For The Love Of Melbourne

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My first tryst with Melbourne was when I watched the movie 'Salaam Namaste' and fell in love with the city just like the way Ambar (Priety Zinta's character) did. Australia is one of the most underrated countries as most of the people crave to settle down in the US of A or the United Kingdom. Some even want to get lost in the lush landscapes of Europe and some want to climb up the Eiffel Tower in Paris to catch the view. I have hardly heard of anyone wanting to go and settle in Australia. People apply citizenship for Canada and New York, but you hardly get to see people wanting to go settle down in Sydney or Melbourne. I had got a glimpse of Sydney through the movie 'Dil Chahta Hai', and I was fascinated with the locations that feature in the 'Jaane kyu log pyar karte hai' song. The clear blue waters, the green parks and the helicopter ride above the Opera house. As I was still bottling up my lust for Sydney, I saw Melbourne and fell head over heels in love with it. And then 'Masterchef Australia' happened making me fall crazily in love with everything related to Australia. 

Melbourne is the vibrant capital of the state of Victoria, in Australia. Almost every year this city is voted to be the most livable city in the world. Melbourne was initially the capital of Australia between 1901 and 1927. It stayed on as the capital for a good twenty six years, and then the capital shifted to Canberra. I have a lot of friends living here and for now I am living my dream through them. Hopefully, someday my dream shall come true and I shall wake up to the brilliant weather of Melbourne. Melbourne weather is known to be the most unpredictable. Just like Bangalore, you get to experience almost all the four seasons in just a day. Did you know that Melbourne was initially named Batmania? Before you think that Gotham City is a part of Melbourne and that the Batman movies were filmed here, let me tell you that the name Batmania had nothing to do with Christopher Nolan and his genius art and nor does Christian Bale hold an Australian passport. During summer, a massive flock of bats (almost around 60,000) is known to fly and make their way to Melbourne's CBD from Yarra Bend Park. These bats or flying foxes aim right for the skyline of Melbourne and it apparently is one of the most beautiful sights to see. Hence the name Batmania. And also because one of Melbourne's founder fathers was called John Batman! Can you imagine that? There was an actual person with the name Batman, how cool is that? On that note, Wolverine is an Australian!

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Melbourne is known to have a loving heart and a welcoming soul. This is proven by the fact that Melbourne is the home to the highest Italian and Greek populations in the world! I'm sure we Indians are not too far away. Melbourne is also a city that is very well taken care of. There is no other place on the entire planet that provides a better living standard than good old Melbourne. The five main categories covered are stability, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure. Does this happen anywhere in India? I'd laugh my pants off. 'Namaste' is a popular way of saying 'Hello' in Melbourne and that is why this is another place best suited for Indians. The world's first feature film, 'The Story of the Kelly Gang' was filmed and made in Melbourne in 1906 and did you know that the first ever set of traffic lights was actually installed in Melbourne? And Melbourne has the highest number of restaurants and cafes per number of people than any other city in the world, making it the perfect city for my foodie husband and I to live. Melbourne is also very kind and liberal to gays and lesbians. Melbourne also had the first gay and lesbian radio station in the world. Melbourne treats everyone equally. No wonder, this city is the most livable city in the world!

I would love to settle down in Melbourne without a doubt. More than visiting the tourist places I'd love to embrace this city and make it my home. The first thing that I would do when I land here is try a shot of the 'Wet pussy'. Before you close the browser, let me tell you that I'm not talking about sex or the genitals here. This is a drink made out of vodka and peach schnapps, topped up with a little bit of cranberry juice and a drop of lime that is served in almost every bar of Melbourne. Once done with it, I'll set to explore the city in my own way with the best ever companion, my husband! 

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First we will head out to the Melbourne City Center to check out the central business district (CBD) area. No no, I am not those boring geeky types, all I want to do is get up to the observation deck of the Eureka tower and bask in the view of the city from there and feel proud that this is my home now. I'll even pay to access the Skydeck that features thirty viewfinders that help visitors to pinpoint numerous significant landmarks around all parts of Melbourne, along with several free binoculars. There is a small outside area called 'The Terrace' which is closed in high winds. There is also a glass cube called 'The Edge', which extends itself from the building to hang over the edge of the tower and add to the viewing experience. Charming eh? During my first weekend there I'd visit the Luna park located on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda and take a long drive across the Great Ocean Road lusting over the clear blue waters and the pleasant wind. And then I will take a tram ride too. Melbourne would not be explored without a tram ride.

There are a lot of other places on my list to visit. Yarra Valley for its natural beauty and the wine, Dandenong ranges national park for the thrill, the Shrine of remembrance to pay respect to the those who served in World War I, St Paul's Cathedral to kneel down and pray, Finders street railway station to witness its grandeur, Queen Victoria market or the Queen Vic for its fresh produce, Crown casino and entertainment complex to try my luck at gambling, state library of Victoria for its wooden interiors, high ceiling and wide range of books, Melbourne zoo and sea life Melbourne aquarium for watching the sea flow around me and finally the Melbourne cricket ground, just to be a part of history. These are just the places on top of my head right now and I cannot explain my urge and dream to be a part of this city soon. The people of Melbourne and their liveliness is one of the most important things, that make this city the most livable city in the world.

Have I painted a good enough picture to get you to start dreaming about Melbourne? Let me make it more interesting for you. Watch this video and tell me which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why? Leave the answer as a comment and one of you shall stand a chance to win a shopping voucher worth Rs. 500! Oh yeah, you read that right. The chance to win ends on 4th January 2015, so leave a comment now and you may get lucky this new year.

Update: Declaring the winner whose comment has won a shopping voucher worth Rs. 500! The winner is the nature lover who wants to cuddle a Koala - Ranjith! Send me your email id at soumprasad@gmail.com ASAP, so that I can send your details to the Indiblogger team.


24 comments:

  1. That's a lot of information about Melbourne - good job!
    After reading so many articles on Melbourne, I'm definitely craving to go there! And one of the reasons is the Great Ocean Road. I'd love to go on a drive there and visit the beaches, small towns alongside and just take in the views. Ah, bliss!

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  2. You are right, Australia is underrated in terms of tourism. I wish to visit Melbourne someday too :) And your post has made me determined to do that soon! Good luck with the contest, Soum :)

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  3. A lovely post which brings out hitherto not nown facts! Best of luck !

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  4. Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I’d most like to visit the Dandenong Ranges for it’s scenic beauty, breathtaking view and cool breeze blowing through my hair. :P I’d give anything away for driving through the winding roads which are present throughout the ranges. I’d love to stay at one of the bed and breakfast cottages and go on frequent excursions in the forests with my camera which provides excellent views. And not to forget the famous ride in the Puffing Billy, a day reserved especially for that. To add to that, there are also several picnic spots for me and my friends to spend a fun-filled day and the ranges are a perfect spot for hiking and cycling.

    Pingback: https://cruxrebels.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/melbourne-the-place-to-be-see/

    Wish you and your blog a happy new year! :D

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    1. Thank you and wish you a happy new year too!

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  5. Helloooooooooo.. How are you doing long time no see .. Wishing you and everyone around you a very very happy new yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Australia is a beautiful country for sure , All the best with the contest..

    Bikram's

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    1. Looooooooong time indeed. Thank you Bikram and wishing you a very happy new year too :)

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  6. Being a nature lover, Australian flora and fauna appeals to my inner senses. If I ever have a plan, I would like to explore the flora and fauna, quite unique to Australia. Maybe, cuddle a koala bear as well, in one of their national parks.

    - Ranjith (http://www.alightheartedtalk.com)

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    1. Cudding a koala bear sounds so cute :)

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  7. Interesting Post
    After reading your post and watching all the videos
    I feel I have stepped into a kaleidoscope called Melbourne
    Where Vistas of experiences would unfold one after another
    The nature lover in me is enticed by the thought of watching the penguin parade.
    Traveling though the great ocean road, soaking up the freshness as the breeze ruffles my hair gets me in the mood to pack my bags for Melbourne.
    But before I can move ,Puffing Billy whistles and invites me for a ride. The kid in me jumps with joy at the thought of visiting Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
    Even before I can deside on the list of places that I would like to see in and around Melbourne.
    What’s that noise that I hear ?
    Oh its loud cheer from MCG as the cricket world cup 2015 is about to kick start.
    So many plces to see and so much to do.
    I am thetimetraveler ( http://goo.gl/wdXDzu ) and I have decided … Melbourne here I come ( http://goo.gl/RvUCQf ).

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    1. That's a lot on your list as well :)

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  8. Amazing Article.
    If I get a chance to visit Melbourne then
    I would like to spend my time in the Great Otway National Park, because I love watching animals. I would love to take a city tour by travelling on the Tram's of Melbourne. By travelling in tram's I want to explore every nook & corner of Melbourne. Besides this I would love to watch the amazing architectures of Melbourne like Eureka Tower, Royal Exhibition Building, etc. And without enjoying festivals, my journey would be incomplete so I will celebrate Australian Festivals.
    And how can I forget The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). As cricket is my favourite sport I would love to watch the Cricket world cup final which will take place at the largest stadium of Australia, that is, MCG.

    - Manu
    Harstuff Travel - http://goo.gl/6t4oZy

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    1. I hope someday you get the chance to do so :)

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  9. Hey ,Superb post ,so all set to pack bags to have a thrill at Melbourne,Now being high on my wish list .U’ve very well covered the best of Melbourne and for the entry in contest ,there cannot ever be a single place for me.It has to be a bouquet of places to calm down my zest to explore it.So naming ,first comes the Great Ocean road not just to linger or have a decent walk but to amaze myself with Jetskiing ,Scuba diving and to try swim with Dolphins,seal Yay,these beautiful creatures would be lucky to share a swim with me.ha ha.Then it would be Eureka Sky deck, to have an awe inspiring experience to be closest to sky and get the sky deck view of this liveable city, MCG to watch and cheer the players on one of the worlds best cricket ground!

    Wishing u Best of Luck & a great year ahead.

    Visit my blog

    http://jhilmilbhansali.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/a-date-for-life-timea-date-with-nature-wildlife-art-cuisine-ah-melbourne/

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    1. Thank you Jhilmil and best of luck to you too!

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  10. Nice post! I would definitely want to visit all those amazing places when I get to visit Melbourne :) But of all, my top pick would be a visit to Yarra valley for a beautiful sunrise balloon flight. After seeing the video, I can't stop myself from dreaming a romantic magical flight above the scenic vineyards and watching the sunrise from up above! Throw in my favorite wine, I will doubly enjoy the ride sipping my glass and taking sensational selfies all the way :) Now I can't think of a better way of spending a vacation!!

    Next of course, cruising through the great ocean road in a open-top car to enjoy the coastal scenery and the iconic 12 apostles for the nature's amazing work at play. Then a ride around the city in the vintage trams to enjoy its urban splendor and the legendary puffing billy to enjoy its natural splendor. Finally a day at the hot springs to unwind and totally rejuvenate myself :)

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  11. Given a chance to visit Melbourne, I would absolutely make a run for Eureka Skydeck 88..Imagine the view of the city from such a great height of over 300 metres and while you are suspended in air in a glass box!
    This is an experience not to be missed and I hope I get a chance to visit Melbourne and go explore Eureka Skydeck 88 soon :)
    -Nikita @Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff

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    1. The Eureka tower does sound super amazing na? :)

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  12. Being a person who loves to travel this place has struck my eye.
    And here, Eureka Skydeck 88 is going to be first on my list.. i can just imagine the view after reading about it and i feel its going to be awesome.
    Then the St. Kilda Beach,the long walk on the beach during the sunset will be just perfect.. And finding gold is also there.. :D
    why not get my pockets filled with some tresure hunt..Laneways and Arcades is going to be the place to explore my "Lara croft" skills.. :D :D
    Melbourne is going to be a great place to visit and enjoy a holiday..

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