Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Spring in Melbourne

Living in Bali is convenient for visiting diverse cities.  Asian cities pop in mind first, but the cities of Australia are only a non-stop flight away.  We decided a visit to Australia's most European city, Melbourne, would be a great break from Bali's long dry season.  For just over two weeks we stayed in a nice Airbnb apartment that backed onto Fawkner Park.  It was an easy walk to the Royal Botanical gardens, city center as well as to the sub-city center of Prahran with its wonderful markets.  Six months in advance we booked seats for three performances of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra which was only a 25 minute walk away.

Melbourne is a great destination for real food, both in the markets as well as for dining out.  One thing we miss in Bali is a selection of cheese.  To compensate we shopped in Prahran's cheese stands, bought pate from the local French bistro some great dining out with our friends Ley and Neil Langford at places such as the  wine and cheese, Milk the Cow in the Carlton area.  They have a huge selection of international cheeses; however, we focused on the offerings from Australia, mainly Tasmania.
Half of our cheese selection at Milk the Cow licensed Fromagerie
We did some nice excursions with Ley and Neil too.  After the visit to Milk the Cow, we toured the Heide Art Museum located just outside of Melbourne.  There was a special exhibition by the interesting Australian artist Mirka Mora who immigrated to Melbourne from France.
Ley and Susan with the farm animals at the Heide Art Museum
Not far from city center Melbourne are rolling farms and vineyards.  Neil and Ley took us to their favorite, Tahblik Winery.  Tahblik dates from 1860 and was one of the first wineries in Australia to focus on varietals rather than styles associated with European wine regions.  They are quite famous for their wines made from the grapes of Marsanne, Viognier and Rousanne that are usually associated with the fine wines of the upper Rhone valley in France.
Neil, Ley and Susan in the cellar at Tahbilk

the tasting counter at Tahbilk

Self explainatory
Many thanks Neil and Ley for showing us so much of Melbourne and their family and friends in Williamstown too.  We continue to enjoy the steaks and cheeses we brought back to Bali.
Melbourne skyline from the Shrine of Remembrance