It was way back in the summers of the year 1998, when the Indian cricket team visited Australia for a full tour, that I first got a chance to witness the glimpses of the beautiful Melbourne Cricket Ground. Though we were hammered all-round the corners by the Aussies (Which might change during the ongoing tour), the sheer virginity of the stadium was enough to keep me away from that disappointment and vouch to explore more about Melbourne - the second most populous city of the country!
Why am I talking about it now? Well, I have my reasons (valid ones). Firstly, in 1998, I was not a blogger so did not really know what to do about the adrenaline inside. And secondly, there was (is) no way that I could afford a trip to this place (the kind of I want to) while doing the jobs that pay me cheque's that are of the size of pea nuts (sob-sob)!
But why did I like this country, especially Melbourne, so much? Was it because it is often referred as the cultural city of Australia? Or because of the fact that it was ranked as the World's Most Livable City in the World's Most Livable Cities rating by the Economist Group's Intelligence Unit in 2011 and also in 2012?
Errmm, well, they did play a role, but to be honest to you (which I hardly amJ) there are few other factors too! So, here is my wish list of the experiences that I would like to bring back, if ever I get a chance to visit - Melbourne!
The Royal Melbourne Show- Known as 'The Show' and held at the Royal Melbourne Show Grounds in Ascot Vale, this one is a delight for the kids (thanks to my charming looks, I still fit in that bill). Considering the fact that I never really had a proper go at Schools and Colleges, I have a special liking towards this fest that normally starts on the second Thursday of September and lasts for 10 days. To what started as an agriculture show, over the years this fest has learnt the need of being commercially viable too and has happily embraced the show-bags, live bands and carnival rides much to everyone's liking.
Dog shows, sweet lollies, toys to win - Man- why don't we have something similar in India? And no, it's not only the fun part that I want to talk about here, but also about the knowledge that it offers for kids to be aware about. I mean c'mon, how many fests impart you with the information that cows could grow to 1 ton? They also teach you how to Milk a cow, plant a seedling and dig up vegies, that helps promoting farming and I am sure we can do with some learning on that part to help improve our agriculture culture. For me, I surely would want my children to learn something informatively substantial even when they are having a gala time during their vacations (signs of a good father in the making isn't itJ)!
Queen Victoria Market - Alright, I am an adult now and what do they like doing, provided they have the moolah's in the pocket? Shop and eat; what else!
Queen Victoria Market is one of the largest open air markets in the Southern Hemisphere (did you know that?) and combines almost 1,000 traders that offer a diverse collection of souvenirs, niche products and of course YUMMMM food. There is no meat that you can't find here and considering my health conscious activities in life - would I love it or not!
A hub for meat, organic food, organic coffee, salamis and dips (can I run there right now as you read) this place is heaven for people like me. Once you are done filling your tummy with the delicious food, you would not have to go far away to get hold of some local souvenirs to carry back home as mementos. Now that is my 'Tasteful Experience Moment'!
The National Gallery of Victoria - Did you really think that I was just an all shopping, eating and carnival ride guy? Though I might not look like one, but I do paint at times and have a real liking towards art! Precisely, why I would love to visit the oldest gallery in Melbourne i.e. The National Gallery of Victoria!
Located on St Kilda Road in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank, and The Ian Potter Centre- NGV Australia, as popularly known, was founded in 1861 and is the oldest and the largest public art museum in Australia! A host of events like Melbourne Winter Masterpiece and Dutch Masters, this place has been the caretaker of works by artists like Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Johan Vermeer to name few, for ages. Call me old fashioned, but I would not trade this experience to anything in my life -ever!
Chelsea Beach - Honestly speaking, I love beaches, but they make me sad! Why? How would you feel, if you are single and are given a chance to roam around on a heavenly beach that offers you tides low enough to swim, waterski, sail and do windsurfing? I am sure you can feel my pain now (crying out loud)! But on the contrary, they also offer me enough of chance to flirt around and be the witness of nature's most beautiful and attractive shades (and no I am not talking only about the beach here - if you know what I meanJ).
Here's an interesting video of Melbourne Cricket Ground (somehow can't resist posting it as I am in absolute awe with this place):
I probably would do a lot more than what I have penned down here and might have failed to give you all the knowledge that you wanted while packing your bags to Melbourne. But here is the remedy! Visit - Tourism Victoria Website for all the information that you might seek about this beautiful place.
However, if you wish to earn yourself a gift voucher worth INR 500 then all you have to do is answer this simple question:
- "Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?"
Post your answers in the comment box below before 4th January 2015 and the best one will be chosen by us :-)!