Long Walk Round Town

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
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Friday, February 24, 2006

After the walk around Albert Park yesterday it seemed feasible to walk into Melbourne city centre so Dave and I set off to see the sights. The walk was far longer than I expected, should have read in the LP that it is 8km's to St Kilda from town, and not exactly that interesting. Could have walked through the Botanic Gardens but thought I'd leave that for another day.

The first place we wanted to visit was Flinders street and Federation square. The whole area was pretty special with the old Flinders street station and St Pauls Cathedral mixed with the ultra modern area of Federation Square. Federation Square contains a couple of buildings that weren't really of any interest to me and a giant TV screen where you can see yourself walking passed. It also seems to serve as a place for more info and ticket sales for the upcoming Commenwealth Games. Australia are going all out to advertise the games at the moment, probably because they are bound to win!

We needed to check the Melbourne General Post Office to see if our tax file numbers had arrived. So he headed along Bourke street and caught a brilliant busker on the street who had a huge audience. Not only was he really good but he also had some Grandad who was about 85 dancing around in the street with his walking stick! Was fantastic to watch and he had made more money than any other busker I have ever seen. There must have been about 10 buskers on the street but he was the only one with a crowd. The trams had to stop and beep their horns to get people out of the way!

Walked passed the GPO and it seems to have been converted into a massive department store. Slightly confused we turned to the LP and quickly found the Post Restante office across the street and collected our mail. Now the tax number is sorted we can finally start work as my money is getting in pretty short supply!

Decided to pay a visit to Chinatown but was bitterly disappointed as it was nowhere near as active as the ones in Malaysia and it seemed like most of the shops were closed. So we went back toward Flinders Street and grabbed a quick coffee in fashionable Degraves street before meeting up with Antti (Finish guy we met in Singapore) and spending a few hours sitting reading beside the Yarra river. In preparation for the Commenwealth Games they were setting up a huge line of giant metal fish in the middle of the river, one for each country involved in the games. The countries involved seem to be mainly tiny Caribbean islands and African countries. One (Lesotho) I had never even heard of! Should be a close competition....

The weather was so hot today that I tried to avoid the sun at all costs. I know I should complete my course of Doxy but I just can't take it any more so I stopped today. In my time in Asia I managed to take it everyday yet I have missed it 3 days already in Aus so didn't see the point in taking it any more. I'm sure it's probably done more harm than good anyway as I took it for so long!

After a few hours reading I decided to have a wander along the Yarra a bit further and went to take a closer look at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Pretty impressive stadium and hopefully I'll get to see some sporting event in there sometime. If I'm still in Australia come December (unlikely) then maybe I'd get to see the English thump the Aussie's on their own turf in the Ashes?

Walked back to the hostel again whilst Dave jumped on a tram and managed to get away without paying for the ride. Wish I had done that rather than walking another 6km+ for no reason. Got the blisters to prove it.

In the evening we went out with the Dutch guy from our hostel again to the Espy. It was reggae dancehall night but the music was incredibly good. The first live band were great and the female singer sounded like Bjork to reggae beats. Sounds weird but you had to be there. Retired to the hostel with another big bottle of beer before hitting the sack knackered.
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