Melbourne, and off to koalas and kangaroos

Trip Start Mar 01, 2008
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Trip End Sep 2008


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Saturday, May 17, 2008

With ten days left in Australia, and after spending a few days on the Gold Coast, we decided to take a cheap domestic flight south to Melbourne- to check out the city and to vist Ray's friend; Meesh.  Everyone we met traveling told us we HAVE to go to Melbourne and that we would love it, so even though it wasn't in our original plan we decided to go.  We arrived and had to get used to the tram system, which doesn't sell tickets outside- only on the train and only takes coins which we didn't have but it seems like nobody ever checks for these tickets anyway.  Meesh lives in the Fitzroy section of Melbourne- city streets lined with cafe's, bars, vintage and thrift shops, local designers, cheap food, and houses and buildings with European feeling architecture- filigree lattice work balconies, giant doors with French style huge doorknobs in the middle...it was really different than the city of Sydney and the beach towns we visited along the coast.  It had a very laid back, artsy vibe, and we had great fun going out to bars and clubs in the area with Meesh and our new friends we met there.  We even went to a footie game- a must in Australia- a sort of football meets soccer sport rare in the States but a huge deal here.  It really was great fun, and the closest we have been to a place like Brooklyn since we started traveling, so it was almost a bit like home.
When it was time to leave Melbourne, and drive back down the coast to Sydney, we spent our last few days with friends- but I had a nagging disappointment that I was about to leave Australia and I still hadn't seen a koala or a kangaroo, when Joey told us there was a place called "Symbio" nearby, a sort of wildlife rescue farm/ zoo, and that you could even feed the kangaroos!  Finally we saw koalas and kangaroos before leaving for Bali, and I was satisfied that we had seen everything we needed to- the city and beaches and hidden treasures of Sydney, Gold Coast beaches and national parks, city life of Melbourne, footie, and koalas and kangaroos.
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