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Trams, Trains and Airplanes: A Trip Round Melbourne

– by David Charlesworth

I recently took a trip to Melbourne to take a few pics and spread the word about the Melbourne wing of Colosoul that’s starting up.

Flying into Melbourne always leaves me reeling for a bit. After leaving the big country town of Perth, I get a bit of a head rush with the size and speed of Australia’s second most populated city. This was typified when taking the train to where I was staying, I stopped and stared at Southern Cross Station for a bit. Twenty platforms shifting constantly with incoming trains from around the city and the country, each train staying for only a heartbeat before moving on. After snapping out of the hypnosis I flung myself onto the right train just in time.

In sunny (for the moment anyway) St Kilda what I saw was an equal blend of Cottesloe and Claremont. The humming café strips sit right next to the bright blue of the Indian Ocean, which conjured a yearning for fish n’ chips. St Kilda markets were a bustle of people and perusing the hand-made art and knick knacks the creatives of the area came up with, the empty echo in my wallet precluding me from getting anything. Luna Park scared the crap out of me and I still wonder why anyone would enter the giant clown mouth but the multitudes of families who entered had no such worries about the century old local landmark.

One thing that I loved in Melbourne was the architecture in the city. In Perth the ratio of new buildings to old is 80/20. In Melbourne however that ratio is closer to 50/50, the place is packed with beautiful buildings that have a classy style looking like Cary Grant standing next to Gordon Gekko. This is what sets Melbourne apart from Perth. Perth’s ever changing face is a sign it’s still a mining town subject to the rising and falling fortunes of its citizens. While Melbourne is busier, its roots are far deeper. While it changes with the times it doesn’t discard the past but builds with it and around it, making almost every corner fascinating.

The people of Melbourne are just as interesting as the buildings, you can see the cosmopolitan nature of the city in them but they all had an indefinable ‘Melbournian’ feel as if the city claimed them, no matter where they came from. When taking snaps of people around Federation Square I only got one ‘no’ showing the friendly, outgoing nature encountered in every Australian city.

When I got home to Perth, I enjoyed slowing down, but Melbourne definitely calls me back. A week of exploring is not enough to get know her and I’d bet only after months in the swirling city would I get a true sense of her nature.

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