Thursday, December 11, 2008

Melbourne Moments

Katelyn and I have just returned from a very enjoyable overnight stay in Melbourne. I felt quite conflicted about going - being week 2 of our challenge - but it was deemed necessary for work so we made the most of the opportunity.

A highlight was finding the 'Greenhouse' installation in Federation Square - a fully functioning eco-friendly cafe and event centre that has been designed to remain for 3 months on the site. It was inspiring (and delicious) - lots of ideas about building sustainably using steel and straw, as well as great creative recycled objects - chairs made from processed shipping crates, lighting features built from ring-lock wire (and I just took my last lot to the tip - damn!), walls of strawberries (must have been 5 metres high), and jam jars for tea and coffee.

We enjoyed muffins and hot tea for breakfast there and felt mighty proud of ourselves for finding a clean green way to eat in Melbourne. We followed that with a Veggie Curry at the Hare Krishna canteen in Swanston Street for lunch. We thought this was another good food choice in the big city, and I was feeling fairly smug about our success.

I was happily humbled however after window shopping in the arcades (but no buying! we stuck to our pledge to not buy anything new!), when we snuck into a chocolatiers for a decadent chocolatey afternoon tea...very naughty, but divine....

The lessons I learnt from this experience:
  • that eating locally is really challenging without local knowledge, and having done your research.
  • that being in Melbourne with a 'no-shopping' rule is very liberating - I noticed that as we went through the arcades I was focussing more on the fascinating architecture and design, rather than seeing what was in the shops, and that we sought out new experiences rather than things to remind us of our visit (such as the zoo and the night markets).
  • that walking through a DFO is a very depressing experience.
  • and that when the airline captain says prepare for landing into Hobart when we're still over Launceston there is no need to panic :)

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