The next few days we spent exploring the lovely city of Melbourne. The free buses and trams were a bonus for us backpackers and we spent lots of time sitting on them, lisiting to the commentry, as we travelled throughout the city. We booked into a hostel called Urban Central- one that Chris reccomended from his travels, this hostel was amazing with free breakfast,tea,coffee,milk,rice and pasta - which we took full advantage of!
As we walked up the Yarra river, we noted that we had never seen so many people running and rowing- Melbourne seemed to be a very fit city and it was fitting that we were heading up towards the Olympic Park, home of the Australian Open (Tennis), MCG (Cricket/Aussie rules) and the AAMI Park (Rugby). Taking lots of pictures it sparked up conversation of how many photos we had both taken, Alex commented on how I have been extra snap happy, and he said that he needed to back his photos up that evening, like i had done the previous evening. Ironically, later on that day as we sat in the sun on Southbank, Alex left his camera on a bench after we had moved to lie on the nearby grass- when remembering and returning the camera was gone. The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting the Melbourne police stations in hope that some honest Aussie had handed it in. With no luck we were left without 770 pictures of our trip and a camera down...
That evening to add salt to the wound I accidentally binned my room key, so technically $10, as there is a deposit for each key. We tried sweet talking the receptionist but he told us we would lose our deposit if we didn't get it back… so off to the bin it was. After having sieved through the rubbish in the middle of the busy kitchen, we found it and gleefully went to tell the receptionist about our miraculous recovery. So, as happy chappies, we headed off to our dorm up on the fourth floor… we were waiting for the lift talking about how lucky it was that we found my key. Next second Alex, who had been absent mindedly playing with his key in his hands, dropped the key on the tiled floor. We watched in horror as the card slid on the smooth floor straight under the tiny gap of the closed lift doors. Oh dear. We trudged back to the reception to speak to the same guy who found the whole thing very amusing and initially thought we were joking but then found the situation quite hilarious. When we turned away he was telling all the other receptionists about our misfortune. We didn't mention that Alex had also lost a camera earlier that day.
So Alex ended up having to pay another $10 for a new key and we sat in the dorm where we couldn't lose anything else! We were interrupted by a knock at the door, I opened it to find the receptionist half laughing, half looking at us like we were idiots and also holding another room key. It turned out that Alex's key had impressively found its way into a lift and had been handed in - only for the receptionist to think that we had lost a third key! After explaining that we had managed to hold on to our keys for linger than 30 seconds hoe gave Alex back his $10 and a card holder to keep his key in - at least he had a good sense of humour.
We visited the famous Ramsay St. much to Alex's excitement! We explored the set location of all the recognizable places such as Carpenter's garage, Lassiter's hotel, Harold's place, Charlie's Bar and good old Toadfish Rebecki's lawyers office! Then on to the famous cul-de-sac which seemed remarkably smaller in real life. We were also surprised to find that the street was not a set but had ordinary residents who had to put up with all the tours and filming that goes on there.
We also went to see the Old Melbourne Goal (I must confess I thought this was a spelling mistake...) which seemed a lot more grim and depressing than Alcatraz, this impression was added to when watched a play on the execution of Ned Kelly (most infamous bush ranger in Australian history).
Apart from our unlucky start to Australia we really enjoyed exploring the lively city with little cute alleys, their funky mix of cultural and modern buildings and their odd right turn procedure (move to the left lane, wait for all the traffic to stop and then turn right across all the lanes! Nuts!). We spent a lot of our time just exploring the city, soaking up the sun in Federation square and down by the river. Looking back it doesn't seem like we did much in our week there but we fell like we covered every street and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.