Bowling Warney

Trip Start Mar 19, 2012
Trip End Jul 27, 2012

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What I did

Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Monday, June 11, 2012

A nine hour train journey from Adelaide to Melbourne on which the old bat seating next to me decided to elbow me while I was sleeping as she wanted someone to talk too. I did some Oscar winning acting to pretend I was still sleeping. Got into Melbourne early evening and felt I had got into Manchester, with the heavy rain and the trams. Proper football weather. The rain and the long journey meant shower, food and then bed.

First full day in Melbourne I spent exploring the city; started off by walking up to Federation square and looking at the surroundings there. Then as much as I tried to resist I was drawn to the stadiums area. Melbourne has approx 7 stadiums all next to each other, it would be the equivalent of having Wembley Stadium, the O2, Wimbledon, Twickenham, Lords, Olympic Stadium and White Hart Lane all right next to each other. I walked around the MCG and Rod Laver arena before heading back to the city weaving in and out all the streets seeing the many bars and cafes, stopping at one for a cappuccino. Also found a Nintendo land where I played some Mario Kart 7 before having for the first time on An Indian Abroad ate some Indian food. All you can eat daal, naan, rice and veg curry; was stuffed. Watched some tv in the evening at the hostel, got to love family guy and American dad.

Next day was a visit all Brits have to make and that is too Ramsey Street. Started off the Neighbours tour by meeting the actress who played Libby Kennedy, who told us some stories about the cast and the naughty things they get up too. Skinny dipping with the actor who played her younger brother. Tut Tut. Then we headed to Erinsborough high followed by the studios to take some pics of the outside sets. The final stop was the piece de resistance Ramsey Street; bloody hell it was small. Having not seen Neighbours for about 15 years seeing the old houses bought back some good old memories. I did look for Toadfish and Harold but couldn't find them anywhere must be having a barbie somewhere. However did play some cricket on the sacred street, and retained the ashes. In the afternoon watched the Social Network back at the hostel. In the evening I met up with Lachlan who I met in Brazil and he showed me some of the suburbs of Melbourne. We had some food on Carlton Street before we went to what I called Italy Street for some dessert. Was good to have a catch up and thanks to Lachlan for taking the time to meet up and show me around.

It was the Melbourne Jazz Music Festival so there were a few free shows around the place, so listened to some free jazz first thing before going to the National Gallery of Victoria to look at some art. There was a level for indigenous art and looking at the narrative tried to decipher the elements of the paintings. There was some more modern art which ranged from "I can do better than that" to “not bad Picasso not bad”. Then in the afternoon took a trip to Phillip Island to watch the penguin parade. When the sun sets the penguins leave the sea and go across the beach into their burrows. So sat on the stands on the beach and it was colddddd. Took a few minutes before we sighted the first penguin but then they arrived by the bucket loads. They would come out the sea and find others and huddle into a group. Then they would slowly creep up on the beach with their heads darting around looking for predators, and then suddenly CHARGE they would sprint as a group along the beach into the dunes. It reminded me of a platoon of soldiers charging across a beach. The penguin I saw is the smallest specie with a height of 30cm. No pics as they go blind by the radiation from the cameras. Bad times. As we walked up the footpath we could see the penguins heading into their burrows. One had its arm around its partner in protection. Ahhh.

Early start for a tour of the city of sports, which started off at the Melbourne Cup; Flemington Racecourse. First time I have been to a racehorse track and was impressed, you get a great view of the city in the background. A public holiday is taken for the race, bloody taking the piss with these holidays, with the queen’s birthday off as well. Then headed to Rod Laver arena to do a tour of where the Australian open tennis takes place. Went into the men's changing room and saw the lockers used by the top 4. Took pics of the messages left by the players, as well as walking along the hall of champions and the media room. Then we headed to Albert park which is where the Australian Grand Prix takes place. It’s a street circuit around a picturesque part of Melbourne so we went around the areas we could. The driver/tour guide was a good guy throughout the day so what he did was go onto the pole position, revved up the engines and it was GO, GO, GO. Then went and had some lunch at the Eithad Stadium, was annoying giving money to Man City. Then off to the Melbourne Cricket Ground aka the MCG, which has a capacity of 100,000. Went on the outfield, right to the top, into the various changing rooms and more traditional rooms. Also within the MCG is the National Sports Museum, which has loads of memorabilia and presentation on various sports. The biggest two being cricket and AFL. There was a hologram performance by Warney talking about his career. The best thing about the museum was the games area where you could do some archery, AFL games, netball, reaction test with lights and my two personal favourites a cricket run out machine and a football shooting area. Run outs was the machine chucking a ball and then you chuck at the stumps before the green light (batsman) reaches the stumps. I was like Jonty Rhodes. Then the football machine was kicking the ball against the screen and scoring a goal. Was so good to kick a football again.

Early evening and the above mentioned jazz festival was holding a sound walk. I thought I would join in and it was a walk around the city in complete silence listening to the sound the city makes. There was about 50 people and as we walked around the city it looked like we were a cult, a lot of stares. I got to 40 mins before the guide took us to a place that would be a muggers paradise and seeing as I had no really epiphanies by then I left the cult. The leader wasn’t happy.

Across the road from the hostel was a massive casino complex which wouldn't fair too badly on the strip in LV. Did a bit of gambling action and broke even, wasn't the same gambling without my gambling buddy Peet Ahhh Wall Ing Town, but alas it had to be done. Then watched The Dictator, meh same old, not as good as Borat. Then watched the first match of the Euros between Poland and Greece. The German people I was with had a good time watching the angry Greek reactions during most of the match. Was a good first game and the sports bar was packed with Europeans. By 5am my enthusiasm for anymore sport had gone and I headed back to the hostel. The Germans stayed for the next game, dedication for sure.

Saturday headed to the MCG to watch an AFL game, this was more to see a game in the MCG. The attendance was 48,000 but because of its size it looked empty in places. The match was between Richmond Tigers and the Freemantle Dockers. It was a wet day so was difficult to catch the ball, which made the game close and more exciting, it was Freemantle who triumphed in the end, with the game only settled in the last 2 minutes. One thing I didn't comment on before was the appalling anthems each team have, they seem like they were written by an 80's soft rock bands. Richmonds goes something like - we are Richmond from the tigerland, we are the tigers, grrrr. richmond tigerland, grrrrrr and so on. After the game headed back to the hostel for a nap before meeting up with Alex in the evening who was the very first person I met on An Indian Abroad in Montreal. We went to a couple of bars and had a catch up as Montreal felt like a long, long, time ago in a continent far, far away. Again thanks to Alex for taking the time to meet up, was good to reminisce about Gab and Chin Chin.

Sunday headed to the Market which was big and had a wonder around the different stalls. Then went on the circle tram which is a free service and does a loop of the city so saw some more of the docklands area which I hadn't seen much off. Then went to fed square and the animation museum which had some exhibitions going on. One was about digital world and how it had moved on. The sensations exhibit was very nicely down and played some pro evo soccer. Watched some street performers on the square before doing some house keeping back at the hostel. Did one final walk around Melbourne in the evening. One thing I found kind of funny during the week was people thinking I was a mugger as I walked behind them, seeing their reactions as they let me past. Its not happened anywhere else just Melbourne. I was a safe distance behind but happened on several occasions on flinders street. So got the look of a mugger as well as a terrorist. Beautiful.

A sports orientated week good times.
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