TOURIST AT HOME // Melbourne, Australia

Ever since returning from Europe Chris and I have talked about doing more touristy things around Melbourne. I mean, we know not a lot about the city, despite having lived here for a couple of years now. All the tours we took overseas encouraged us to come back and hunt down one in Melbourne, which we did, but then it was months before we finally got around to doing it!

Yesterday we joined the afternoon tour offered by I’m Free Melbourne. We had been trying to think up an elaborate cover story for why we were on the tour (were we from rural Victoria? Or Perth? Or overseas?), but ultimately we ended up confessing to our guide that we were locals who wanted to learn more about our city. The tour started next to statue of Redmond Barry – which you can see below – out the front of the State Library. I never knew much about Redmond Barry, but turns out he was the person responsible for sentencing Ned Kelly to death. Yet he has the underwhelming Psychology building named after him at uni.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESOur first stop was at the Old Melbourne Gaol, a place I had admittedly never been. We were told the story of Ned Kelly, and quickly discovered that basically every major development in the city was due to the Gold Rush.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe passed through Carlton Gardens to check out the Royal Exhibition Building. It was fascinating to learn about the history of this grand old hall where I sit my exams!

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Our next stop was Parliament House, another significant building I have yet to check out! It also turned out to be a hotspot for wedding photos.

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We then ventured on down through Chinatown, which is always an interesting experience. It was certainly getting me all the more excited for an upcoming trip I just booked (spoiler: I am going to China and Hong Kong in just over a month!).

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Next we diverted down the seedy-looking Croft Alley for our first glimpse at Melbourne street art. The alley is amazing to behold, and it made even better by the famous Croft Institute (a bar where you drink your cocktails with a syringe) hidden down the end. A typical Melbourne experience, and as our tour guide put it: if the alley looks like you are probably going to get stabbed down it, there is probably a great bar down there.

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More phenomenal street art as we mazed our way through laneways.

Our tour guide also spent a bit of time elaborating on the discovery of Melbourne and it’s early success (and wonderful rivalry with Sydney). Admittedly this was again something I hadn’t known much about, except for the fact that Melbourne could potentially have been named ‘Batmania’. I mean, how freaking cool would that have been to be a local ‘Batmanian’?

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We then made our way through Royal Arcade and the Block Arcade. Both are beautiful, modeling European architecture. Block Arcade is said to have been inspired by Milan, and I could certainly see that!

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Hosier Lane was one of my most anticipated destinations of the tour. I have sadly only been here one or two times, but it is such an amazing place for street art.

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There were even a couple of street artists doing their thing as we wandered through.

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It was certainly getting cold and dark as we headed down towards to Yarra River to check out the more well known destinations of Melbourne – Federation Square (apparently one of the ugliest buildings ever?), Flinders Street station and the Arts Precinct.

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I definitely found out a lot more about Melbourne from this tour, and it is one thing to check off Chris and my list of tourist things to do in Melbourne. Next, either the Shrine of Remembrance (I knowwwww I am an awful person), a show at one the theatres, or Parliament House. Hopefully it won’t take months to get around to it though!

– Reanna.

WHERE YOU WILL FIND ME // Melbourne, Australia

After another week of cold and dreary weather, Melbourne delivered this weekend with sunshine and blue skies, and boy was I excited about it. While not necessarily warm, it was nice to be outside and feel the sun on my face and not have to tramp around with my umbrella in tow. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESDespite being a Sunday I spent a bit of time at university today. A) because I had to use the computers in the library in order to use a particular statistics program, and B) I had nothing better to do. Plus being a ten minute (maximum) bike ride away from uni makes popping in not much of an issue.

I had also been endeavouring to take some snaps around campus, and today was perfect for it. Not only was the sun out, but campus is substantially quieter on a Sunday. However, as luck would have it there were a number of pro photographers about with fancy cameras, so I was pretty quick in whipping out my little camera for a sneaky photo before power walking away in shame.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis is the view back over University Square to the Law building and the other faculties south of the main Parkville campus. You can see the city popping up on the left – that’s how close we are to the CBD!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis laneway is normally crowded with people lining up to get coffee from House of Cards, a little cafe that opens up out of that little wooden hut. They definitely have my vote as one of the best brews on campus.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAs with the rest of Melbourne, uni has a great deal of contrasting architecture. I love all the old buildings in particular, though I have to admit the new Melbourne School of Design is pretty cool (despite the construction having infringed on by missions across campus for the previous two years!).

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHere is one side of the crazy modern Melbourne School of Design. I didn’t go inside today, but it is as equally crazy in there – check out a post Daph did over on Unimelb Adventures last year for a peek at the floating rooms! The building is certainly a stark contrast to the old and uninspiring Redmond Barry, where all my psychology classes are. You can see it below.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis is the front of the Melbourne School of Design – they went all trendy and kept the original facade.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESOld Quad (above) probably takes the cake as the prettiest building on campus. It basically is Hogwarts. I intended to take more photos of it but a young couple were apparently having a professional portrait session there, which I walked right into the middle of. Awkward, you could say.

Below is South Lawn, which you would normally find normally find covered with students during the week when the sun is out. Study, or sunbaking? Sunbaking always wins.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI have barely touched the surface of the beauty of the University of Melbourne in these photos. It is such a huge campus (and it is only one of the campuses – I haven’t been to the smaller off site campuses!), but I love walking around and taking it all in. There are a few spots I didn’t make it to today, such as the 1888 Building, System Garden, and the South Lawn car park (that was apparently in Mad Max). Admittedly it was the look of the uni that stuck with me and was my initial influence to come here!

– Reanna.

CATCH UP // Melbourne, Australia

Wow, I didn’t intend to leave my blog so unattended but time truly is just flying at the moment. I am well and truly immersed back into Melbourne life, busy with uni, studying, coffee dates, editing and writing over at Unimelb Adventures, volunteering and a little bit of work (there doesn’t seem to be many shifts available yet). I keep forgetting to bring my camera around with me, as a lot of what I do here is quite spontaneous. However semester one is nearly over, so I am sure I will have many more exciting adventures in the holidays!

The following are an assortment of random photos (from both my phone and camera) from the past few weeks.

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InstagramCapture_74efb76c-b498-4a4d-a050-38e87f5200d2A couple of snaps from my beloved University of Melbourne. It is so good to be back.

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UntitledPottering around North Melbourne. It is starting to feel a lot like home now. We are also back into our routine of fortnightly breakfast dates! There is an abundance of delicious cafes nearby. The above was at Code Black Coffee‘s North Melbourne cafe.

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There have also been some spontaneous date nights. This particular one was at Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint, which overlooks the Queen Vic Market. It was strange seeing it deserted at night time.

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WP_20150510_11_04_57_ProThis past weekend Mum, Olivia and I took part in the annual Mothers Day Classic. Mum and I did the 8km run last year, but we stuck to the 4km walk this year seeing as we had a 7 year old in tow! We went out for breakfast before hand, and despite the rain we had a fun morning.

Speaking of rain, today was the alleged coldest day in Melbourne thus far this year (I am talking like Europe-like temperatures of under 10 degrees here people, I am not ready for the cold yet!). But classic Melbourne style, it was pouring rain one minute, then the next minute, this:

InstagramCapture_c343fbed-160b-456c-8e79-c100689eb0e6I just can’t keep up. This is a snap of uni I took for the Unimelb Adventures instagram account, which I manage.

I have been spending a bit of time perusing through my Europe photos on here lately, both as a form of procrastination and because I am starting to create a physical album of my escapades. It all seems so long ago now! I really cannot wait to go on another adventure soon. Wanderlust really didn’t take long to set in!

– Reanna.