17.09.2008 - 21.09.2008
As we drove to Melbourne we both reflected on our year away and the many amazing sights we had seen. We arrived into Melbourne with a strong sense of ensuring that we make the most of our final trip in Australia's sporting and culture capital. These thoughts quickly evaporated as we hit the rush hour traffic. As we drove across town to see the street made famous by the television programme Neighbours, we both became extremely agitated! E-J was trying to avoid the city trams, negiociate the one way streets and some awful drivers, whilst Sam read out the directions and brewed with anger and frustration when E-J didn't understand them! After taking two hours to get through the traffic our reward was to find out that the street was being used for filming and we weren't able to access the street at all! Not the best start!
The uneventful evening past and after dropping off our hire car we were ready to take in the culture delights of Melbourne. We explored the iconic town hall buildings and the Victorian Flinders Street station.
However, we both felt unsure of where to start or what to see. We also felt slightly tired of arriving in a new city and having to see all the major attractions like we had done for the last year.
We therefore decided to split up for an hour, with E-J deciding to explore the shops, whilst Sam went to the iconic home of Australian cricket, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Sam took a tour around the 95,000 seater stadium and listened with strong interest, whilst E-J enjoyed the various different fashion houses of Melbourne.
An early night was taken that evening as E-J went to bed with a terrible cold and Sam went to sleep listening to E-J doing her best Darth Vader impression.
Friday morning in St Kilda was spent looking lovingly at all the fine bakeries and enjoying the fresh croissants with a great cup of coffee, which is all part of the Melbourne cafe culture lifestyle. In the afternoon we took the local transport of a tram into the city and visited the National Art Museum of Victoria. Feeling slightly cultured out we met our good friends Bre and Mark in the city for a few drinks.
Mark and Bre were friends that we had met whilst doing the Inca trail almost a year ago and Bre, in her home town was an expert in the local bars of the city and she also managed to find us a fine Chinese restaurant. Having enjoyed a few pints, some cocktails, a couple of shots and two bottles of wine we were all feeling fine!
Surprisingly the night ended in a slight blur, in one of Melbourne's more glamourus bars. Perched atop of Melbourne’s beautiful city skyline, the staff at the Blue Diamond bar were relieved to shout the words "last orders" as four intoxicated people were the last to leave the penthouse bar, taking the lift back down the fifteen floors.
It would have been foolish for either of us to have made any plans for the Saturday morning as we both woke up feeling a bit under the weather, at around midday. So with are last full day in Melbourne we managed to enjoy a fantastic pizza and wander around the shops of St Kilda before E-J went off to meet her friend Tracy for a drink while Sam found himself back in a pub with Mark and Bre.
Having once again over induldged in far too many drinks and enjoyed our evening, conversing with many of Mark and Bre's good friends, we thought that sleep was a good idea before our early morning flight back to Sydney so we staggered back to our hostel just before four o'clock!
Amazingly at seven o'clock that morning we managed to wake up, grab all our belongings and make it to the airport in time, although are brains were still probably in the bars of Melbourne!
Sam's Comments: With fewer slot machines, tucked away pubs, green parks and vibrant music scene Melbourne felt almost like an English city.
E-J's Comments: Despite being absolutely freezing, Melbourne is a great place, with lots of great sights cultural things to do. We had an absoutley brilliant time with our firends seeing Melbourne by night too!