Goodbye Melbourne, hello Tasmania
29 Jan 2006
|Gosh, the first week has gone already! This is the first Monday we have had in 2 weeks as the last one disappeared somewhere between London and Singapore. I've really come to like Melbourne and am quite sorry to be saying goodbye to it after what seems like no time at all.
It has been really really hot for the past few days - minimum "2 shower a day" kind of hot so I won't be too sorry to leave that behind. It's now cooled down but still very humid. No we don't want to swap it for England's weather.
Following a recommendation from the Melbourne contigent of O2's marketing department, we went to the bohemian Brunswick Street and the excellent Fitz restaurant. I can honestly say that I had the best Kangaroo Salad, I ever had (OK, the only one). Look out for Foresters Shiraz from Margaret River, Western Australia - absolutely superb.
We also finally got to the Queen Victoria market when it was actually open! It's massive and has clothes, shoes, knick-knacks, hats, wooly jumpers etc as well as fruit, veg, meat & deli goodies. Prize for the most bizarre thing - a bottle opener made from a large kangaroo scrotum (yup, really). They also had cages of hen, ducklings and pigeons. I wanted to liberate the cute little ducklings but we didn't have a bath in the apartment for them to swim in and I didn't want to leave them in the sink. We got lamb sausages and a whole tray of steaks for only $6 so it's been a true Aussie red meat festival, even though we had to grill them as our apartment is "sans barbecue"! Oh and there is a statewide fire ban as well cos of all the bushfires.
Saturday we went to the Melbourne Museum which is a quite odd collection of things where giant tortoise shells sit happily next to a display of 1960's washing machines. Having said that we did spend a very happy few hours browsing around and it rained all the time we were in there too so not bad. (And they do wicked chips in the cafe.) Did you know that Charles Darwin's pet giant tortoise, Harriot, is still alive and well and pottering around in Queensland zoo? She's estimated to be a mere 170 years old.
Yesterday we went to the Docklands to see the boats in the Volvo Ocean race. They're on stopover here until 12th Feb. As you can see from the photo it wasn't quite what we expected!! Anyway the ABN Amro team tent was handing out free grog so al was not lost.
We still can't get used to the use of the word "Victorians" in the present tense. The folk from the state of Victoria are a proud bunch and like to advertise that the Victorians are doing this and that. There's a current ad to say that the A380 Skybus needed a big runway and the Victorians are proud to have built one in record time. To our ears that sounds like amazing foresight!
Lots of quirky things here, yesterday we saw a man outdide Flinders Street station, dressed as a sperm and handing out free condoms and I thought well that's something you don't see in London!! Imagine being the recruitment agency trying to fill that vanancy! I also have wanted to visit Lord of the Fries but there's always a massive queue! There are also quite a few truely appalling buskers here, they all sound like the early rejects from Pop Idol. In fact there is one roaring the hokey cokey right now outside this cafe.
We're now off to Tullamarine airport to get our flight to Tasmania. (I can't take much more of this bloke's off-key renditions of popular classics).
Steve & Mad