10.02.2014 - 13.02.2014
We've arrived safely in Australia and are suitably culture shocked by western delights such as good sandwiches and people with fashion sense. Like the many backpackers before us who have travelled this well trodden route we're adjusting with complaint at the Western prices. Hostels in Asia could be £2 per person per night, now they are £20. Beer was cheaper than a can of coke in Cambodia, now its a whole lot more. For these reasons we've planned a 10 day whistle stop tour of Australia stopping in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in the hope of not going home in the red.
We checked into a dorm at Space hotel (clean, good facilities and location) and powered through the tiredness to go to the Arts Centre and the National Gallery. As I walked the exhibition 'All that Glitters' I whined to myself about not doing a costume design degree as Dan used the free wifi to check the football news. We stumbled across a street wear shop with a DJ playing A$AP and a barbers that use upper cut deluxe. For a moment I was in fear of our remaining budget being spent at by Dan here. He showed excellent restraint and left empty handed with new plans for his tax rebate when we get home. In the evening we took a chilly walk to Bruswick street and went to a Chocolateria with molten hot chocolate drinks. They even sold chocolate tapas but this time it was my turn to show restraint.
On our second day we went to the State Library and Melbourne Museum. The later was Awesome and it certainly quenched my museum frustration from Asia (so much potential, poorly curated, lack of information for education) there was some of the best interactive displays including dinosaur video binoculars and quizzes. Unfortunately the bug section had real bugs. And I mean the bugs of nightmares. Never have I seen a spider so big hairy and black. The speakers played buzzing insect noises as Dan pressed buttons to turn on lights revealing turantulas and rhinosaurous cockroaches. There was also a creepy collection of taxidermy animals featuring a zebra, panda, sea lion... the list goes on.
On our last day we joined a Great Ocean Road tour which was incredible. We saw wild koala bears snoozing in eucalyptus trees and our fantastic guide told us many facts and stories along the way. We drove 207 of 271km of the Great Ocean Road passing the green coast, surf coast and shipwreck coast.
Although it was a long day ( 7am - 8pm ) we asked to be dropped off at Queen Street Night market where we ate street food and listened to live music.
We both thought Melbourne was awesome- like an American Brighton. It has style and charm.