Over the long weekend I spent some time with my best mate to celebrate her belated 31st birthday. As a gift I bought her and I a Laneways tour of Melbourne with a company called MelTours.
We had such a wonderful time exploring our own capital city and finding new and unique places to visit that I wanted to share the experience with you and give a very public ‘thumbs up’ to our guide Jerome and his business.
My friend I indulged in the Laneways of Melbourne Tour on the Saturday of our weekend. We had a small group, which allowed for a very relaxed and intimate environment, encouraged by our guide Jerome, as he introduced us all on arrival.
The journey went for about two and half hours and included a ‘melt in your mouth’ chocolate macaron tasting at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe(one of only eight in the world) in the decadent National Bank building on Collins St, as well as lunch at the Cafe Mediterraneum in the incredible Art Deco Manchester Unity building on Swanston St.
We ducked into lanes and plaza’s that opened up new worlds, like Alice down the rabbit hole. There were outrageous and sometimes illicit artworks to admire, hidden shops, cafes and bars with some interesting characteristics, like The Little Mule Company Pty Ltd, in Somerset lane.
Jerome was full of knowledge but divulged his information more like a friend on a day out with a passion for his city, rather than a tour guide with a script. He had a great sense of humour and followed the mantra – if there’s an open doorway, there’s an open invitation to explore. I found his philosophy refreshing and believe it can also be applied to any kind of opportunity in life!
During the tour I learnt many fascinating new things about Melbourne design, history and architecture. Not the most fancy fact but something that really stuck with me is that Elizabeth Street was built over a creek site. It’s obvious that it’s lower than it’s parallel streets, but I never knew it was an old watercourse. Interesting!
We had a wonderful experience in our own ‘backyard’. It’s amazing what you can discover in your own town, capital city or state when you put on your tourist hat and look at the ‘everyday’ with a new perspective. How often do you holiday in your hometown and learn something new? I’d love to hear from you!