Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category
I appreciate a state that gives its residents a day off for a horse race. The 5.6 million inhabitants of the State of Victoria are given a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup each year. So, to take advantage of this free time I roped a friend in to taking us on a road trip.
Sometimes you only realise how much you miss open space and nature when you escape from a metropolis. Ferntree Gully is in the Dandenong Ranges it is only about an hour from Melbourne CBD but feels like another world. Even in the carpark the green & red parrots swooped overhead and happily pottered about in gangs on the tarmac. The sounds were unfamiliar, the air pungent and the temperature was even a few degrees cooler. Read the rest of this entry »
This question was asked quite a bit recently, so I decided it would be a good idea to divulge some background information. From October 2010 to April 2011 my boyfriend and I travelled through Thailand, China, Laos and Malaysia. I am not a digital nomad and we got our money for travel the old-fashioned way, by saving.
I was working in contract positions as well as freelance writing. After paying the bills and day-to-day living costs, it took us about 2 years to save up slowly bit by bit. Working hard for our freedom, we sacrificed nights out and buying any new stuff in the process.
However, we had done this all before in 2007 and in 2004 I packed up and moved to Amsterdam for 3 ½ years. Stuffing backpacks, calling the utility companies and just hitting the road for as long as we possibly can is something we are used to. It’s nor everyone, but I find it keeps life interesting.
This is not me trying to show off here, I just want to say that if you really want to travel you can always find a way to do so. Don’t let a mortgage, fixed contract or money be an excuse to prevent you from realising your travel dreams.
So back on topic what the hell am I doing in Melbourne? In April, we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne basically to cash up. As Europe is in an economic catastrophe right now Australia is probably the best place to be. We are lucky that both our passports allow us to apply for a 1 year working holiday visa. I am working full time, writing part-time and my boyfriend is also working full-time and has several projects on the side. So we’re busy and back in saving mode. It kinda feels like being in limbo we are not quite travelling, not quite settled and we are far from home.
If we are able to reach our savings goal by next April we will have a lot of options. One of which is to live in Berlin for a year, en route visiting some of the pacific islands, Peru, New York, ….. ??
Any suggestions on my itinerary welcome!
I sampled some of Melbourne’s finest roasted coffee at the Black Coffee pop up last weekend.
We passed the entrance to Somewhere Gallery 3 times before we spotted it. It was hidden in a black and white tiled Royal Arcade.
Following the staircase until a sign on the wall noted “only the best come this far”.
Wired baristas greeted us and welcomed us into the makeshift pop up café. Linear drawings by artists Super Cube and No Scribbles broke up the minimalist white walls.
It is strictly black coffee only, so forget additions like sugar or milk. Instead choose from pour over, french press, aeropress or the science lab syphon to brew your cuppa of choice, which is served in a glass hexagonal jam jar. The guys at Black Coffee went to great lengths suggesting the cities best cafes to frequent and the finer delicacies of producing a great cup of coffee.
We opted for the Rwandan & Ethiopian beans and the citrusy flavoured Le Fany from Market Lane coffee roasters in Prahan. The coffee’s were all bursting with varied rich flavours and subtle nuances. The caffine is so strong it hits you like a dart of pure insulin.
Each day you can sample different beans and brewing techniques to encourage you to call again. All the beans come from local Melbourne artisan coffee roasters such as; Market Lane, Seven Seeds, Small Batch Roasters, or Monk Bodhi Dharma.
For ambience a vintage record player spinned an eclectic mix of tunes to which the barista showed off his funky moves.
The pop up is only open for another few days until the 18th so make sure to visit before its gone for good.
How to get to the Black Coffee pop up:
Somewhere Store & Gallery
Level 2, 314 Little Collins St, Melbourne August
8-18. Mon-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm.
Lunch in Melbourne CBD can be difficult to navigate for a visitor. The city makes you work to find its treasures. It is well known for hiding bars down maze-like laneways for example. Sometimes, I find it is like an expedition to wade through the high street past cookie cutter cafés to unearth a cosy corner for a tasty treat. However, there are plenty of them lurking under the skin of the city you just have to know where to look.
Melbournites in general are a relatively laid back bunch, however, when it comes to coffee they don’t mess around. Coffee even has its own language here; long black (americano), flat white (latte), short mac (Macchiato).