Day 1,772 of Traveling the World | Melbourne, Australia | December 13, 2022

Located in Port Philip Bay in the Bass Strait, Queen Victoria declared Melbourne a city in 1847, although it had been home to aboriginal tribes for more than 40,000 years. And due to the 1850s Gold Rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period. By the 1880s, Melbourne was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. The older buildings, in some of the photos below, attest to that wealth. And today, downtown Melbourne has the feel of Manhattan, with retail shops next to churches next to fast food next to donut shops (lots of them, in fact – we mentioned that we could do a Donut Crawl and find enough to last an afternoon!).

Everything was well-decorated for Christmas, and everyone was wearing summer attire. We found all the people we interacted with to be unusually friendly and cheery, likely because Australia has just recently reopened after the pandemic. The tram we rode from the port to downtown was absolutely filled to the brim with passengers until we didn’t think it could hold one more person – but then, more squeezed onto the tram!

Two things we show in our photos almost have us nicknaming Melbourne the City of Odd Shoes and the City of Odd Pastries. You will see what we mean! After this short glimpse of the city, we are excited that we will be returning for 10 days in mid-January.

Flinders Street Train Station, one of Melbourne’s iconic locations.
The once-pretty Elizabeth Chambers building, built in 1890, is up for restoration, as the upper stories have been vacant for decades.
This hotel, now known as Young and Jackson’s, has stood downtown for more than 140 years. The plaque on the building is highlighted in the next photo.
Purchased for 100 pounds! But…this also cleared up a mystery, as we wondered why so many places in the city had the name “Batman” attached to them (Batman Street, Batman Avenue, Batman Park, Batman Station).
Melbourne Town Hall is ready for Christmas!
Since it is just a week until summer in the Southern Hemisphere, live flowers thrive outdoors, decorating the outside of Town Hall. As you can see, short sleeves on people are common.
Soaring St. Michael’s Church on Collins Street.
“Architectural Fragment,” designed in bluestone by Petrus Spronk. It is on/in/bursting from the sidewalk in front of the State Library Victoria, of course!
A pretty, stately old tree in the Parliament Gardens.
The Princess Theater, built in 1854. We couldn’t go inside, but it has grand chandeliers and stained-glass windows.
A pretty view of the Yarra River.
Ferdydurke is a bar – with great graphics and a great name!
We are no arbiters of Haute Couture – but these shoes in the Bally window look like they belong on the feet of Pilgrims!
Bottega Veneta’s window offered these odd small-heeled high heels (for the best of both worlds?). We could see Lady Gaga in these, but then – she wears dresses made from meat. Nobody else.
Melbourne takes its murals to another level by putting lights on them. Along City Square on Swanston Street was this lighted Christmas array of emus…
…and crazy dancing fuzzy women! (For those of you old enough to remember her, the one on the right resembles Phyllis Diller!)
This was one store with a line outside…Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake. But the main event looks to be a crepe squirted with cheese filling and topped with chocolate, then wrapped like a crepe.
Just love the word, Drumplings.
From out on the edge of the sidewalk, these looked like yummy pastries…
…but no, up close, these are octopus and scallop salads at Sushi Hub. Very disappointing to be thrilled, then quickly dismayed.

🔹🔹 If you enjoyed reading our post, you can subscribe to our website to automatically receive every blog we publish. Just go to our “Contact” tab. In the gray box at the very bottom, it says – SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL. Just put in your email address, and we will appear in your Inbox! Also, right above it, there is a small form to send us a message, if you wish. (But please note, you cannot hit “Reply” on the post emailed to you to send us a message. You must use the Contact tab.)