In March 2018, I was lucky enough to be able to take a two-week holiday in the Melbourne area, Australia. It was a memorable trip, in more ways than one.
I stayed in Ballarat, with several day trips to Melbourne and to "the bush", in the countryside. I got to enjoy light shows on White Night, dig up gold on Sovereign Hill and discover the locals at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, notably the dingos, kangaroos, Billy the Wombat and Crunch the Crocodile. I dove into (recent!) history at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Eureka and walked around the Wendouree Lake. Further into the countryside, I got to discover the Grampians on the horizon, we saw many kangaroos in the wild (and even an emu!), followed the Silo Art Trail, ate an exquisite lunch in the middle of nowhere at Deirdre's Restaurant in Laharum Grove and visited the Seppelt Winery.
I got an amazing feeling of Melbourne, a mix of familiarity, coziness and a sense of attachment. I loved the laneways, the food, the coffee... I enjoyed visiting the National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI, the gorgeous Royal Botanic Gardens, soaking in the views from the Eureka Skydeck, and ending the trip with an intense Australian football match Geelong Cats vs. Melbourne at the famous MCG.
All of this in exquisite company, guaranteed laughs and good times: I can't thank my hosts enough for the wonderful holiday.