Saturday, June 4, 2016

Secrets of Melbourne

Today we went on a walking tour of Melbourne focusing on the laneways and arcades.
Today we went on a walking tour of Melbourne focusing on the laneways and arcades. A very distinct part of the city is its laneways, or as we call them allies. I’m sure that when you think of an alley, it doesn’t exactly conjure up pleasant feelings; however, in Melbourne, these allies are full of culture and cute shops of all sorts.

Melbourne has a very distinct laneway culture that started because of an effort by the government to entice people into the city on weekends or after work. The government greatly lowered the price of commercial licenses and little shops popped up everywhere. On our tour we walked through many of these laneways.

Aside from shops, there is also a huge presence of street art in these laneways. Graffiti is legal as long as the building owner gives permission. What results is vast and beautiful art pieces all over the city and in unsuspecting alleys. These make getting lost in Melbourne a treat in and of itself. I found myself stopping every few minutes to peek down an alley in search for hidden secrets.

The other aspect of our tour is the arcades, or as we call them, shopping malls. These are small malls often set in historic buildings with a variety of local shops. They can be found on almost every block, with each arcade offering a different atmosphere and different little gems.

Melbourne is a city filled with hidden secrets and unique places that beg to be explored. I don’t think I know any other city where walking down a dark alley is recommended except for Melbourne. A big city with a large art culture, it’s a perfect city for those who want to satisfy their sense of adventure.