At the southern tip of Australia sits Melbourne, the country’s second city.  Because it sits between the cold Antarctic and the baking heat of the interior, a few degrees change in wind direction can flip the weather quickly between any one of the four seasons.

Bisected by the Yarra River, the city is a mix of modern glass and steel, and Victorian houses and municipal buildings.

And it has a wonderful network of trams.

The Central Business District is a grid like an American city and comprises a number of streets exactly 99 feet wide paired with a second street exactly 33 feet wide.  The second, narrower street is named after the wider road but prefixed by the word “little”.  So you have Collins Street followed by Little Collins Street, Lonsdale Street followed by Little Lonsdale Street and so on.

The CDB also has narrow “laneways” that until about 20 years ago were simply dark alleyways for deliveries.  Now they are the home of a vibrant bar culture.

 and are decorated by colourful graffiti and street art.

This young new vibe didn’t evolve naturally but was cleverly promoted by the city authorities who even audition the buskers before they are allowed to perform.

We stayed in a suburb called St Kilda.  It is a seaside resort but feels much more like Brighton than Eastbourne… Lots of cool young people with tatoos scateboarding down the street.

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