This was one of my favorite parts of Melbourne. The city is filled with quirky hidden alleys that give Melbourne a special culture. Hosier Lane is especially cool because of all the street art. The lane is completely covered in graffiti - high up on the walls, on the ground, on the garbage bins, the ladders...everywhere. The art is ever-changing, but the lane has been noted for the often political nature of the art.
"Buskers" (Street Performers)
Aussies refer to street performers as "buskers" - and Melbourne is full of them! One of my favorites that I came across during my week in the city was a band called "Woodlock." I heard them playing just outside Queen Victoria Market, and stayed to listen until the end of their set. I purchased their album, and then later looked them up online and found that they actually have several EPs out. You can check out their websitehere, or Facebook page here. I especially like the songs "Lemons," "Baby Girl," and "Sirens."
Old Melbourne Gaol
The Old Melbourne Gaol was built in the mid-1800s. It then held dangerous criminals, the homeless, and the mentally ill. There were 133 hangings in the gaol between 1842 and when it closed in 1929. Australia's most infamous citizen, Ned Kelly, was incarcerated here. I got to walk through both the men's and women's cell wings and learn about the stories of many different criminals who were incarcerated here. I also did a tour in the City Watch House (connected to the gaol), which was built in 1909 and operated until 1994. I was "arrested" by a charge sergeant and was led through what it was like to be locked up - going through initial paperwork, being searched, and locked into a cell! I even got a mugshot ;) If you are also weirdly interested in prisons like I am, you might find the Museum of Nicaraguan Traditions and Legends in Leon, Nicaragua interesting, as it is housed in an old prison.
A padded cell for criminals deemed dangerous to themselves
How's my mugshot? ;)
The Doors The cell doors were made of solid timber on an internal frame. They were fireproof and secured with heavy gauge metal cladding on the interior face and edges. The doors on the ground floor opened outwards and those on the upper levels opened inwards, apparently to thwart escape. The corners of the stone door jambs were rounded to make leverage difficult, also preventing escape. The doors were secured with padlocks that weighed over 2.5 pounds each.
The Windows The cell windows were made from two sheets of one inch thick translucent glass. They were positioned in a way that air could flow between the panes but that the view was obscured. The window sills were splayed to help prevent escape, and there were also external bars.
Centre Place is an alley that runs between Flinders Lane and Collins Street. It is home to many shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants, as well as street art. I took these photos late in the evening (around 9pm, although still light outside because of daylight savings), so many of the shops were closed. Normally the metal doors slide up and the alley is filled with people.
A historic amusement park located on the foreshore of Port Philip Bay in St. Kilda, Melbourne. It first opened on December 13th, 1912. I went on a 103 year-old rollercoaster, the Scenic Railway - it was a pretty bumpy, rickety ride!
Windy day, great for kite surfing! This guy was literally flying!
Melbourne City Skyline
A quirky bar and cafe that serves out of a caravan in an alley with hanging plants.
Here we rented an apartment for a week to stay during our visit.
This is a square in inner city Melbourne. I came here one night to watch the Australian Open that was being shown on a big screen. It was a pretty cool atmosphere, with lots of people out sitting in lawn chairs or just on the ground. Everyone was super into the match!
Across the street from the square
Dex2Rose is a Nitrogen Gelato shop tucked away in one of the back-alleys of inner city Melbourne. It was pretty hard to find, but the amazing ice cream was worth it! They had unique items on their menu - sundaes like Peach + Thai Basil, Nutella Bomb, and Luscious Lychee, as well as the flavors we ordered (shown below). The ice cream was delicious, and the presentation was nice as well.
"Not Your Granny's Apple Pie"
Central Railway Station
I have so far been very impressed with the food in Melbourne! I've also found that Australians care a lot about buying locally grown food. Grill'd is an Australiangourmet burger chain that serves fresh, healthy, delicious food. I had the Moroccan Lamb burger - grilled 100% grass fed lean lamb, roasted peppers, tzatziki, salad, and relish. It was GOOD.
Queen Victoria Market
This is the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere. It is named after Queen Victoria, who ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. In this market you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade soaps and jewelry, clothing, art, cafes, and coffee or ice cream shops.
I tried crocodile for the first time at the Aussie Steak N' Burger restaurant. The "Croc Burger" was surprisingly pretty good!
Another of Melbourne's hidden alleys. Postal Lane is very short and narrow, but features some darling little restaurants and cafes.
South Bank Street Art
A part of Melbourne with some more street art. Not as much as the alleys like Hosier Lane or Centre Place, but of a different style.
Sea Life Aquarium
A Southern Ocean and Antarctic aquarium in central Melbourne, located on the banks of the Yarra River.
Pinjarra the Saltwater Crocodile
The Block Arcade
A heritage shopping arcade in the central business district.
Testing out Melbourne's public transportation - the trams are free within the main city center
-- The best stories are found between the pages of a passport --