Australia - Melbourne

......Let me tell you first how I got "Down Under". How we got. I went there with my father.
......My mom heard one day on the radio that we can apply online for the visa for Australia. Till then, the closest embassy was in Serbia, in Belgrad. I checked on the internet and what she heard was right. Electronic visa.. and for free.
......The next day (it was June) we started planning. Best time.. November. It was Spring there. I found the flight Bucharest - London - Hong Kong - Melbourne and back. But hey, a new idea came to our minds. New Zealand was not so far away from there. So we put it on our list. Now our trip plan included Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Sydney and Cairns
- 3 weeks and a few days
- 20 nights of accommodation in hostels
- 6 flights
- 2 trains
- 1 ferry
- a lot of trips
- summer in Sydney
- snow in Christchurch
- snorkeling in at the Great Reef Barier in Cairns
- Sydney Opera
- Sydney Bridge
- Great Ocean Road in Melbourne
- helicopter flight
- blue little pinguins

......It was a true adventure. But let's start from the beginning.

MELBOURNE

......We landed here at the end of October 2008. After...almost 24 hours of flight. It was evening. We took the shuttle bus from the airport to the city. We got to the station in about 20 minutes. We had a room booked at Freeman's Lodge, somewhere in town. I had a map and on different conditions I would have been able to find it. But I was too tired. We took a taxi. It wasn't very far. The man that opened the dor looked like a regular grandpa. In his early 60s I guess. He introduced himself. Bob. And he had a cat. Huge brown cat. The hostel was not too big. about 15 rooms, a kitchen, a sort of living room. Enough for us. The double room had a small sink, fridge and TV. Very clean. Needles to say that we fell asleep instantly. I slept well but still felt dissy. Dad was still tired.
......We spent the first day walking in the city. We first went to the Rialto Tower. By tram. There is a touristic tram that goes around downtown. But it was too slow. We got off at some point and kept on walking. It started to rain. And suddenly everything turned gray. It reminded me of a certain city in US. but after a few hours the sun was up again. Each big city has an observation point. Melbourne has the Rialto Tower. Very nice view from up there. And the best thing was that we were allowed to get up there again, using the same ticket. So we got back in the evening. Spectacular view, as you'll see in the pictures.
......There is also Federation Square. A strange, modern building. An architectural masterpiece as all the travel guides say. Well.. it's debatable. But we had there the best beer in the past few days.
......Yarra River is not very wide. There are some small touristic boats. The cruise is not very interesting though.
......The travel guide (Lonely Planet - South East Australia) said that the zoo is great. We found it after changing several trams. It was fine, but not the best I've seen. A mixture of zoo and botanic garden. Very nice flowers and a tired and upset bear.
......What amazed me was that at 5:30pm everything was closed. From shops and stores to museums. In that city the life ends at 5:30. There is a good explanation and I knew it. But I was still amazed. We were in downtown. People only work there. 90% of them live in the suburbs. Up to 40km around the city center.
......After getting up again in the Rialto tower we got back home. With a small stop at the supermarket to buy something to eat and drink. We were both so tired. But it was a great first day.
......The Melbourne adventure had 3 chapters.
1. The city
2. Great Ocean Road - on day two
3. Phillip Island - on day three

Now enjoy the pictures taken on the first day at the end of the world.

Yarra River



St Paul Cathedral

Federation Square

Telstra Dome

View from the Rialto Tower




Melbourne by night - Telstra Dome
The Crown Tower
Eureka Tower






The zoo & botanic garden





Little blue pinguins. typical for Southern Australia. We went to see them on Phillip Island. We saw them but weren't allowed to take pictures.































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