Join us for a walking tour of Melbourne’s Arcades & Lanes
We know that we’ve been incredibly delinquent updating the blog, so we’ll be posting some long overdue content over the next little while. First up is our September trip to Melbourne to celebrate our first anniversary.
According to most of the people we’ve met, Melbourne is a very different kind of Australian city. In many ways it truly is the Montreal of Down Under. It has a distinctly European feel thanks to its narrow alleyways, indulgent coffee shops and apparently high fashion (that’s not exactly something we investigated). As usual we stayed in the CBD (downtown) for our 2.5 day stay and seemed to spend the majority of our time eating (our running joke is that we ate our way through Melbourne). In actuality, that’s only partially true: we may have eaten a ton, but we walked most of it off thanks to two walking tours Bryan discovered. Thankfully the notoriously unreliable Melbourne weather completely cooperated and we were able to see some really cool sights that we undoubtedly would have otherwise overlooked.
Since pictures tell a thousand words, here’s a pictoral recreation of the tour we embarked on for the first full day of our trip: the Melbourne Arcades & Lanes walk (follow along with the PDF here)
Let’s start at the Queen St Market near where our hotel was, which is huge and features everything
Including live poultry. Hello Chuck & Di
It took us a while, but we eventually figured out this is the Design school in Melbourne
What happened to the library?
It’s still there…it just has a unique artistic piece in the sidewalk in front of it
Holy Batman Ave!
St. Paul’s Cathedral – right in the middle of downtown
We begin the tour at Federation Square
The Square is an incredibly busy free for all with restaurants, museums and the downtown train station
Lots of buskers and walkers on the steps of the Square
The Square is bordered by the Australian Centre for the Media Arts (very cool)
#2 stop: The clocks at Flinders Street Station
#3: Standing under them, you don’t realize there’s a good dozen of them or so
Onto #4: Degreaves St – former flourmill street, now gateway to coffee!
This amusing mural is outside of the resto the tour tells us to visit
The café society gathers at Degraves St. This famous shop apparently has recycled cinema seats…we didn’t see any
Lots of people out milling about
These narrow alleys are lined with interesting graffiti
…and posters (this reminds me of my Spring Break trip to Mexico)
Welcome to #8 – the Block Arcade. where Melbournians in the 1800s liked to promenade or “do the block”
Moisac floors in the Block Arcade
In #10 the Royal Arcade stand Gog and Magog, “the two legendary giants of the ancient Britons who have struck on the hour since 1892”
Skylight of the Royal Arcade
Lots of weird shops – including this one filled with Russian dolls
Melbourne light rail
A look down #12 Bourke St Mall, the heart of Melbourne’s shopping district
Looking down the outside corridor of the Melbourne GPO, General Post Office (now a mall)
Really? This is the best name for your store?
#13: The Public Purse? (as in change purse)
So Bryan sits on it
#14: Historic public toilers (Women’s in 1927)
Placard explaining the public toilets
Men’s in 1910 (these just seemed weird…and a little creepy)
#16: Warehouses from the 1880s
Wait…so what are we looking for in this non-descript alley?
Look up: These are barrel hoists
Here’s another look
#18: Hardware Lane “epitomises Melbourne’s laneway renaissance with cobbled stones underfoot and café umbrellas overhead”
Melbourne is also the main production center of Aussie film and TV (though this could also be a commercial)
T-1000 reassembling or just street art?
This building stuck out like a sore thumb amidst the more up to date architecture
This place caught our eye for the hanging plants in jars
#24: Capitol House, in the Capital Arcade, opened in 1924 and was designed by Walter Burley Griffin (architect of Canberra)
#26: Manchester Unity Arcade
Looks like a law firm
Old timey escalator
There were probably ten of these kinds of marble stencils high along the wall
With the tour done, we hit the mall. Encased within is Coop’s Shot Tower, a 50 meter high historic building completed in 1888 and now a museum. Cool…and weird
Look for our anniversary day “Secret Gardens” walk soon!