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.
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