We left a hot and sunny Canberra (the first day it had been like that!) and took a flight to Melbourne, arriving to grey skies which turned into heavy rain during the evening. No worries though, as the weather improved the next day and stayed fine and sunny for the rest of our time there 🙂
Standing at the baggage reclaim waiting for our bags, one of them arrived fairly quickly, but after a while we realised that we were the only ones from the Canberra flight still standing there. Good news – we only had one bag to cart to our accommodation. Bad news – my bag had gone astray. We reported the loss at the information desk – the guy there reckoned it had probably been sent to the International terminal by mistake. That was probably the case as a couple of hours later I received a text telling me they’d located it and it was delivered to our Apart-Hotel early the next morning (Phew!).
We took the Sky bus to the city centre and then the shuttle to the Adina Apart Hotel on Flinders Street. After freshening up and getting a bite to eat, we set out to explore. As it had started raining we explored the Arcades which are one of the features of the Central Business District shopping streets.
Dodging a heavy downpour (even though we were wearing our rain coats) we found ourselves in the Cathedral Arcade, an L-shaped Art Deco style arcade that cuts the corner of Flinders Lane and Swanston Street. The arcade, which is situated on the ground floor of the Nicholas Building, which was built in 1925, has a particularly attractive arched stained glass ceiling and central dome and the floors are decorated with ceramic tiles.
While we were admiring the arcade, we spotted a number of people milling around and going up and down a stairwell. Checking it out we discovered that there was an open night in the Nicholas Building which, today, is something of a “creative hub” with the offices occupied by artists, design studios, architects offices and small start-ups as well as a number of galleries, jewellers, and boutiques who are members of the Nicholas Building Association.
For the open night, the shops and galleries were open late and a number of the occupants of offices and workshops were open with displays showing off their work. Many of them were providing sweets, cakes and snacks and there was a pop up bar. A group of musicians were performing on the stairwell and there were performances taking place too in one of the offices.
The creatives moved in when previous occupants had moved out and the building began to become dilapidated. It has something of a “grungy” look to it, like the trendy, bohemian areas of city we were to visit later during our stay, and it still had many of it’s original features
We must have spent over an hour pottering around. It’s always good to stumble across something interesting by accident and that was definitely the case with the Nicholas Building and Cathedral Arcade.