Melbourne – off to work!

Monday technically began my first day of working in Melbourne, even though I didn’t have to report in until 1pm. That means I had a nice long morning to fill.

I’d been up since 1am, so I was good and well awake when my friend asked if I wanted to Skype at 5:15am my time. That was nice. Skype makes international travel much friendlier. After that I went to a YMCA which is located across the street to see if they’d let me use my US membership to get in a workout. Funny thing, that one: it’s a private YMCA just for residents and workers in that building, which probably explains why I couldn’t find any signage and I had to ask the doorman where to go. But at 6:30am there was only one other gentleman using the facility (it was a tiny little gym), and the man running the desk was so kind and funny. He said “It’s not every day someone flies from the US to Melbourne just to use my gym. You go ahead.”

After that I stopped at Kenny’s for coffee and the Post to pick up some stamps for postcards. Then off to the Telstra to figure out why I was still getting an error message when I tried to use my shiny new SIM card. That was a fraught story in and of itself, but in the end I do now have an Australian phone and phone number so I can communicate more easily with my Austalian colleagues, as well as with my American friends and family on-the-go via Facebook.

The phone thing ate up the rest of the morning, and then I went into work. We were done around 6pm and my coworker and I headed next door to Bottega Restaurant for dinner. Side note: There are a ton of Italian restaurants in Melbourne. My coworker had grilled octopus and I had Tasmanian moo-cow. Tasted like American moo-cow.

On Tuesday I woke up at 4am – progress! – and bummed around my hotel room until about 7am: checked the social medias, did some work for work, drank some hideous hotel-provided instant coffee. As the rest of Melbourne was starting to yawn I put on my walking shoes and headed northeast through the CBD, heading towards a farmer’s market called Queen Victoria Market.

Blue, cloudy sky transected by overlapping cables for the trams.

Tram cables over an intersection in Melbourne’s CBD.

A street marker sign fills the middle of the phone. In the background are city buildings and some trees. A trams is seen in the lower right side of the photo.

 At the intersection of Swanston and Lonsdale.

Along the way I passed some of Melbourne’s less touristy laneways (alleys) and found some very cool art.

A relatively neat and empty laneway is filled with small signs and doorways.

Fancy a bit of laneway Heraclitus?

Laneway art...an elephant, pics, crocodile on the back of a whale, racing through waves toward a small boat with a dragon? head and a man piloting it.

I…don’t really know what’s going on here.

A lane filled with garbage bins and plastered in street art.

There is a bar down at the end of this laneway called Sister Bella’s. It was blaring music at 8:30am. I might have to go back here at night sometime.

Large sculpture of a man and a woman embracing - the man holding the woman's back to his chest. In place of normal arms, they have long, branch-like appendages. and leaves are sprouting from their "arm" appendages..

 A leafy embrace.

Most of the shops that I passed were closed, either because of the early hour or because it was Cup Day here in Melbourne. The market was also closed, but the walk was nice and now I’ll know where to head if I want to visit this weekend.

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A couple in their Cup Day finery. And four humans.

Empty stalls at a covered market.

The empty, covered stalls at Queen Victoria Market.

After traipsing about that end of town I started down Elizabeth Street, had breakfast at a little restaurant named Cafe Victoria, and continued walking up Elizabeth Street all the way to the opposite side of the CBD to Flinder’s Station. Along the way I accidentally found Degraves Street/Campbell Arcade and Centre Place.

A wide, clean laneway filled with signs, awnings and small cafe tables.

Degraves Street

Two women adjust their Cup Day finery in the back of a laneway away from traffic.

Two women adjust their Cup Day finery away from the rush of the main laneway.

A large iron sign proclaims a narrow laneway to be Centre Place. Several people are walking into the laneway, and street art is visible on  one of the doorways.

I found Centre Place! This is one of the laneways that I had wanted to visit. Much of Melbourne was closed on Tuesday, but this well-known attraction had many open shops and restaurants to serve tourists and Cup Day revelers.

Centre Place laneway - filled with shop signs and people.

 Centre Place as seen from the opposite end of the laneway.

I was pretty tired at this point. The Hubby was kind enough to send me off to a foreign country with a moderately debilitating head cold that chose to present on Monday evening, and by mid morning on Tuesday I was starting to feel it. I made my way back to the hotel and spent most of the rest of the day in bed. I did venture out later in the afternoon to get some lunch and ended up finding amazing Greek food at a 24hour restaurant called Stalactites. Then back to bed with cough drops and nose spray to rest up for my first big day with clients in Albury-Wadonga.

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Melbourne – off to work!
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One thought on “Melbourne – off to work!

  1. 1

    Melbourne’s a multi-cultural wonderland. You name the country, and Melbourne’ll have a restaurant run by an ex-pat providing authentic cuisine. That being said, the Italians and Greeks were among the first non-native non-Anglos to settle here so their communities are more firmly established than most. Check out Lygon Street for a higher than average concentration of Italian restaurants and the best pizza in the city.

    Did you see AC/DC Lane?

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