A place so familiar yet unfamiliar.
The last time I was in Melbourne was about eighteen years ago. The place seem so familiar yet unfamiliar. Certain institutions and buildings such as the universities, and both St Paul's and St Patrick's cathedrals. The 'keep left to turn right' driving technique was invented here because of trams within the Central Business District (CBD) and was still in the recess of my memory. However, many other things have changed such as the development of federation square which, incidentally, holds the accolade of 5th ugliest building in the world!
Melbourne has a huge independent coffee culture and individual Melbournians have favourite baristas that they go to religiously resulting in huge international coffee companies such as Starbucks being unable to establish a market here for themselves. To me it's brilliant as I'm a believer in supporting small local businesses.
A huge part of visiting Melbourne was to catch up with friends that I've not seen for a long time, from Scotland and Singapore. Australia has been attracting many individuals to migrate here. According to The Economists Magazine, Melbourne is again ranked in 2016 as the number 1 city to live in the world and has been for six consecutive years. Besides being well known for its coffee, restaurants, night-life and love of sport, the city's biggest charm is its inclusiveness creating a diverse and lively atmosphere. The city also caters to the needs of the tourists very well, all trams within the CBD are free of charge and public wifi is readily available. Visiting Melbourne can be done on backpacking budget right through to a millionaire lifestyle. There are many things to do for free in Melbourne such as visiting numerous museums as well as the city's many street art locations. During the visit to Melbourne, I visited the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), National Victoria Gallery (NVG) and the Art Centre Melbourne (ACM) where Kylie Minogue's major new exhibition celebrating magical moments from her highly-successful concert tours entitled Kylie on Stage took placed.
One thing that drew me to Melbourne was its street art and this free to do wondering the street and taking in the different aspects of street art. The standard of street art had declined in certain areas due to city removing their curator of street art. Dining and drinking in the city offers a large variety of choices and cuisines from the usual to the sophisticated and cheap to ridiculously expensive.
Many folks I've met-either friends or acquaintances- during my trip to Melbourne have asked if I would like to move to Melbourne in the future. I think I'm one of the lucky people who has already found a home and it may sound cliché, but Glasgow, Scotland will always be my home.