I hadn’t planned on going to Melbourne, Australia.
But the abrupt end to my ‘around the world’ trip resulted in having to return home to a cold and wet New Zealand a couple of weeks earlier than planned. And cold and wet was something I wasn’t quite ready for.
So when friends, who were heading to Melbourne, Australia for a few days, suggested I join them, I jumped at the chance. Surely, I thought, it would be warmer in Australia.
Turned out that Melbourne was just as cold and wet as Christchurch. In fact, it might have even been colder, thanks to a wind that felt like it had blown through from the Antarctica.
Not willing to let a little thing like rain and icy winds stop us from sightseeing, we soldiered on, adding layer after layer of clothing to keep out the cold.
We walked the streets, wandered through the huge open air Queen Street Market, and examined Federation Square‘s fascinating architectural designs.
In the end we had to give up.
Tired of cold noses and wet feet, we headed back to The Langham hotel for warmth, hot tea …and dry shoes.
We arrived too late to partake in The Langham’s Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon Tea. But that was okay, because we got something just a good - a room with a view.
Located on the nineteenth floor, the room had a bird’s eye view of the Yarra River that flows through the center of Melbourne.
On this side of the river you can just make out the Southbank Promenade. Sparsely populated during the winter months, it becomes alive in summertime, with locals and visitors alike strolling around and checking out the area’s upmarket shops, restaurants, cafes, food courts and five-star hotels.
Across the river to the right is the award winning Melbourne Aquarium with it’s 360 degree Oceanarium housing giant sharks and stingrays .
Directly across the river are numerous well worn train tracks that allow commuters, and the occasional tourist, to get into and out of the city with ease.
A little more to the left, just out of sight, is the Flinders Street Train Station. Built in 1910, it’s not only Australia’s oldest train station, it’s also the busiest suburban railway station in the Southern Hemisphere.
Throughout the evening, sipping first hot tea and later wine, we sat and watched the flow of the traffic, the trains, and the river.
Sometimes having a ‘room with a view’ is really all you need.