Ok again I have backdated this blog as I want to just write about Melbourne and Sydney seperatley! So here is Melbournes entry......
We flew out of Singapore on Thursday 2nd April early evening, however with our recent bedtime had been 2-3 am in the morning, and with Oz being 3hrs ahead, and arriving local time at 5am, this meant we hadn't slept on the 7hr flight!!! Our bus wasn't due until 8am, and starting to feel a little weary we found the nearest place to sit down and have a cup of good old english tea!
We had already pre-booked our hostel, in St Kilda, however we couldn't check in until 2pm that afternoon so ended up sitting around in the common room with our backpacks trying not to fall asleep. However in days to come we would realise this was a common sight in the common room of Cooee hostel, as many a traveller desended bleary eyed. We were quite fortunate with our first experience of hostels, through out South East Asia hostels aren't really the "thing" however obviously in Oz this is the cheapest way to sleep and they are well equipped! We started off in a 6 man dorm and then had to move to an 8 man. In our first dorm we met too great people who we have continued to travel with up to Sydney, from the North back home. Sleeping in hostels was not as bad as I thought either, though the night we moved into the 8 man dorm we were warned by one existing resident to get rather drunk that night so as not to be bothered by the snorer in the room! And boy was she right - consequently after several people telling him countless times through out the night to "shut the F' up" he moved rooms the next day!!!
Melbourne was a bit of a shock to the system, as the day we arrived the weather took a turn for the worst, previously basking in 30degrees it changed to 12-17degrees with wind and rain! This was freezing to us, having spent the last 2 1/2 months in glorious beach weather, sweating away!! So my first mission was to buy a woolly jumper - something I wasn't expecting to purchase until my arrival in New Zealand! One night it was so called, that I couldn't feel lmy toes as I was having to wear flip flops!!!
The poor weather did play havoc with our sight seeing, but we tried to do as much as possible with the time we had. Dan and I visted an excellend exhibition at the ACMI, calling Setting the Scene - an exhbition looking at films from the set designers perspectives, and of course one of the films featured was their beloved Australia - which it seems has taken over Australia here and is being used to advertise every flipping product imaginable!!! We also use our trusty lonely planet book (thanks abs for the xmas present!) and took a walking tour through the city, which I highly recommend and we will be using the books tours as a starter in each place to orientate ourselves from now on! We went for a walk down Brunswick St, which had been highly recommended to us, but was actually a bit of a disappointment. We were told it had a good nightlife with some quirky clubs, but it was a bit dead when we went, however we did come across Polly Cocktail Lounge, which felt like it had been ripped from Camden Town, as it was a great little lounge bar decorated with plush sofas, and grand chairs where I enjoyed a Mango Tea, and Dan a hot chocolate whilst listening to modern classics such as Amy Winehouse remixed into lounge music - it was quite a sophisticated yet quirky end to our day!!
We also took a trip of the Sky Tower to have a look over the city of Melbourne, Though one of the highlights has to be the Neighbours evening! Dan and I went off to St Kilda pier to have fish 'n' chips, having walked up the long pier, through cold windy conditions that I can only compare to Brighton in December, we finally reached the end of the pier to discover the place was closed for a function! We headed back and went to look at another restaurant, having sat down at a table and being handed a menu, we were shocked at the price and quickly made our excuses of finding an ATM and legged it out of the place, embarrassed to say we couldn't afford their extortionate price!! In the end we found a great little bar just opposite the pier and had fish 'n' chips there before walking up to the Neighbours Bar that they hold their every Monday evening!
The place was packed, and being poor travellers we accepted our free beer tokens and headed to the bar! Now Dan and I both don't drink beer, however in South East Asia we discovered the cheapest way to drink was to have Shandy's! So we grabbed our free beer and brought a sprite and partied on down!! ha ha!! Dr Karl Kennedy and a couple of others from the cast - whom I can't remember seeing as I haven't watched the show in god knows how many years, but for those of you who may - one was Libby's husband, whom many girls seemed to go crazy for, and the other is Paul Robinsons Daughter - the blonde one. The evening consisted of pub quizzes (which Dan and I were useless at!) and various dares to win backpacker trips around Australia. The evening ended, once everyone was merry, with Karl Kennedy and his band performing a few number one chart hits from the likes of Kings of Leon to their own Ozzie hits! All in all, a good laugh!
The last day/night we spent in Melbourne we were quite fortunate that one of the girls we met in Laos, who comes from Melbourne, allowed us to stay at her Dad's place for the night as he was away on business. This was a huge bonus not only for the money saving, but also because the house was a gem! Glass walls, pool - very cool! Check the pics on facebook!
Thursday we just pottered around, as we were waiting to get the 12hr night bus, via the GreyHound bus service to Sydney later that evening! And that is where I leave you for now, until my Sydney entry......