Welcome to the A to Z challenge, a blog post everyday of April apart from Sundays, covering every letter of the alphabet. My theme is travel, that thing that we haven’t been able to do over the last 12 months, so it seemed appropriate to reminisce about past travels we’ve taken, looking forward to when we can travel freely again.
Today we’re halfway through the month and we’re visiting the home of the greatest Aussie Rules team in the world, the birthplace of the European Union, and a small town that is apparently the centre of the universe.
Melbourne/Woiworung is the capital of Victoria and is the cultural capital of Australia with something for everyone. It has wonderful street art with the most well known place for this being Hosier Lane, but it’s worth exploring to find the hidden gems that are often where you least expect them.
The food scene is incredible and there’s something for everyone, from all over the world. We both have quite a sweet tooth, and there was plenty to satisfy it, so scrummy – the one savoury thing I’ve featured, the pizza, hasn’t got pineapple on it as that would be incredibly wrong, the yellow is pumpkin.
The one thing we had to do when we visited Melbourne in 2017 was go and see the greatest Aussie Rules team, Carlton, play a game. I have supported Carlton all my life and it was so fab to go to the MCG and watch them battle it out with Essendon. We came so close to winning, but unfortunately it was not to be.
Melbourne is home to the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis Championship, and the Australian Rules Grand Final, which my team, Carlton, still holds the record (unfortunately equal with Essendon) of 16 grand final Wins.
Our last holiday abroad before the pandemic was in Maastricht (see previous post, a short break in Maastricht) the city where the European Union was born in 1992. It’s in the south of the Netherlands and is really close to both Belgium and Germany, so whilst there we took a train ride to Aachen in Germany for a day.
Maastricht is a beautiful city and just like Amsterdam it is really easy to get around on foot with lots to discover.
The one place you absolutely must visit in Maastricht is the Bookshop Dominicans which is a bookshop inside a 13th century church. It’s huge and so atmospheric and I couldve spent all day there – I love bookshops and this one is really special. We sat in the cafe for a while just to soak up the history.
In 1992 I boarded a plane that was taking me to Saudi Arabia and sat next to me was a girl from Macclesfield – I’d never heard of this place, and she informed me that it was the centre of the universe. I have since been to Macclesfield many times, and the last time we went it was to attend the funeral of that girl on the plane. Whilst it turned out that it’s not the centre of the universe, it holds a very special place in my heart.
Situated 20 miles outside Manchester, Macclesfield was famous for its silk industry and the silk museum is well worth a visit. Just outside the town is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jodrell Bank observatory and is the home of the Lovell Telescope, which when built in 1957 was the largest in the world. Macclesfield is also the place that I discovered the word butty, as in bacon butty – the slang in the north of England for a sandwich.
More importantly, Macclesfield is home to the 108 steps, which my friend used to list as one of the major tourist attractions of the town. When I was looking for more information I came across the website of Matthew Rosier who in 2018 did an art installation featuring the famous steps.
Apparently, local legend states that if you run up the steps without taking a breath then your wish will come true.
This photo of me at the Macclesfield Town football ground is one for the history books, as in September 2020 the club was wound up in the High Court due to debts of over £500,000. For supporters of Macclesfield this was a very sad day, until October when it was announced that a local businessman had bought the club and it is being relaunched as Macclesfield FC. I’ve never been to a football (soccer) game, but if I ever do I think I’d like it to be at Macclesfield.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this whistle stop tour of three very diverse locations, and maybe you might consider visiting if you’re ever in the area.
Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit other bloggers who are crazy enough to be doing the challenge with me – Click Here to visit the master list of participants.
Stay safe and have a good day.
Previous A to Z posts:
2018 – M is for Moments & Memories
2017 – M is for Maggieknockater
2016 – M is for Mojacar