Australia, Melbourne

Our first full day in Melbourne was a real lazy day for us, the weather was horrible and we just spent the day indoors, as it was Good Friday, Pablo and Rachel were off as well. Rachel had a little work to do and Pablo was sorting out ready for the evening BBQ while Nao and myself were busy emailing and writing blogs !
We did however make it out for lunch, great burgers at a local restaurant, then a little shopping to supplement the evenings food and a quick trip out to St Kilda’s in the car. We took a stroll along the esplanade and past the theme park then bought some fabulous cakes to have after our BBQ.
Pablo worked his magic later and produced some great food, a few beers helped it down and by the time 10.30 came round we were all tired and ready for bed.
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A few photos from our first day in Melbourne.

Rachel and Pablo were away early the next morning, off to the Whitsunday Islands for a short and well deserved holiday, leaving Nao and myself there house, how very generous 😉
We wasted no time and headed into town, a quick piece of toast and a cup of coffee and we were soon heading for the train station, destination Flinders Street Station !
Like I said earlier it’s only 15mins from Yarraville so very good location for us. As per normal Naomi had read the guide book and I hadn’t, it’s my policy not to otherwise I just want to see everything and of course you can’t. I have therefore decided that what I don’t know about I can’t miss !!
Now, Melbourne may not have the stunning skyline of Sydney but it’s a little more compact and the shops and restaurants are much more central and therefore easier to get around, and the public transport like the rest of Australia was efficient, clean and easy to work out.
Now, Naomi’s friends had said we should go see an Aussie Rules Football game, or AFL as they call it. There was a local derby on at the MCG so we’d already bought tickets. The game started at 1.40 and from Flinders Street it’s a short walk along the river to the stadium. We busied ourselves before the game with a trip to the Eureka Sky Deck, it’s Melbourne’s tallest building and has a viewing platform at the top. The views were fantastic despite it being a grey day and of course we took loads of photos. A little extra thing is something called the Edge, it’s a glass box that you get into, then it slides out from the building until you can see the pavement 200m below through the glass bottom. Your not allowed to take photos, they do that for you and as per normal they charge a fortune for them, needless to say we didn’t get the photo. In all honesty I wouldn’t recommend the Edge, you don’t get a great view, you can’t take photos and it’s another $15 you could spend on something else !!
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A few photos from the walk from the station, via Federation Square to the Southbank and the Eureka Tower.

Once on the ground we stopped for coffee and cake before taking a leisurely stroll to the MCG. Despite there being about 80,000 people at the ground we never felt crowded, it was easy to get in and find our seats, the view was great, the game fantastic and the food was reasonable considering where we were. We decided to support Collingwood as the guy next to us was also supporting them, a good decision in the end as they were run away winners, 93 to 58 !!
It was a great day and if your ever out here it’s well worth going to at least one game, good all round family entertainment and still a reasonable price !!
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Our walk from the Southbank to the MCG, what a great venue !!

We walked back into the centre via a different route, taking photos of everything on the way and headed straight for the half price ticket booth. Melbourne had a comedy festival on with hundreds of acts in lots of venues all over the city. We fancied seeing a show so we bought tickets for The Best of the Edinburgh Festival, it’s basically three comedians on one after the other ! The show wasn’t on until later which left time for a quick beer and a bite to eat before it started.
To be honest a wasn’t that impressed with the show, one of the comedians was ok but the other two seemed like they were pissed or stoned and I just didn’t get there humour, oh well, can’t win them all.
It was getting late after the show so we jumped on a train and headed back to Yarraville 😉

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Photos from the rest of the day !!

Sunday morning and after breakfast we were back on the train and on our way into Melbourne again. Once we’d arrived we got on the free tourist tram, it basically does a loop around the central area, you can get off and on where ever you please. We got off at the Parliament building and just mooched. There are some lanes in Melbourne that graffiti artists are now allowed to use, some of it’s good and some isn’t, either way it adds colour and vibrancy to some of these little lanes and they’ve subsequently become a tourist attraction. So much so that they even produce a map detailing there location. We stopped at a few,took photos and moved on to China town where we had lunch before getting back on the tram to the Docks area.

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The photos from Parliament through China Town and the Lanes, some great art, not all of it was this good though !!

Now unlike Sydney and Brisbane we weren’t taken with Melbourne’s dock area, maybe there weren’t enough people or the weather was wrong but it felt….flat !! It just lacked life and interest, still we walked through and took photos before setting of back into the centre. We walked back along the Southbank took more photos and eventually ended up at the Town Hall watching a great comedian by the name of Tim Vine. His show started with about 20mins of quick fire one liners but later it became a chat show. He’d had people fill out small forms detailing something unusual they’d done. Naomi ended up being his second guest and of course the cycling through Namibia naked got a huge round of applause as did the total mileage of our trip !! He was certainly more professional than the previous evenings entertainment and was a great end to our third day in Melbourne !!

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From the docks back along the Southbank and into town.

Monday morning and our last day in Melbourne, we’d made plans for dinner with three people we cycled through Africa with, Tracy, Chris and Natalie, we arranged to meet them at 4.00pm on the station steps, but first, a little sight seeing. More lanes and graffiti, street performers and photos as we walked up towards the old gaol. It’s now no longer used as such and is now a tourist attraction, you can even be arrested and have your mug shot taken. As you can imagine, like any gaol that’s been around for a while it’s had it’s fair share of interesting guests. Therefore there are plenty of stories to tell, some quite gruesome, there were plenty of hangings while this gaol was in use !! Ned Kelly was one of its most notorious guests but there were many others. The building is very austere and as you guide yourself round it’s quite obvious that the prison system was much tougher then than now, there weren’t even separate wings for females when this place opened although they did get there own eventually.
Next door is the old watch house and this is where until quite recently you would be brought in and arrested, the holding cells are still there as is the exercise yard. Your shown around by a female sergeant who goes through the motions of treating you like criminals, quite entertaining but only because you know you can leave !!

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Certainly an interesting place, lots of history and stories to tell !!

From the gaol we walked to the old treasury building for a quick look before heading into the park to see the cottage that once belonged to Captain James Cook. We didn’t actually go in but it’s not a big place and you can most of it from outside, lovely looking place in a fantastic location, must have been a very tranquil place to live.

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More art, fairy trees, buildings, The Treasury and gold vaults, Cooks cottage and finally our friends Chris and Tracy, rounding off a fantastic trip to Melbourne.
Our thanks to Rachel and Pablo for the use of there beautiful home, there company and hospitality. And to Chris and Tracy for making time for us in there busy lives.
Cheers guys 😉

And before I go a few random photos that just didn’t fit the narrative !!

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What a great place, whatever your into, you’ll find it here !!
Thanks for reading
Take care
JC

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About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
This entry was posted in Australia, Cycling, Melbourne and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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