would pick up from the Fitzroy store the next day. If you go to this article at Lost My Way and scroll down to the Jo Luping section, I got the tree tile that is in the middle. I love it! I had a little look in Paddy Pallin and tried on a great pair of shoes but the size 9 was too tight, tried on the size 10 in a similar style as they didn’t have the size 10 in the style I wanted. The good news was that the Fortitude Valley store had a size 10. Called Pabbi and he went in the next day and picked up a pair for me. Score!!! These are the new shoes, that were waiting on my bed when I got home from Melbourne. They are made by Simple (a shoe company that I just adore) and they can be found on Zappos here

Carousel shoes by Simple

Went to Metropolis Books and oh my I l ♥ that shop. I love how much space they were – it was great not having a really cramped bookshop. I picked up the Sublime Stitching Pad which I had been looking at for a while and a book called It’s So You, edited by Michelle Tea, writings from thirty-five women about personal expression through fashion and style. It looks like it will be a really great read. The lady behind the counter said she had loved it, so should be good.

I also stopped by Made in Japan where I picked up three very lovely ceramic pieces. I got the 18cm open shape bowl and 25cm large shallow bowl in Embossed Asanoha, they looked lovely nested together. I also got the 25cm large shallow bowl in Blue Blossom.

Mmm what else did I do? I walked and I walked some more and took photos! Took some street art photos for Karl
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Another thing I ♥ about the Melbourne CBD is all the rooftop spaces with gardens on them etc as well as all the balcony/window sill gardens.

This photo made me laugh

I loved the grid of the tram lines against the blue sky and the number 39.
Tram lines in the sky

A little lane way off Little Bourke

This photo reminded me of a show called Loot I once saw on the ABC.

Something a little arty.

The Myer windows in the Bourke St Mall, had costumes and props from Australia. I loved this outfit in the movie.
Australia Windows

dead umbrella, no longer needed, the sun is out.
umbrella, dead.

and I leave you with one last photo. You would want to hope that this building never changes street numbers 😀
Three Ninety

I retired back to the hostel with a bag full of goodies and a very tired Helen.

Back to Melbourne

Well in about ohhh four minutes, I will be walking out the door and heading to the airport to catch a plane to Melbourne!!!! I am currently eating a quick breakfast and then I’m off. I stayed at my parents last night and Pabbi is about to take me to the airport. I am soo excited. Excited to be having a real mini holiday away from work. The last few months have just been hectic. I have a big list (ie 12+ pages) of things I want to check out, places I want to go etc etc. I haven’t got my Rudd money yet, but that is what I am going to be using this week!

I’m back Sunday night as I have to work on Monday morning.

A few pictures from last time I went. I am not taking my 12-24mm this time, just my 16-35, the 50mm and the 135mm. See you on the other side 🙂

Turning off Johnston St, Fitzroy St Pauls from Swanston & Flinders @ 12mm Getting off on Elizabeth St Waiting for the tram at 17mm The GPO @ 12mm