From Melbourne to the Moon

City Road

I arrive at 598 City Road. I should have guessed, by the high number, that my accommodation wouldn’t be that close to the city. I ring the bell.

No answer. I look around. An empty petrol station. Low rise warehouses with few signs of life. Tower blocks in the distance.

View from City Road, South Melbourne.


A car pulls up.

“ I didn’t expect you so early.”

Karen opens the door to the shop-fronted building. Wafts of  lotions and potions used in homeopathy and every other ‘opathy’ overpower me. My host makes tea – herbal of course. She hands me a map of the city as she goes upstairs to prepare my room. It’s in Chinese!


Still, the room is lovely – all yellows, reds and gold, feathered and tassled, chic and vintage. But the view over City Road could be better.

South Melbourne Market

I set out, on a grey, drizzly day, into this warehouse desert, looking for South Melbourne market. Chinese masseurs pummel victims’ heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Young women catch up on the week’s gossip as they have their toenails cut, cleaned and polished. All in full view.

IlunchMG_9969 - Version 2
My lunch in South Melbourne Market

The food is more appealing. I taste the wine, cider and cheese and sit down to a Vietnamese chicken salad. Perhaps a full stomach will help me get to grips with this city.

I walk further towards the centre, under flyways and byways, passing surreal adverts and new buildings plonked on top of old buildings. Who’d have thought!

Under City Road flyover
City Road – an answer to heritage?


I take a tram that clangs and clatters around the city until it arrives at the harbour where an Anatolian festival is in full swing. A group of Turkish dancers perform for a stone-faced Edna, holding her signature gladioli.

Anatolian festival
Edna Everage

But who is walking away from the lovely dancers? It can’t be the disgraced RH, another Australian icon, once beloved by HRH. Or can it? And accompanied by a rather good looking Bollywod film star. That fits I guess.

Rolf with a friend?

I take a tram in the opposite direction to St Kilda. My guidebook describes this seaside resort as having an air of ‘shabby gentility,’ a ‘sophisticated yet seedy suburb.’The guidebook is too flattering by far.


This down at heel resort looks more shabby than gentile, more seedy than sophisticated.

At last I find Acland Street famous for its supposedly, ‘wonderful European style cake-shops and cafes’. There are tributes to John, Paul, George and Ringo but also to William.

Tribute to John, Paul, George and Ringo
Tribute to William

And a store where I used to buy my Rimmel make up as a teenager but I thought defunct..

Tribute to Woolworths

“It’s backpacker country,” says Colin, a waiter from Essex, picking out a strawberry muffin for me.


Cafe on Acland Street




Cafe on Acland street







“So that explains the ‘art’,” I reply.

“Art on acid,” he quips.


Art in St Kilda
Art in St Kilda

I walk towards Luna Park, past the Art Deco theatre and enter through the laughing clown’s face.

Art Deco theatre next to Luna Park
My tall, passing stranger

I hand my camera to a tall passing stranger with blonde hair and a smiling face.

“Fly me to the moon,” I say.


From Melbourne to the Moon



2 thoughts on “From Melbourne to the Moon

  1. Love these accounts – have just caught up on Canberra and Melbourne. Thanks for showing us the street life and buidlings as well as the culture portrayed in museums….but it doesn’t look that hot! You are wearing a coat! So please tell about how you are finding life, climate, living, eating… and how about australian wine? xx Elspeth


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