Last night I settled into an evening of collecting information about things to do and sights to see in Melbourne, before getting ready for my first chat with work. There were plenty suggestions on the internet, and one day next week i'm going to put it to an audience vote between two things I would like to do.
Catching up with work went well, and tomorrow will be my first full work day whilst I'm away. I spent most of the evening talking back to the uk, before crashing out.
Today was my first opportunity for a real lie in. I had no Skype plans, or things to be up for early, and I fully intended to be up no earlier than 10am. However, at 8:00 I was awoken by the sounds of a jackhammer on the pavement just outside my bedroom window - and there was no way to sleep through it. I dragged myself up figuring at least il make the most of the day, made a breakfast of noodles before heading out. I needed to head out to a place called Hawthorn - east of Richmond and 15 mins on a train from flinders street. When I stepped out of the hostel, it was hot. Damn hot. It was 35 degrees and even the rather strong wind felt tropical. I made my way across the CBD to flinders and caught my train as fast as I could, diving into shade wherever possible. It was a flying visit, but I did take a couple of photos of the CBD from hawthorn.
I got back, and went back with no fear to the washing machines. I succeeded this time, and now have another 10 days worth of fresh cloths!
As a reward for my efforts, I decided I would go for a meal. I say here and now I do NOT recommend the all you can eat buffet at the Crown complex. It had been recommended not only by a few hostellers, but also various places on the Internet. I walked down the CBD and across to Southbank, where the all you can eat is situated.
When I arrived there was a long queue, and I almost walked away instantly but for the recommendations I'd received for the place. So I stuck it out for 15 minutes before finally 'being seated' (a table was pointed at which I guessed was mine). I collected a plate of food, hoping that at least it would make up for the shoddy start. It didn't at all. The food was luke warm, and tasted like crap. I forced myself through 3 courses to make sure I got my money's worth before heading up for desert. At least desert looked promising. I picked up a bowl, but then swiftly put it down again, as it was warm, probably fresh out the dishwasher. After doing that 5 or so times I gave up and collected a desert of Ice cream and fresh fruit salad. By the time I got back to my chair the ice cream had already melted and left me with a bowl of watery mess. The fruit salad was the best of all the food I had there, an even that was very melon oriented (far from my favourite fruit). And to top it off, the price for this ridiculous experience was unmentionable. All in all a thorough disappointment, an definitely not recommended. I walked back to the hostel in the slowly cooling air to burn off some of the food I'd just ate.
It's been over a week now since I arrived in Melbourne, so I thought I'd give a summary of my feelings so far. Melbourne is a fantastic place. It's full of things to do and places to see, and everywhere you look there is something different. The people here (both travellers and residents) are very polite, welcoming and curtious. I have already met some great people whom I will try an keep in touch with. The city is very active, even the weather doesn't stop for long before bringing something new. I'm loving being here, and I hope my updates are enjoyable to read for you guys.