Today is the first of a few days I will be spending in Melbourne with a friend from Canada. Unlike some other flights I have taken recently, I decided at a more reasonable hour or 9.55 am for the flight. Being a Sunday, there was no need to leave much before 8 am to make it to the airport.
Flying Virgin Australia
The flight was my second flight with Virgin Australia, at least in recent memory. To be honest, the experience was much better this time. The aircraft was larger, and there was in-flight entertainment available, with a few complimentary pay TV channels.
Arriving In Melbourne
With the later flight to Melbourne, I did not arrive until around 1 pm. So once you take into account the bus into the city and getting checked into the hotel, it was closer to 2.30 pm when I met with my friend.
The hotel I chose for the stay is Jasper Hotel, located on Elizabeth St. You can find the post which I shared about my experience at the hotel Checking In Jasper Hotel Melbourne.
To start the afternoon, I was friend meeting with my friend from Toronto who I met on my Transpacific Cruise. I organised to meet for coffee near the hotel. Once we were enjoying our coffee, we contacted the other friend from the cruise and arranged to meet later in the day.
With a couple of hours to fill in, we went for a short walk through some of the city areas. Since we were meeting the other friend at my hotel, we did not want to venture too far.
Tapas & Laneways
Around 5.30 pm we met with our other friend who had organised to visit a local place for Tapas. The spot was named Movida Next Door, a small Spanish Tapas Bar opposite Federation Square on Flinders St. The menu did not appeal to me all that much, but I was more than willing to give it a try.
As it turns out I had to be prepared to try some new things, including learning just how tapas works. I think there end up being around ten different plates that we tried, many that I cannot even remember what they were. I can honestly say there were a few things on the menu I never thought I would be trying let alone enjoying.
Even though I quite enjoyed the tapas, I do not believe that it is something I will be rushing back to try again. There were a couple of reasons; the most important for me though was the large amount that was deep fried and had not real taste. Also the other aspect of the rather expensive cost for a tiny amount of food. Even after spending almost $50 a head on a drink and the ten different tapas I still feel hungry enough to go and buy something else to eat. On the plus side, it is now something I have tried that I don’t need to try again.
Right next to Movida Next Door is one of Melbourne’s many laneways. Hosier Lane is a slightly more popular spot to visit with a rather extensive graffiti gallery covering the walls. While some people do spoil it a little adding their tag over a better piece, mostly it is great to look at.
The rest of the evening did not go exactly as planned. Our friend from Melbourne had wanted to take us to The Lui Bar which is located on level 55 of the Rialto Tower. However, it did not work out due to the bar closing at 6 pm on a Sunday.
A little quick thinking and we set a course to walk through and take a look at the Crown Casino. When you look at this compared to the casino’s in Brisbane or the Gold Coast, it is considerable better. There is a certain level of class that it seems to have over the ones near home. Plus it seems much more alive with the expected gambling options, but also a range of shops, entertainment and eateries.
We finished the night with a drink at an Irish bar in the area of Melbourne’s Southbank. The pub was named P J Obrien’s and not the most comfortable place, but still good to have a chat. It has been great to catch up with some friends from the Transpacific cruise.