As we haven't made a proper journal entry since last year I thought it was about time for an update. The day after England were trounced in the test we decided to go and visit the most famous street in Australia. Unfortunately, all the neighbours tours were booked up for for the foreseeable future (something to do with vast numbers of English people with nothing to do, apparently) so we decided to make our own way there. Let me tell you it as long way from St. Kilda to Erinsborough. After just over 70 stops on the tram we reached the suburb of Surrey Hills where you find Pine Oak Court, otherwise known as Ramsey Street. As everyone says when they see it, it is very small. It is quite a sureal feeling to be stood there but after travelling all that way we made the most of it by taking loads of photos and quizzing the security lady for cast gossip (apparently Harold likes the ladies and Susan Kennedy has tattos down both arms!). After another long tram journey back to the city centre we climbed up the Rialto tower, the second highest in Melbourne and tallest office building in the southern hemisphere no less. It gave great views over the city you could see the F1 circuit, Telstra Dome, MCG and St. Kilda where our hostel was but it wasn't quite tall enough to be able to see the 50 miles to Ramsey Street!
On our final day in Melbourne we decided to head off to see the Melbourne Museum. On the way there we noticed a TV cameraman hanging around outside a hotel. So as you do we hung around to see what was happening. In the lobby Alistair Cook was checking out of the hotel, so we stood around for sometime in the hope of seeing our 'heroes'. By the time we moved off we had spotted Harmison, Hoggard, Mahmood, Pietersen, pop star girlfriend, Bell, Cook and Ed Joyce. Unfortunately Tracy didnt get to see Flintoff but when we got to the Melbourne museum we discovered that the real Ashes were on display - not quite as good as seeing Freddie but it was quite interesting.
That evening we caught the overnight greyhound to Sydney, the journey passed without much incident. Apart from just before the first rest stop when I managed to wake up most of the bus by shouting out 'theres a submarine!'. We had pulled off the highway into the town of Holbrook somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney about 400km from the ocean and in the town centre was a full sized submarine. It probably didnt warrant shouting out but after 5 hours of darkness it was pretty exciting. Apparently during World War I, the town name was deemed unpatriotic and the name was changed from Germanton to Holbrook in honour of Lt. Norman Holbrook, a decorated wartime submarine captain and winner of the Victoria Cross. So in honour of Lt. Holbrook the town bought the decomissioned submarine HMAS Otway and plonked it in the middle of their town.
The first thing we did of note in Sydney was celebrate new year. The prime spot on Mrs. Macquarie's chair had been full since new years eve morning so Pete and Tracy got some local knowledge from their land lady and found us a prime spot just round the corner. It allowed us to celebrate properly with a nice meal, some good wine and a couple of bottles of champagne before moving down to our prime spot around nine with a few carlton stubbies. The fireworks were very impressive, the photos just don't do them justice. It was the 75th anniversary of the Harbour bridge so there was a giant diamond on the side that turned into a giant coat hanger (nickname for the bridge).
The next day was a bit of a write off as we got over the previous nights festivities but yesterday we walked all over the city centre. We popped into the opera house to see if there were any tickets left to see Figaro but unfortunately it was sold out so we walked over to the harbour bridge. We went up the pylon on the bridge which gave us fantastic views of the harbour, opera house and city. Under the approach way to the bridge you can book yourself a bridge climb to the centre of the arch, so Pete and Tracy booked themselves in for a once in a lifetime walk on Friday afternoon (you will have to tune in next time for the full story). Thats about all - apologies for leaving you on a cliffhanger or should that be coathanger! (sorry!)