Meeting friends and family who you haven’t seen in a long time is always great. But it’s especially enjoyable when they’re on the other side of the world in sunny Australia.
That's why I travelled from Sydney to Melbourne last weekend, to visit my friend from home, Sophia. It was so good to see her for the first time in almost a year, and to have a catch up over a few glasses of wine. Going through six bottles between three of us wasn't the best idea on the night I arrived, but it was worth it!
People believe that when you have been to one part of a country, you have basically seen it all. But this definitely doesn't apply to Australia. There is such a contrast between Sydney, where I have been living for the past two months, and Melbourne. Although it is just as built up city as Sydney, Melbourne is much more relaxed. It is a city full of cafés and art, with tramlines going down every street. It is a very old school city, and particularly easy to like.
The only downfall was the weather. Unlike Sydney, Melbourne is pretty cold during the winter, as it is further south, and it didn't help that it rained nonstop for the two days I was there. I honestly felt like I was back in Ireland at some points.
Despite the weather, I still got to see some amazing sights in Melbourne. Federation Square definitely topped the list. Known as the heart and soul of Melbourne, this chilled meeting area, surrounded by cafes, restaurants and art galleries is the go to place. It even has the world's biggest selfie screen.
I also got to do a trip on a free visitors tram, which brought you around the city circle on a vintage tram. My trip couldn't have been complete without visiting the biggest H&M I have ever been to, which was unbelievable. Being the Batman obsessed girl that I am, I managed to find a place called Batman Park on my journey around the city.
My friend Sophia lives just outside the city, in St Kilda. This is definitely another must see place in Melbourne. Although it was raining and I didn't get to admire it to the full extent, St Kilda is located on a beautiful beach, which is home to some penguins… Yes, PENGUINS! From the rooftop garden of their amazing apartment, you are also able to see amazing views of the city, which we were able to take in during a break in the rain.
I was only in Melbourne for two days, which wasn't enough time to see all that I wanted. You definitely need more time to see the whole city properly. It is a place I will definitely return to. Surprisingly, even though I had the world's worst hangover on Saturday morning, after one too many vodkas on Friday night, I still managed to make my plane back to Sydney for another night out… Just about.
I also got to meet up with my cousin Mairead this week, who has lived here in Sydney for 12 years. We got to do the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk, which is a must do for those who visit. Six kilometers each way, along Sydney's coast, getting to see all the beaches along the way.
Only one week left in Australia and so much left to do… Ahhh! I definitely don't want to go home….