The 11th of January I arrived in Melbourne. Got on a bus towards the hostel and quickly jumped in my bed, a good bed luckily! Soon my roomies came in (from England and Sweden), so I decided to take a shower and join them to the Boozy Bingo downstairs. I didn’t sleep properly the last 2 nights because of the 48 hours of traveling (from Dubai to Kunming to Shanghai to Melbourne – who would book such a flight!!), so my eyes got smaller and smaller with the second. I then realized that I booked a ‘party hostel’: people dancing on the table, doing ‘assignments’ when a certain number was named (read: shouting, kissing, running etc) and all I thought was ‘oh my, I’m getting too old for this!’ – I finished my drink and went upstairs. I was glad to see my room was full of chill people, so I could get some good night sleep. Well, that would have been the case if my jetlag had not kicked in…. I think I only slept for 2 hours.
Blog & photos below, video here!
St. Kilda Beach – penguin spotting
The next morning I went out to walk around the neighborhood of St. Kilda. I got myself a breakfast-shake, enjoyed the palms in the streets, the sun and walked through a park to the beach. Loved it! I went to the St. Kilda Pier and saw a sign that at the end of the pier lives a colony of penguins that you can see at night. So that’s when I’ll be coming back! I sat down at the harbour with the nice view of all the boats in front of the skyline of Melbourne. Back to the beach I spread my towel and just laid there trying not to fall asleep right away.
A real nice surprise was that Juliana, a Brazilian girl who I met in Brazil 8 years ago, was in Melbourne as well. What are the odds! So around 8 pm we went to Captain Baxter to have a nice wine while watching the sunset at the St. Kilda Beach with 2 friends of hers. It looked almost surreal! After the sunset we went to the pier to see the little penguins. And we did! There even was a tiny little fella who crossed the pier to the other side so we could really see it wiggling and jumping from rock to rock. Although it was already dark (no flashes allowed), I tried to film it as you will see in the video above 🙂 Back at the hostel, I put my earplugs in, covered my eyes and slept like a baby. Hi Australia!
Hot hot hot hot!
Wednesday it was already 38 degrees at 10 am! Actually I wanted to go to the CBD (Central Business District), but it seemed better to stay as close to the sea as possible. Good choice: at 2 pm it was 43 degrees and there were more people in the water than on the beach! I couldn’t handle the heat anymore and went back to the hostel to take a shower. An hour later we went back to the beach with almost all the roomies. Cooled off in the ocean again and chilled at the beach. After some free burgers at the hostel, I went back to St. Kilda Beach to meet with Joel, a guy Anna and I met in Portugal last September. He just moved into the neighborhood that day so he offered me to stay at his place for the next couple of nights. So nice! A fancy apartment owned by Grant & Marissa, a really nice couple with their cute dog Max :).
1000 Steps, Federation Square & Hosier Lane
After some really nice Pho at Victoria Street we went to have some drinks at a friend of his. Ended up in a fancy bar called Carlton Club which looked like a Moulin Rouge – Jungle mixture. The next morning I had to get up early to get to Chelsea, an Australian girl Anna and I met in Vietnam during Christmas a little more than a year ago. So funny how those things work out. She got a friend from England staying at her place, so together with her and a roommate we went to the east of Melbourne to do the 1000 steps. A memorial walk to experience a tiny sense of the exhaustion felt by the Australian soldiers following the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea during the World War II. We accidentally parked at the end of the trail, so first we walked down another path to walk the 1000 steps back up. Luckily the temperature has dropped from 43 degrees on Wednesday to 20 degrees on Thursday and Friday, otherwise it would have been more exhausting than it already was! After a really great lunch at A Thousand Blessings (yep, there’s a theme!) Chelsea had to prepare for her dance teaching class, and I went into the CBD to see the Federation Square and Hosier Lane with the streetart/graffiti paintings. Really nice!
At night Joel took me along to Brother Burger & the Marvelous Brew at the Chapel Street to meet with his (Australian) friends who he met during a boat trip in south Croatia. Big fun, until we saw the price of the beers we had: 17 dollars a beer!! (..about 11 euros). We went to another bar down the road and danced till about 2am. Great night!
Australian politeness through the roof!
So that’s where we are now*. A chill day, uploading all my photos and videos, rethinking the last couple of days and writing this blog. Just been here for 4 full days and already did so many stuff! What I really noticed about Australians, is that they are so unbelievably polite! Everybody asks you how you are (even in the supermarket and ordering a quick drink somewhere) and actually listens to and is interested in your response. I still have to get used to that, actually answering the question and also to ask them how they’re doing haha.
Tomorrow I’m going on a 3-day tour to see the Great Ocean Road, leaving at 7 am. The weather is getting better again (forecast around 30 degrees), I’m really looking forward to it!
All of you, especially Joel!, thanks for the great stay in Melbourne so far!
* Kind of… 🙂 Because wifi doesn’t always works with me here, this was written the 16th. Already went on the tour to the Great Ocean Road and moved to Chelseas, stay tuned!