Monday, May 21, 2007

I had to wake up Monday at 5am to get showered and packed and take the train to the airport. I thought that would be easier, given the previous shuttle debacle. I made it to the station with plenty of time to spare, transferred to the airport line, and then...the train started to have problems. After shuffling along by 100 yards at a time, they finally had to shut the train down and end the service on that stop before my needed airport arrival. I had to rush upstairs and catch a taxi to the airport.

The flight from Sydney to Melbourne was only an hour and a half and a nice ride. My friend, Jim, picked me up at the airport. I'm staying at his house this week, so I dropped my stuff off there, and then we went down to the CBD (City Business District) and walked around all the stores and shops down there, walked through Chinatown (small), and over to Federation Square. It was built as a meeting place, town square sort of thing, but it's the ugliest building I have ever seen. I have a photo, but will have to find and post it later. For now, here's a photo of my down by the river and the city:

A few things about Melbourne. The first is that it is bloody colder here than it was in Sydney. In Sydney, other than one day of rain, it was 70 and sunny every day I was there. Melbourne is much colder, windier, and overcast. I think it was about 55 degrees out when we left the house this morning - another reminder to get a new coat! After dark, I went to a laundromat to clean my clothes and then walked back to Jim's house in the cold rain. Not his fault! I told him I needed the walk after being in the car.

Another thing about Melbourne is that it seems to be more a mixture of old and new. You'll see old churches back to back with skyscrapers, which gives the city a nice look. The Yarra River which runs through town is beautiful, and we're down exploring that area today. Earlier, we were at St. Kilda's area, which was honestly, a little disappointing, but still a neat trendy area full of shops. We were at this place in St. Kilda's where there were a ton of bakeries. It took a lot not to get tons of brownies and stuff.

As I said, we're now on the South Bank of the Yarra walking around. We went over to the Eureka Tower, a skyscraper that just opened recently. I mentioned earlier how I've been up in quite a few famous needles and skyscrapers and most have not been too impressive. I would say the CN Tower has been the best (in Toronto). But no longer - the Eureka Tower is it! It's very cool and brand new. The building is full of very expensive condos. But you buy a ticket and go to the top - 88 floors up at 9 metres a second or something. Really fast elevator. There's a fantastic lookout up top where you can see all over the city. The best part is The Edge. It's this additional thing you can do. You walk into this room with opaque glass walls that's maybe 10' X 10'. Then the door closes and the room moves outward until it's fully extended from the building, though you can't tell because it's opaque. Then, with the sound of breaking glass, the walls turn clear! I was terrified to do it, and Jim wouldn't because he was a big chicken. But it was a slow day up there and I told the girl I was afraid and she said I could stay out as long or short as I wanted to. Here's a photo Jim took of me out there. I have a better one, but will have to scan it when I get home so you can get the whole idea. I'm the one on the left.

Another cool thing from this afternoon. We went to a food court down on the river to grab lunch when I found the best place - a pancake bar! In a food court! This is what I had for lunch. Yumm...

Tomorrow, we're driving down to Phillip Island to see penguins, kangaroos and wallabies, and (wait for it) ........ Koalas! I know both my sisters are so jealous. I'm hoping to get hold of one of them to pet it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city looks beautiful and the tower, amazing! Bet you're glad to finally meet up with Jim. Pet a koala for me tomorrow :)

BTW, followed the link from your vlog and checked out the Pics of Wally and his friend...too cute!


10:21 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Glad to hear you are still having a great time, and kudos for going through that breaking glass exercise!!!!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Kelly J. Compeau said...

Oooh, pancakes, sprinkled with fresh fruit and powdered sugar, topped off with a dollup of ice cream...I want to have that every day for dinner!

Do you think you could you tuck a baby koala into your jacket pocket and bring it home for me, ediththis? I don't think customs would mind too much, right?


9:18 AM  
Blogger M-M-M-Mishy said...

Can't wait for your koala pics! Your lunch looks yummy. I'm enjoying travelling vicariously through you.

12:07 PM  

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