Recently, I downloaded a trial of Adobe Lightroom - the VSCO* of Mac Computers. You see, while I was in Australia, I simply didn't have the time or energy to import about a hundred photos into my VSCO account to edit every night. I was simply having too much fun, or was too tired out from the fun I'd had in the day. Either way, that is how a holiday should be - pure fun, not staring at an iphone screen. So I downloaded the trial to edit my many photos back in Singapore on a screen much bigger than my iphone's, hoping to (somewhat) save my eyes in the process.
But while Lightroom is amazing and has gorgeous filters that really do replicate old-school film photos, Nat and I brought two trusty disposable kodaks along to Melbourne with us. There is something organic about an old-school film camera that cannot be replaced, and the anticipation! Of not knowing how those photos turned out gave us something to look forward to in the week we came back. While technological advances are to be welcomed, it's nice to take a step back sometimes.
Our trip can be broken down into four parts:
- Melbourne (1), which we spent in the city exploring cafes and visiting the markets/SEA Aquarium/the zoo.
- Sydney, where we visited cafes and I brought Nat to some of my favourite spots from my last trip there and did a beach walk.
- Blue Mountains, where we visited scenic world and went on a few walks.
- Melbourne (2), during which we drove around the outskirts of Melbourne and Nat brought me to some of the places he grew up with.
The photos in this post were taken from Melbourne (1) and (2), so there's a nice mix of city and countryside, which you'll see in the Sydney film edition too.
The first two cafes we visited! They will be featured in my Melbourne Coffee Diary (coming soon). In the left photo is my notebook which I used to record my thoughts on all the coffees we tried, and on the right is the lobster benedict we shared.
Flagstaff Gardens - Melbourne's oldest garden!
Us drinking Padre Coffee at the South Melbourne Market (and me taking notes). I do regret not trying Simply Spanish's paella, but you know what they say - always leave something for you to try on your next trip.
Melbourne has a lot of graffiti around - it's a refreshing change from the squeaky-clean walls here. It gives the city a lot of life, colour and vibrance - even though the shops close at 6pm.
Shades of blue - the sky was very blue on this day! These pictures were taken during our walk from the South Melbourne Market to the DFO at South Wharf.
But the Melbourne sky seemed to alternate between blue and grey between days.
We were at the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the trees there were beautiful. If only law school was situated inside these gardens! On the left I am sitting on the grass, eating my almond croissant from lune croissanterie. You can't see it in the left photo, but my jeans are clean. On the right are the two dogs that got a little too excited seeing each other, and started running all over the Gardens... including all over me. My jeans were so dirty after, and I was suddenly thankful for my mom's foresight when she bought a few packets of dettol wipes for us at the airport. Nevertheless it was quite the experience, and the dogs were adorable. You never see dogs running around like that in Singapore, which is quite sad. My dog would never run around like that (she's too lazy).
While the first part of Melbourne was about the food and sights in the city, the second part focused on exploring the countryside and enjoying the peace and stillness it offered.
Sorrento Beach! This was the 'back beach', not the main beach. It was quiet, and relatively empty - just us and a few other people picnicking.
A very special day - we went to visit his old school back in Melbourne! It is a very homely place, and reminded me of my old school in many ways.
At Yarra Valley! These photos turned out surprisingly well - we drove up on a relatively gloomy day and I was expecting the photos to turn out very dark, but I was pleasantly surprised. Especially the close up picture of the vines - film cameras, you amaze me.
Us, and the unicorn at Helen & Joey's Estate. The dessert wines here are spectacular!
We also took the puffing billy! It's an old steam train that miners used to go up Mount Dandenong. We sat it to Emerald station, and walked to Lakeside from there, where the Emerald Lake Park is situated. Nat sat on the puffing billy a few times as a kid so it was nice to relive one of his favourite childhood memories together with him! We got to sit in the front cabin (which is mostly used for 'first class' passengers) as we reached late, so we were really close to where the coal is burnt and where the steam comes out - pretty cool.
Some shots of the lake at Emerald Lake Park - the park itself is not very big, but it is surrounded by lush trees and populated by many ducks!
A series of shots from our trip returning from the park. We managed to get some good angles of the train (with the steam coming out, no less!) but unfortunately I didn't use the flash so they are a little underexposed. The sun was setting, and the third and fourth pictures are glimpses of the vast spaces that can be seen on the train's journey, from openings between the many trees up the mountain. It was an exhilarating experience. The last photo is of us and the train conductor - a very friendly man! Also, the puffing billy is largely run by volunteers, most of whom operate the train or work in quirky jobs like porters, or signalmen. It's really quite the experience, and was a great way to end the trip.
So this is just a brief overview of what went on in Melbourne, as captured by our film cameras. Of course, there are many more moments stored on our digital cameras (read: our iphones) and I can't wait to share them all here in due time.