The seemingly gruelling 24 hour journey from London was actually fairly painless despite having to basically sprint between gates during my flight transfer. I must say that Qatar Airways did a great job at keeping everyone entertained and well fed, I hardly noticed that the flight time to Melbourne took so long! Now I’ve had a day to figure out my bearings here’s a few things I’ve come to notice about my first impressions of Melbourne.
- They really like outdoor chess. Seriously it’s everywhere.
- IT’s a pretty tech savvy, city I don’t think I’ve walked more than 20 minutes without figuratively bumping into a wifi hotspot, but then again I am in the CBD!
- There’s a LOT of places to sit. Whether this is due to the cafe culture I’ve heard so much about I’m not sure, but it’s really lovely to see people relaxing and not looking uncomfortable or rushed as they scoff down their food on the pavement (I’m looking at you Londoners).
- There are some really great shopping arcades that you can just so happen to stumble across when feeling ever so slightly lost like me, which is great for accidentally finding something unusual, for example I came across a small Dr Seuss gallery/shop, just by chance. This along with the many eateries available make it absolute heaven to aimlessly wander!
- There are lots of seagulls and sparrows. They’re like what pigeons are to London. Yeah, they’re everywhere.
- People are so friendly and happy to have a chat, it’s such a surprise when someone stops you and genuinely wants to find out more about you, even if they do just want you to donate to their charity in the end.
- There’s a lot of familiar companies. Within my first 10 minutes on the bus I saw a McDonalds, a BP garage, an Aldi and I’ve even seen a couple of Nandos restaurants. But on the other hand all the unique things they have here more than make up for the inescapable chain corporations. For example my main activity of the day was visiting the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) where the gallery/museum was informative, not patronising and interactive all at once.
It was hugely interesting to find out more about many digital mediums including gaming, commercials and of course film. The mix of factual history and subjective art was intriguing and left me feeling very satisfied with my visit. Plus what a cool building?! For me, this area really stood out in my first impressions of Melbourne.
All in all, I’m loving this city already, it feels like somewhere you could never get bored of exploring and finding new spots to enjoy. Now to start exploring Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road!
Have you visited Melbourne? What were your first impressions of the Victoria capital?