Archive for the ‘Melbourne’ Category
We catch the tram into the city the next day, and stop at the Fitzroy Gardens and take a stroll around there for a while since it is actually sunny and warm out. Next stop, Parliament of Victoria for a free tour. It is a beautiful building that has been well maintained.
Because of the gold rush in this area in the mid 19th century the building is adorned with gold on the walls and ceilings. We visit the Upper House and Lower House and we are even allowed to sit in the Speaker’s chair, very cool.
Next, we sit and have some homemade sandwiches on the steps of Parliament and the catch the free city bus around town for a bit of a tour. We hadn’t seen much of the west side of the city so we got off there. Walked up and down a few more streets and then stop in one of the lovely outdoor cafe’s for a crepe and some afternoon tea. Next stop, the ANZ bank to stop in and see Chris and thank him for his generosity and let him know of our change of plans. Walk around the city a bit more to get our last bit of the sites, and then off to our apartment for laundry and packing, goodbye Melbourne!
Now that we have seen the beach from the Rialto towers, it’s time we go and pay St. Kilda a visit. It’s a cool day, so there won’t be any sun tanning but worth a trip down anyways. We take the tram to St. Kilda and take a tour around the gardens here on the way to the beach since they are free. St. Kilda is a small beach side town with an artsy feel to it. We make it to the beach, and soak in the ocean air. We may have not been able to go surfing here, but a beach is a beach, always a great site to see.
We snap a few pics here and then stop by Luna Park to grab some as well. This is a famous old park that this area is known for and has been open since 1906. Lots of roller coasters and other rides for those looking for a thrill. Although, I think the large scary clown might keep some kids away! We head back home as the wind is really ramping up and it’s getting colder by the second!
We booked our flights, a day earlier than we had planned because they were cheap cheap – $28/pp, with taxes it came to $110 for BOTH Andrew and I to fly, can’t complain about that! So now we have to jam pack in all the remaining sights.
The first action packed days starts at the National Gallery of Victoria in the Yarra river district. This is a beautiful area of town for a stroll. Situated beside the Yarra river there are a number of shops, markets, museums, and theatres all along a beautiful walkway. We spend about 3 hours at the museum and this doesn’t even include the Salvatore Dali exhibit which is showing its last day here. Tickets are already sold out, but it’s ok because we didn’t know about it anyways!
Next off for a bit of a stroll around the Yarra district as we make our way to the Rialto towers. This is the tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere at 88 stories high. We make our way up the speeding elevator to the top for a 360 degree view of Melbourne. It’s a beautiful clear day and we get great views of the city. Still not as tall as the CN Tower in Canada of course!
Next off to win (or lose) so travelling money at the Crown Casino just down the street. Turns out it was not our lucky day, we lost $60 bucks total and decided to throw in the towel, and head home after a busy day.
I get a call for a job interview and off I go the next day for the interview. Turns out to be a 100% commission sales job going business to business – I guess that is one step above door to door right? Not the job for me. On the way home I realize I am going to pass by the Victoria Market and decide to check it out.
I am in heaven! Cheap produce prices finally, this must be where the locals shop! I have to admit, even though I should have been disappointed about the crappy job, I am so overjoyed about the market that it doesn’t matter. I only wish I could have carried more stuff home. Oh for the simple joys of life! A few more days pass and we start to wonder, maybe we shouldn’t stick around in Melbourne much longer? The weather hasn’t been great, and we want to get up to Sydney before summer hits to make sure we secure jobs and a place to live. It’s a tough decision as living with Chris, our banker friend, would have been awesome (and free!), but we decide to move on. Now we snap back into full tourist mode and need to check off everything we haven’t done yet in the city, book flights and find a place to sleep when we get to Sydney, no more time for movies!
The next several days consist of watching all 3 of the Jurassic park movies, followed by all 3 of the Lord of the Rings movies – the extended version. Needless to say, not our most productive. I do get out into the city a few times and check out the Melbourne aquarium. A bit on the pricey side ($33.00 entry), but I do at least get a discount with my backpacker card. Here I got to see penguins, my first time seeing live penguins, quite a site! Very nice exhibit with snow and a ice pond for them to swin – and boy can they swim! When they’re not swimming they spend their days piling up rocks to lay on – looks like the one with the most rocks is in charge.
Spend another few hours walking around, and stop in to see the shark feeding show where divers get in the tanks with sharks (and stingrays, turtles, and hundreds of fish) to feed them. Mostly they just get sucked on my the giant manta rays. Beautiful room, 2.2 million litres of water in this one giant display. Overall a great tourist attraction, but I think I am partial to the Vancouver aquarium back home.
AFL Grand Final Day is here, and we are celebrating in true Aussie style. A friend that I met on the Contiki tour 2 years ago, Cameron, is living in Melbourne and invited Andrew and I over to watch the game and have a few drinks. We got to meet his fiancé, Fiona, and a whole bunch of his mates. The party ends up going all night and we end up crashing at their place for the night because the buses have stopped running.
The next morning we are treated to a great Australian breakfast – eggs, bacon, toast, avocado, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. Turns out Cameron had quite a night after Andrew and I passed out, took a bit of a fall and wasn’t able to get out of bed that morning. What a guy! Thanks for the great time Cam and Fiona!
So we are back from the Great Ocean Road trip and we move into our new place. Good things about this apartment: 1. Clean (8/10), 2. Own room and own bathroom, 3. Roommates are a couple our age and are in school so they are out most of the day. Bad things about this apartment: 1. Annoying dog (he does grow on me later but is a pain in the butt to start!). 2. COLD – most places in Melbourne we discover do not have central heating – even though it does get down to 0 at night in the winter! And these people do not believe in turning the heat on.
First on my to- do list here is buying some new warm clothes so I have something to sleep in and hang out in the apartment in. Luckily, we are staying right at the corner of Church and Bridge st. and Bridge St. is the outlet mecca of Melbourne so I am able to pick up some new items for very cheap.