Travel Journal

Still more Melbourne...

(Monday 9 November 2009) by Al/Alvin "Poison" Challis
21st October: My days in Melbourne had been pretty lazy thus far, but i suppose that had been down to the fact that i had a lot of time on my hands to be able to do the things that i have wanted to do. The cost for this trip has been a big issue and i am rapidly getting the impression that i have under budgeted for this initial 2 and a half month jaunt before heading to New Zealand. Not that i don't have the money to be able to keep going but it leaves me a little less money when i get to NZ. Oh well... quit complaining Challis just get the hell on with it.

Today's antics included a trip to the Melbourne museum up in the Carlton suburb of the city. Next to the museum building was a wonderful building with a domw which used to be Melbourne's exhibition centre. It is now listed as a World Heritage Site and you can see why with the size and sheer grandeur of the building. The museum itself was great. It had some great collections of Aboriginal art and informative displays on Pasifika culture as well as "hands-on" galleries on fish, animals, the human body and Melbourne history which were great for the kids and enlightening for the adults. I enjoyed myself so much in the museum that i was in there for the best part of 3 hours, and with all of the walking that i did i was pretty tired afterwards.

Upon leaving the museum, i did a bit of an exploration again of the city centre and walked along Bourke Street back down to the main train station. Of all the modes of transport, my favourites are cycling and walking. I would rent a bike to ride around but in big cities such as Melbourne they are no fun at all, all the other traffic, people etc. Therefore walking is the preferred mode of transportation.

Whilst being in Melbourne, i swear to god that i have been accosted by more beggers and street sellers than any other person in history and i am trying to find out for the life of me why this is the case. Whether it looks as though i am a bit of a charity case myself and am going to part with my spare change, or whether they somehow have a 6th sense and i am somehow a sucker, i am not too sure but whatever it is i need it to stop otherwise someone could properly be on the end of a severe ear-bashing.

After my pioneering walk through Melbourne, it was time to head back to the house. It was announced by Martin and Melissa that they were heading to see some friends and being exhausted from the walking stated that i would catch up with them a little later as i had some bits and pieces to sort out. We headed to a place called Riva on the St. Kilda Marina, which looked out onto Port Phillip Bay. It was beautiful. We saw the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry leaving the harbour for Devonport all lit up and the city in the distance.With take-away pizza on the menu for dinner, we suitably stuffed ourselves before heading to bed.

22nd October: I had planned to get up early today and head to Victoria market to check out the delights they had on offer there. I ended up getting up a little later than planned but it still gave me enough time to be able to get up there and take a look around.

The market was huge and there were a great variety of stalls in which to buy things from and a great place to stock up on fruit and veggies. I walked around the market for a couple of hours and was amazed at the amount of Australian souvenir stalls that were run by Asians. I don't think that i saw one stall that was run by an Australian or Aboriginal person. Not that this is a criticism, just an observation that i had, that i thought was a little strange.

I walked back into the CBD and decided to walk up to the gaol to see what it was like. I had planned to go in the gaol to see what it was like but was put off by the exorbitant entrance fee, and was in all fairness a little "museumed-out" from the past few days. I continued up the road past the gaol and ended up on lygon street which was a restaurant area in the north of the city which was heavily influenced by the large italian and greek populations that had settled there after the Second World War. There were loads of restaurants that were begging for your custom. Unfortunately some of the places looked pretty dear and i had already eaten at the market.

I headed back down to the CBD and took the tram on the way home via Albert Park. Albert Park is where the Australian Grand Prix is run every year, and around the park they have a road which get converted into a racetrack. I headed into the park and went straight to the pit lane building and where the start/finish line was located. In relation to a challenge set by my good friend Lynz, i got my photo with me at the start/finish line.

As the road was being used by traffic, i got a few weird looks as i mimicked the use of an invisible checkered flag to signal to one car. However, they saw the funny side of it and beeped and put their fist out of the car window to salute the invisible crowd. Great stuff. I was laughing for ages.

I headed back on the tram to St.Kilda and read my book for while back at the house. Bryson is a hero. We decided to have chicken drumsticks for dinner, and Martin excelled once again in the cooking department, complimented by Melissa's excellent potato gratin. Martin also created an amazing cajun and BBQ sauce for the drumsticks, and when cooked were absolutely to die for. Again, it was a meal that i would happily pay for in a restaurant. We chilled out in the evening, full from the glorious food and went to bed a happy meal. God those two can cook some good food! :-p

  • GOOD READ by Dad


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