Four Days In Melbourne
Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
85Trip End Jan 08, 2012
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My personal highlight of the city was going to the MCG (aka the G), my personal Mecca. I spent 3 hours there – one and half hours on a tour and then another 90 minutes in the sports museum afterwards
Later that afternoon I arranged to meet my new-found Italian friends from the ill-fated flight from Bangkok, Gabri and Stefania. We were to meet in a one of the famous sidestreets in Melbourne that are full of cafés, bistros and the like. While I was waiting for them – by the way, coffee in Melbourne is really good – an Irish waitress from another café approached me and asked me the following, "Excuse me, can I ask you something?" – "Sure, go ahead." – “Is your name, Carl?” I just had to laugh. Not even in Australia am I free from the Carl Cox curse. It seems that he’s living in Melbourne at the moment and was even spotted by this waitress’ friend. Now, I know I should have said yes, I I I I am Carl Cox, but I still don’t have the balls to carry it off, maybe when I come back for the New Year, I’ll be introducing myself as Carl...maybe not.
Back to the Italians. I’d been all over the city, chilling out, while they’d been job and flat hunting and not having any luck with either. They were staying in a backpacker’s hostel and it looked like a nightmare: all the backpackers were sitting in the common room area on their computers waiting
I don’t know how, but I ended up going out for an evening with them in St Kilda, which is backpacker heaven down by the beach. They were going there to meet more Italians and in the end I was the only non-Italian in the group. Most of them tried to speak English, some didn’t, but weirdly I was able to follow the gist of the conversations and what I didn’t understand was translated for me. Like all travellers they were sharing their experiences in Oz and it seems that the ones that had travelled found Perth to be the best place to visit. They liked Australia but they loved Perth. Now I can’t wait to get there because I love Melbourne and the bar has been set very high for the rest of Australia, so if they believe Perth is better, it must be something special.
Meanwhile Alan has been an excellent guide showing me a side of Melbourne that people don’t usually see – scenes of gangland killings, sharing stories of the underworld etc
However, my main highlight was a guided tour by coach along the Great Ocean Road. As a trip it was quite uneventful, except for one moment when a car started behaving erratically in front of the coach. The driver commented on this over the microphone and surmised that probably the car wanted him to stop. When he did, a woman got out of the car and started remonstrating with the driver – of course, I couldn’t hear what was being said, but then out of the back of the car climbed a man who looked familiar. It was a fellow passenger on the coach, who had been left behind at the previous stop and nobody had noticed!
I’ve now visited the things I really wanted to see in Melbourne and everything else is a plus. If you’re ever out this way, the G is a must if you’re a sports fan, as well as Albert Park, but the Great Ocean Road is not to be missed – I’m not a nature lover, but it is stunning.