When we arrived at the Melbourne airport, which is more like a garage, we were greeted by the owners of our home for the next five weeks. A British-Australian couple who have been living in Melbourne for over 20 years, they both had great advice for us as we passed through the city on the way to their home in a suburb just east of the city center.
In preparation for their grand holiday our hosts had to work most of the next day while Erik and I became acquainted with the area, the quirks of their home, and their dogs! They have a very shy and gentle border collie, and a feisty and hilarious skye terrier that reminds us of a Chinese dragon, who we both fell in love with immediately.
On some streets that’s all there is.
There’s a park nearby where we can take the dogs and some great running routes in the neighborhood. There is also a fairly lively shopping district with cute cafes, restaurants and two large grocery stores. Along the way we stumbled across some thrift shops where we quickly picked up some cheap warmer clothing for the colder months to come, here and in New Zealand. The temperatures have been quite comfortable lately with highs in the low 60s during the day, while it can get quite chilly at night. And they call this winter, ha!
We made sure to take some time to relax in the first days, recovering from the hustle and bustle of working and hiking at the hostel. We’re stacked up on good books and we’ve both started studying our Spanish daily using Rosetta Stone in preparation for the Americas.
The location is wonderful as it is right on a tram line that runs directly into the center of Melbourne in 25 minutes. We hope to make use of it often as the city seems to have endless activities and experiences. It reminds me a little bit of Brussels in that there aren’t many large tourist attractions like in Sydney, but rather hundreds of little gems waiting to be discovered if you stay long enough to appreciate them. Free wifi and beautiful study rooms in the national library, cafes bursting with raw attitude down one of the many hidden lanes, weekly specials in top notch restaurants, or famous rock bars that are impossible to find on purpose.
We’ve been busy looking at MeetUps as well, and Erik has already found a games group that meets once a week in the city and we have plans to join a weekly running group and a group that goes only to hidden and unknown bars in the city.