Tuesday 12th December
This morning was our first purchase of flavoured tuna. Has anyone ever seen this in the UK?! It was sweet chilli flavour which wasa bit of a risk but we needed to make sandwiches sharpish and 7/11 was the only shop nearby! In case you're interested it tasted pretty good! Went for a hot chocolate with old man Matt and then got the bus to Kingsford Smith airport. Arrived at Melbourne Avalon airport at about 4.30pm. Avalon is a bit like (London) Stansted or (Frankfurt) Hahn. A bit too far away to be classified as Melbourne! But it was all pretty easy, got a bus which dropped us off at our hostel. Checked into an 8 bed dorm, which was all boys again. I don't know how this always happens to us. Maybe we smell. Did some laundry, made some dinner. First thing we noticed about Melbourne was how cold it is!
Wednesday 13th December
Lay in then got up for free continental brekkie - tea and toast, shouldn't really have expected more! Decided to be practical and sort out our Melbourne trips - Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island and Neighbours and also book our Kiwi Experience bus for New Zealand. Jase gave us a good price on all the trips but was still an expensive morning! Then decided to do the Lonely Planet's walking tour of Melbourne as we liked the Brisbane one, but there wasn't that much to see. Buildings and churches and plenty of shops! We wanted to go up to the tower and see the views over Melbourne but the weather disappointed us again, it was hot but really hazey and muggy - it's becoming another running theme in this trip! Ended up in Federation Square, i think it's the focal point of Melbourne and watched the Australian Army Band of Melbourne singing and playing Christmas songs and carols. We felt slightly Christmassy for the first time I'd say! Then went to the NGV (?) building to the art gallery in the Ian Potter centre. Was a pretty interesting way to spend the afternoon. A guy there told us the smokey sky was due to all the bush fires in Victoria - we hadn't realised this. But they are quite bad this year apparently. Then went back to hostel, detouring via McDonalds (terrible aren't we, i blame Kat) and met our roomie Barney and invited him out with us as we were meeting Jaime (the guy Kat met on Magnetic Island from Rayleigh). Went to Transport bar, a trendy bar in Federation Square which was way out of our price range and stayed there all night. Got quite drunk on 4 pints! I remember laughing with Barney for ages about something to the point of him almost falling off his chair, no idea what. Kat and Jaime talked about Essex a lot - not quite as funny for us! Jaime left as he had work the next day, we went to Hungry Jacks (Burger King) where Barney had 2 whoppers as he hadn't eaten all day. He's so funny, all he did while we were there was get up, go to Subway then watch cricket and get drunk! Then went to another bar, or it may have been a kebab shop that sold alcohol.
Thursday 14th December
The smokey skies had cleared so we went to the Queen Victoria Markets. And it was soooooooo hot! It was hard to bear and such a shock after it being so cold a couple of days ago. Did a lot of looking but not a lot of buying fortunately for our funds! Were were quite tired after last night so got on the free sight seeing bus around Melbourne to save our legs! By this time it was really cold again. It's true what they say about Melbourne having 4 seasons in a day! Just went on the net that evening as now it was raining!
Friday 15th December
Went to Fitzroy, one of the villages of Melbourne. It has many and Brunswick Street is the place to go for bars and funky shops. We treated ourselves to some clothes, I got a red and white dress which I wanted for Christmas and a top. Kat got a dress to wear to the Opera House. We didn't get time to see the whole street as we had to get back in time to be picked up for the Neighbours tour! We got on the official Neighbours bus. I think it was the cheesiest thing ever. Even more cheesy than Ocean in Nottingham. It was mainly full of British people. We drove out to Pin Oak Court, the real street where Neighbours outdoor scenes are filmed. It looked a lot smaller than on tv. The guide told us all about who lived in the houses now, I haven't watched it in years so I didn't know what she was talking about. Soap queen Kat did though! Then we took lots of pics and had our photo taken with the Ramsay Street sign. Like when we went to the Neighbours night (coming up) basically you have to resign yourself to the fact that this is the most cheesy your life will ever get and it's ok for a few hours! Next we went to the studios where Prisoner Cell Block H was also filmed. I used to watch that with my mom! We saw the outside of Grease Monkeys and the garage. Also saw where they filmed Harold and Lou's jail yard scene and Libby/Sky's green beatle (means nothing to me!). Then drove to 'Erinsborough High' which is actually an English Language school. Finally we went to St Kilda (beach suburb of Melbourne) where we were going to meet a mystery charachter, ooooo! Surprise surprise I didn't know them but it was Janelle (Kat says this is Stingray and Dillon's mom) and we got an autograph and pic taken. So gay but had to be done really. How many British backpackers come to Melbourne and don't do the Neighbours tour?! When it was all over we went back to the hostel to sort ourselves out for the next trip. Barney came back drunk as always. He said the night before he has spent $700 in a strip club! Oliver the Dutch guy was there too and they constantly took the mick out of us all night because we had accumulated a lot of brochures. We need them! Cheers for that guys! Barney, in his drunken state decided to do his laundry because he had no clean pants, hahaha. And dropped his powder everywhere.