The Weekend in Melbourne

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Melbourne, The lash | No Comments »


This isn’t so much a guide to Melbourne as it is what I did during the weekend.

  • Browsing around Melbourne Central. This large shopping centre and train station has an interesting centre piece of an old chimney under a multi paned glass roof. It’s got a good value food court with free wi-fi too.
  • State Library of Victoria – a god send for uninterrupted public wi-fi without the need to buy a Big Mac (or my nemesis, Global Gossip) if you have a laptop. It’s housed in a neo-classical building, which is relatively uncommon in Australia. It’s just across the road from Melbourne Central on Swanston Street.
  • Watching hockey at the ABN AMRO Champions trophy. Melbourne is the capital of Australian sport, and you can take your pick from Aussie rules and cricket in season, but hockey’s my game.
  • Walking down the Yarra riverfront on a hot day is an excellent free activity. This modern city has a pleasant skyline, with interesting postmodern architecture and markets around Flinder’s Street station.
  • Sunday session in St. Kilda, my favourite Melbourne social spot.

The Weekend:

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t sleep well on the night bus to Melbourne. I woke up around seven driving through the Victoria countryside, and we arrived soon after. As usual, not having a map, I didn’t really know where I was going upon my arrival. I wanted to head up to Franklin Street in the north of the central grid, went the wrong way, but eventually managed to find it. I checked into Melbourne International Backpackers at nine in the morning. I had some trepidation about going in a backpackers again, seeing as my luck had been out for almost all of the country, and it was two days until Tom, and old friend that I’d be staying with in the week, returned from the Great Ocean Road. Circumstances didn’t lend themselves to staying at Frank’s (my ex-girlfriend) either, who was another point of contact in the city. In fact, Melbourne International Backpackers was about two hundred metres from her apartment.

Flinders Street Train Station Melbourne, Victoria

Image via Wikipedia

For $25 a night, the room wasn’t exactly worth the money. It stank for one. At least there was a free breakfast at the downstairs bar. The location was perfect for the weekend though, and I headed down to the library to work for most of the morning. Once that was finished, I just pottered around the city and had a Chinese. I couldn’t really be bothered to start making friends in the hostel. The same old conversation was not going to come up again.

Anyhow, at five my old mate Rich, from Canterbury gave me a call and I headed to meet him down near the markets. Meeting up with an old friend thousands of miles from home is always pretty good, and we got typically battered. I went into town, had too many drinks with no dinner, then we took a taxi to some unknown location, drank more, then Rich called it a night. I took a taxi back to Fluid Oz bar, under the backpackers, then stood in the smoking area drinking more with a group of random Australians. I got refused service on about my third beer. It was probably a good idea.

The next day I’d be going with Frank to see England vs. Korea at hockey. It’d been five months since I’d last seen her, and considering the circumstances this was going to be quite a big deal, but with the hangover I had it didn’t really register. We watched the hockey, England won, watched a bit of the Australia vs. Spain match, then headed to the markets. We sat outside drinking away in the heat of the afternoon until about five, when my hangover caught up with me. I had to go home and pass out for the night.

The next day had two main events, interluded by a few hours of boredom. The first was meeting Andrea, who I’d been to the Great Barrier Reef with, to arrange our Great Ocean Road trip for later in the week. I met her, after some effort trying to find her, at Flinders Street Station along with two others she’d got to come along. We had lunch, then booked the car for Thursday through to Monday. They’d drive up to Adelaide in that time while I’d cover the Ocean Road and return to Melbourne. I’d originally thought of doing this with Frank, seeing as she suggested it, but it would’ve just been a bit too weird.

After a couple of hours interlude, I got a call from Tom to tell me he’d come back. I took a train to Armadale and met him at the station, to see my third familiar face of the weekend. I dumped my bag down at his place, then we went for a Sunday session down at St. Kilda. I didn’t know any of the others, but it was a fairly good session, and unsurprisingly, I had quite a hangover the next day.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Guy is Following Me!

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia | No Comments »

The first time I saw this Volkar guy was at Scotty’s in Mission Beach. Predictably, I was in a dorm where no one introduced themselves, and I couldn’t really be bothered to either. He was approaching middle age – perhaps he was in his late thirties – and he looked fairly meek, short and a little ratty looking.

Read more…

The Blue Mountains

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, The Blue Mountains | No Comments »

As comfortable as I found it, staying alone for much of the day in a house in Sydney was doing little for my social life. I’d wanted to head to the Blue Mountains since I’d heard of them, as they were easily accessible from Sydney by train, and they offered something a bit different from the typical beaches on the east coast.

Read more…


December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Sydney | No Comments »

On the bus to Sydney I noticed a couple using goon bags as pillows. Quite a genius idea, apart from when we arrived at the city, me with a particularly stiff neck, they let them down, pushing the scent of sweet sickly wine all through the coach. It’s not a smell that you want at such times, believe me.

Read more…

Plus and Minuses of Travels Thus Far

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand | No Comments »

12 Reasons Why the East Coast of Australia Isn’t Ideal to Travel Solo

1. The vast majority of English appear to be very dim Med holidaymakers who are out here for work.
2. Almost everyone else is German.
3. Sharing dorms with 18 year old European girls who talk about their health insurance plan and

Read more…

A Sense of Loathing

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Byron Bay, I am a whinging Pom, The lash | No Comments »

The second day in Byron was met with a stinking hangover, followed by a struggle out of bed. I was confused about where Aimee and Emily had gone, although I knew they were on a Nimbin trip that day so I wouldn’t be able to track them down until later.

Read more…

Running Out of Steam in Byron Bay

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Byron Bay, I am a whinging Pom, The lash | No Comments »

Those of you who’ve read my Australia entries may be under the impression that I really don’t like the place. It certainly had its moments, but by the time I hit Byron, I was losing faith in the atmosphere – the rules, the expense, the luck of the draws which I wasn’t getting, the harsh sounds of German voices absolutely everywhere. I was beginning to realise that it’s simply not a very good country to try and travel alone.

Read more…

Schoolie’s Paradise

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Surfer's Paradise, The lash | No Comments »

Surfer’s was all about the beach. Unless you were prepared to part with $50 to go to one of the theme parks, there was nothing else to do. The beach was good though – there were plenty of pretty ladies around, the sun shone brilliantly, and I had a decent book to read along with good company. Both of the full days in Surfer’s were occupied by a four hour tanning session that pushed me further towards blackness. I’d had a five month summer, and I wasn’t far off.

Read more…

Gold Expectations Undelivered

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Surfer's Paradise, The lash | No Comments »

While Brisbane started brilliantly, it fizzled out as I worked and then didn’t get to meet Annette for long again. The backpacker’s was a dive, and while I’d got battered with Ray one night, I could hardly call it a good night. It was just sitting in a bar getting pissed.

Read more…

…and the Rest of Brisbane

December 23rd, 2009 Posted in Australia, Brisbane | No Comments »

After the weekend, it felt like I was back in full time work. I said goodbye to Annette at 8 in the morning, hoping I’d see her again Wednesday, then checked into a ropey Backpacker’s near Roma St. called Cloud 9. It was only $20 a night, but it was a right state. There was litter all over the rooms and the kitchen absolutely sucked. I wasn’t going to complain though, it was nice and cheap, although I’d have preferred to stay over at Annette’s all week if I could.

Read more…