All the small things
Melbourne centre/ marina/ Victoria market/the edge/arts centre / harbour town/federation square/ southbank/ botanical gardens
Monday morning dawned dismal and achy. hostel =fine, people = fabulous (northern overtake) but the beds can burn in hell... Except they wouldn't burn because they're concrete... Concrete that creaks with every stretch and roll of the ten people in the room.
Slipping into 'home routine' I headed for run, justified because; it's half raining. Restaurant eating is making me fat. I have 4 days to see the sights so need to pack them in.
Sights included on my breakneck run of St Kilda included:
-Albert park, Rother valley in the midst of a drought
- St Kilda botanical gardens (burnt grass with an overpowering rose bush) neither botanical nor a garden, an cemetery it could be...
-Marina. Now I love a boat but once you've seen one Marina you've seen them all... Not overwhelming
Following the marina is a 35km coastline trek; having bashed the half marathon in April I knew this would be a breeze... That's a lie - I didn't even contemplate it... 'Yet'.
The run quickly turned into a power walk so I could appreciate the motivational slogans tiled on the trek path...
my favourite being:
'my grandfather had a dairy farm, it had no fences and the cows used to roam freely- sometimes my father was sent to slaughter the poor beasts'
Why Just why???
As the sun began to burn through I headed back for a shower in my en-suite (can it be classed as an ensuite between 10?) and jumped on a tram (unlimited pass part 2) and headed over to the Arts centre and Southbank. A French ally (Monsieur Alix) accompanied me on his way to work (deutschen restaurant)modestly enlightening me to his linguistic skills (he ONLY speaks Russian, French, Spanish and English... No deutsch.) English schooling system: massive fail
I am attempting to refrain from the London/ aus comparison primarily because of the namesakes; Australia may copy but it has glorious sunshine which makes everything look better than London...
Passing by the artstower ( you can learn geometry just by looking at it),
The sun was beaming so we bedded down in some strategically placed Deck Chairs lining the South bank. It was relaxing we accidentally fell asleep... For 2 hours.... Resulting in tan lines.
Ten years of tan line avoidance through topless sunbathing ruined in a nap...gah!
Leaving Alix to face the wrath of the Germans I headed on through my map feeling a little fuzzy (delayed jetlag/hangover/s***bed?)
Very nearly getting apprehended by a security guard on wheels I had unknowingly trespassed (again!) onto Channel 10 news... Oopps
Continuing through the map 'Harbour Town' was the next port of call; the Aussies sell this as an über modern, über glam, sculpture galore new housing/business development. I'm guessing it must be über expensive because it was deserted... apart from a factory outlet (cos all the rich shop outlet?)
But it was pretty, and it was overshadowed by the Melbourne Star which sounds much more poetic than the London eye (which is basically what it is).
Meandering back to the hostel I contemplated a potential evening alone.. all the roomies had moved on apart from male counterpart Mr Coffee (but he's a grafter with a 9pm finish) questioning whether I dare be alone with the German shadow... A dude Who Creeps in the room at 1am leaves by 7am (Rumour has it he has murderous eyes)
However I needn't have worried, whilst creating my so-supermarket-expensive - may-aswell-have- eaten-out salad. Mr Canadia (seasoned traveller and friend to all) invited himself to join me; and then me to the pub quiz with his own close knit family- room 109.
The evening passed by in a semi drunken blur of drinking games, competitiveness, music and film related intelligence... ETERNAL STUDENT! Me being on the team naturally resulted in an epic win... $150 bar tab. Yay. Between 8. Oh. Glass of red? Not so student.
Before leaving home, second mum Helenbabe warned me to be wary of 'toppers'; travellers who have always explored one mountain more and saved a 1000 kids from a hurricane... Thankfully in the world of travel related stories this has not been the case 'yet' ...however in the world of sex related stories 'toppering' is rife!
The theme of quiz night's show and tell was 'threesomes and near misses' contrary to popular belief (namely by my own mother and manager) Whilst liberal in sexual discussion I am no hussy... Thank you very much.
However threesomes were discussed like a rite of passage for backpackers? Is this true my well travelled friends? Do I need to formulate a 'toppering' lie now...have you all secretly been part of a ménage à trois?
Anyways Tuesday dawned with no sex scandals to tell and I headed off to the Victorian Market with my adopted roomies (Stafford and Netherlands originals)
Whilst I'm hanging my head in shame to admit it, I was a Massive blonde: seeing the word 'Victorian' bandied around I questioned the Aussie love towards the late British sovereign, it took good few hours- ok 2 days- to make the connection to the state- I'm now in... Pahahaha
We caught a 'classic' tram for a free tour around the city... Which failed miserably when an 'Arty tram' turned up...whilst decorative to look the windows were obscured so all touristy hotspots (Parliament and government house) we're viewed in the manner of Lichtenstein, through the dotted window.
Victorian Market was worth a visit; desperate to purchase a real kangaroo scrotum for my scrotum headed friend the £20 tourist price tag said no... However some Sheeps placenta face cream may be winging it's way to one of you ;)
In true market style the food court outweighed the rest and I bitterly regretted stuffing my face with a giant lamb slouvaki before I discovered a cute little arcade maze of bistros and stands (half the price!)
The afternoon was lazed away strolling around the actual Royal Botanical gardens featuring guest garden appearances from queen Victoria and the Kings ( these know how to use a water sprinkler) surprisingly I fell asleep again... Face down.. In a patch of grass... Like a hobo.
Waking refreshed; the shrine of remembrance called me to it - particularly apt being Armistice day. As a massive WW2 geek I was privileged to be one of the first to view the just.opened.today.crypt. Emotional times. Fantastic feature well designed and well worth a visit... Also free!
Back at the hostel the room was now dominated by Manc lads (Cheshire wannabes) the name 'Sheffield' was quickly designated to me. Original.
That night I had my first backpacker threesome (KIDDING) with a hot date with Mr Geneva and Mr Local. Initially I believed these 2 randoms were American - met them in a corridor, tipsy, face timing. They're not.hence my names.
Initially I was a little dubious (with a J) about my first non-backer stranger outing. These guys were huge (6'3/ 4 respectively) ; however Safety first safety always I piled my Manc 'dads' ICE details and strong warnings in the manner of big D to phone the police should I not return (even telling Ginge k my whereabouts justincase...and skipped along to potentially one of the more random nights of my life....and that's saying something. (Mother calm down)
Following a light beverage in a non backpacker bar- yay- its the little things, the pier beckoned (naturally these dudes play basketball so we had a safety check of the nets #social conscience)
Being a particularly Baltic evening (probably resembling a Sheffield summer... I've changed) I had to be wrapped in Mr locals duffle coat to stop the teeth chattering. (Big coat for 5'4 lady... Hello sleeping bag) promenading down the dark pier they took me to see ......the Penguins.... YES... Tiny miniature- put in your pocket penguins -on a beach in Melbourne -at midnight.... Bloody fantastic. Then we went to look at the boats... All lit up... At night... Fabulous!
Mr Geneva was snap king (+ snapchap queen= worlds most photographed babies )10,000 him and penguin photos later; decisions had to be made...Because of course Australia has stupid Cinderella drinking rules.
Heading back to Mr locals flat (calm down dad- I'm 26) for a few beverages, he offered to read my fortune... keep with me here- via angel tarot cards....don't get that line in Sheffield.
The Aussie Angels say I'm going to have an enchanting career (that's SW ended then) a miraculous sex life (in itself would be a miracle) and a husband that cheats on me who I have to forgive....mmm maybe not.
Then two 6'4 basketballers and myself ( told you it was random) snuggled down to watch a thriller on a laptop...(don't worry this is no seedy affair)
Knowing my penchant for horrific nightmares, a thriller did not go down well. A game of monopoly was offered by Mr local as an alternative but my 3 times past Go rule wasn't allowed so stubbornness prevailed and I bade my farewells and trotted off home.
Luna Park the return.at night.Scarier then any horror film!!
Looking forward to more random nights (don't tell pat)
Can't believe how fast time is passing!