When we first started planning Australia, we originally thought we might just visit Sydney. We received some strong recommendations to visit Melbourne, and I’m so glad we did. The two cities are so very different. I liked Sydney, but it wasn’t anything special for me …. Melbourne, however, Melbourne is on my move to list. I loved, loved, loved Melbourne — it is actually a strong contender for my favorite city, though I think Amsterdam still has the top spot. Here’s my recap:
When I arrived in Melbourne, I was about halfway through my miles for the month, but I knew I had to keep my motivation up. Jim left for about 5-days to go dive the Barrier Reef, so I had to plan and make sure I got in my miles. I did not research ahead of time but had heard through friends Melbourne offered several great options for running.
After arriving a quick search led me to the Anniversary Trail, which I could pick-up less than a quarter mile from the apartment. I didn’t map it out before going, I just headed out. I figured I would just use Runkeeper tell me when I’d reached 3-miles and then just turn around and run home. The Anniversary Trail was lovely. It was a paved path that weaved behind and through neighborhoods, schools, and parks. It reminded me a lot of the Monon Trail from back in Indiana.
Total Miles: 83.1 miles (Total for April)
Loop Distance: 6.50 miles
Best Pace: 8:33 average pace / mile
^Start of the Anniversary Path, less than a half mile from the apartment.
^ I really loved the “off leash” dog areas along the path!
^This was the only major interaction of my run.
^On every run, I’ve always had a smell. In London, it was cigarettes smoke. In Amsterdam, it was marijuana. In Kiyv, it was body odor. Italy it was manure. Sitges was the ocean breeze. Tanzania was my sweaty mess. Chiang Mai was the exhaust from all the vehicles. And in Discovery Bay, fresh air. Discovery Bay was the first city without a distractive smell, so I guess the lack of “smell” makes it distinct. In Tokyo, I smelled Spring. Sydney was the smell of Jasmine and Melbourne continued with the smell of flowers blooming in fall!
^ There were drinking fountains, bathrooms, and bike repair stops along the path, which I though was really cool.
I had heard that Melbourne was THE place for coffee in Australia, so I was looking forward to exploring. Jim and I actually did a coffee tour of the city and enjoyed some really amazing coffee. During the coffee tour, we visited Little Bean Blue, Tulip, Sensory Lab, and Seven Seed. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from our day.
When I got to Melbourne, I needed a bit of maintenance. While I only had three weeks, I needed to get my lashes and nails done. During my first moms-day-out in Melbourne, I planned a trip into the city to get my lashes and nails done. I researched and ended up going to the Simply Brows and Lashes to get my lashed done. The technician was a little rough, I remember asking her to stop a couple of times and the lashes weren’t the best quality. They were stiff, though they did last pretty well.
Just across from the Brow Bar was Happy Nails, which is where I stopped in for a mani / pedi. I was looking for something efficient, so Happy Nails was perfect. I was in and out in about an hour!
Right before we left Melbourne, I did get my nails done one last time, though I didn’t research this time, I just popped into a nail salon I passed — Odyssey Nails. They did an ok job, but they were not friendly nor were they gentle. My nails were polished, but I was glad to get out of that place! We packed up an left Melbourne a couple of days later .. and I chipped a couple of my nails. #annoyed
What I loved about Melbourne:
- Everything, everything, everything. I am a little surprised, but Melbourne pulled ahead of Amsterdam for my favorite city of the trip thus far. I loved everything about Melbourne.
- I loved all the paths and trails around Melbourne. I primarily ran the Anniversary Trail, but the city is filled with paved and non-paved trails. I would have loved to explore more of them.
- I loved the people. I found the people in Melbourne to be friendlier than in Sydney.
What I didn’t love about Melbourne:
- As with Sydney, transportation wasn’t great in Melbourne. The city is spread out, and we were staying a bit north, so it was using public transportation was rough. Long bus rides to travel short distances.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from Melbourne: