Since Jeff had spent a month in Sydney already, we left soon after I got to Australia to go to Melbourne. Most Americans would pronounce the city as “Mel-Born,” but the Aussie’s pronounce it “Mel-Bin.” I had a really hard time getting used to this.
We arrived in the city late morning, after an extremely early plane ride. We walked from the Central Business District to an area of the city called Fitzroy, that Jeff was told would be more hip and music oriented. The area has a nice feeling because the buildings aren’t very tall, so it feels like a small town rather than a large city. We stopped for lunch at a place called Bimbo’s, which has a lunch special from 12 to 4, and a dinner special from 7 to 11, so you only paid full price for food during three hours of the day. In the middle of the room is a bar, and all around the bar are these large fish bowls full of flavored vodkas. Unsuspectingly, I ordered a Bimbo’s Ice Tea, which was the drink special, and this meant that the bartender walked around the bar, taking a small shot from each of the vodkas bowls, putting it in a glass and adding a dash of grapefruit juice at the end. It tasted pretty good actually.
While in Melbourne we visited a few more parks, primarily Fitzroy park, that were pretty good, but nothing like the Royal Gardens in Sydney. In the park is the oldest building in Australia, Cook’s Cottage. It supposedly belonged to James Cook’s parents, who was one of the early explorers/colonizers of Australia. It was supposedly built in 1755, but in England, the house was moved to Australia in 1933. I feel like that is cheating.
Also near this park was Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, which is absolutely beautiful.
When I was wandering around in the gardens in Sydney, I thought I saw a gray furry ball sitting in the fork of a tree. Being in Australia, I assumed it was a koala. I sat and watched the ball for 30 minutes (needed a break anyway), and it never moved so I left. I told Jeff about it, and he agreed that it must of been a koala, (I think he was messing with me), and later I asked my cousin about it, and he said it could of been a koala, but most likely it was a possum. While wandering around in the parks in Melbourne, I saw the same thing! This time I took a picture, and now all of you can wonder with me, and if you like, offer your thoughts.
|You can just see the fur ball in the fork of the tree.|
Melbourne the place that we stayed at the longest in Australia. We were only there for about 5 days. During those days we did go on a road trip (next post), and saw some interesting parts of Melbourne. We visited a bar that kept the room at 14F/-10C, so you could only stay in for about 25 minutes before being miserable. The room is full of ice sculptures and the drinks are served in ice cups. It is a bit of a tourist trap though. A nicer bar is the Gin Palace, which is quiet and similar to a speak easy. They take a lot of pride in their drinks, and it was a nice place to go and grab a drink.
While we were here, we met up with the Melbourne Ultimate team Chilly. We played a small game of beach ultimate with them one morning, and then grabbed some brunch. I tried the Lemon Sugar Pancakes, which I had never heard of before and one of the Aussies said that I would be pleased. After the meal, he asked me, “How did you find the pancakes?” without really thinking, I quickly replied “Oh! They were on the menu.” As soon as I said it, I realized he had meant if I liked them or not. Tourist mistake.
|Jeff tried to make friends with the Magpie Lark. I love these little guys.|
We had planned to spend so long in Melbourne because we thought I would be able to finish my dive certification there (more on that later). We made good use of the time though because Jeff was able to take some Kite Surfing lessons. He really enjoys doing it, but has never lived near a place that was really well suited for it. What was funny is that while Jeff was able to do a few lessons, the weather wasn’t all that great for kite surfing. This was okay for us, but there was the Kite Surfing World Championships that were supposed to happen that week. Some of the days for the tournament were completely windless and I think this effected the event. It was fun watching Jeff try to surf, and he actually got pretty good at it towards the end.
But due to said weather, we did spend a lot of time on the beach, hanging out and watching sunsets.
I had to make our road trip it’s own post, because the photos from it are too beautiful.