Wednesday, January 05, 2011


LOVED Melbourne!

The one good thing about leaving Sydney for Melbourne was that we didn't have to spend another night in that nightmare hostel!  On our last night in that hostel we ended up chatting to one of the guys in our room (the one that was mostly asleep in the afternoons) and found out that he's been doing labour work for $1000 a week! So no wonder he could afford to go out every night and come back in half cut at 4am! (he really reminded us of Cooky from Skins - Derby lad, always out on the razz, pulling birds and off his head most of the time it seemed)

So that morning (13th December) we caught an hours flight to Melbourne.  Again, arrived to a lovely blue sunny sky and trotted from the bus station down to our hostel - was boiled by the time we got there!  We chose a little hostel right in the city centre (Flinders Backbackpackers) and we booked a 4 share room, so we only had 2 other room mates to contend with, so it wasn't as stressful.  Plus, we ended up really liking this hostel, all the staff were really friendly, quite homely, and had free tea and coffee all day every day and also had a free breakfast of toast every day! bargain! Was a bit disappointed when we got into our room though as both the bottom bunks were already taken so we were up at the top again, giving each other a wave before we fell asleep! haha.

After checking in, we walked to the tourist information centre on Federation Square (which is their main square, reminded me a bit of the Bullring in Birmingham actually).  We ended up being total geeks and collected a few self guided walks for the city, well at least it's something FREE To do!! We also picked up a really good free map of the Great Ocean Road for our trip which was handy.

So that afternoon we did the walk that ran down the river, it was about 3km's, so not too far. We got some good pics of the city from the other side of the river and nice that the sun was out with the blue sky in the background.  We saw loads of lovely restaurants along the banks of the river... bit out of our price range, but would have been a lovely place to eat.

The MCG in the distance

me tucking into a 'Boost' juice... already addicted!

We made a little detour to Coles (supermarket) on the way back to the hostel and picked up some pasta, mushrooms and bacon for our dinner.  Chatted to a few people whilst we made our dinner - one was an Irish lad (I think he was a bit slow though, so not sure how he managed to travel around Australia bless him) - we then met our room mates one of them was French, quite quiet and the other was a Turkish guy who was SO nice and sweet, he said that he was the hostel hairdresser and cuts peoples hair for $15 a go, he was doing a hairdressing course at a Melbourne college - my hair REALLY needed a cut, but had no idea what this guy was like cutting so I didn't bother going for it in case he had me in floods of tears because of a botched fringe and I wouldn't be able to hide my disappointment from him as I'd be sharing the room with him for the next 4 nights... however, on the last night he was chatting to us and showed us his portfolio of cuts and competitions he'd been in and he was REALLY REALLY good, really funky trendy haircuts... damn!!! I should have just gone for it. Oh well! After we met him we just called him 'Zohan' as he was a Turkish hairdresser, like the guy from the film!! haha.

The next day was a scorcher so we caught one of the trams (loved the trams!) and headed to St Kilda beach, about 15 mins from the city.... hmmm ... bit of a disappointment mainly because the water was disgusting and brown and the beach doesn't have tons of character.

We also made a big mistake and set up our towels etc near a group of teenage girls and then their entourage grew and grew and we ended up right next to the biggest bunch of kids on school holidays who were playing with that flying rugby ball style thing near us... made a sharp exit after that got going as usually they end up going straight towards my head.  St Kilda area was pretty nice though, the houses looked lovely and nice little shops and cafes - but if we had to choose between Sydney or Melbourne, we'd def choose Sydney as the beaches are so stunning.

here she is again!

That night we had a bit of a wander around the city and saw it all lit up - we were still really aware of spending money so unfortunately didn't have a night out in Melbourne and saved our cash for our trip along the Great Ocean Road instead. Luckily that night Marts bunk buddy had checked out and so I took the bottom bunk and we put up a little sarong so we created a little den for ourselves and watched some films on the laptop (we watched Australia with Hugh Jackman, quite liked it).

Oh a tip for other backpackers, take your laptop to Federation Square for free wifi! very handy.

The final day we were there, the 3rd test of the cricket started, so we headed to Fed Square, had some brekky on the steps and listened to some Christmas Carols (played by the Sal Army) which was really nice, then we spotted that the cricket was on the large screen on the square, so Mart sat and watched the cricket and I geeked it up again and did a self guided tour called 'Laneways & Arcades' which covered all of the little lanes of the city.  Even though I know I was a total nerd doing this, it was a really nice little walk actually, and Melbourne is known as a cafe city, so there were TONS of little lanes and alleyways with really cool cafes and funky boutique style shops (a bit like Brighton).  I think that the girls in Melbourne dress a bit edgier and are up to date with fashion a little bit more than the Sydney girls, the Sydney girls are more surf / pop style, whereas the Melbourne girls are more indie / Hoxton style if you know what I mean? Lots of high waisted cut off levis, little ankle boots and tucked in Tshirts. Was still killing me not to be able to shop, but I did need a hat because the sun is pretty strong here, so I made a big meal out of looking in all the shops and finally settled on a nice little trilby from Sportsgirl in the sale for $10! bargain!! (yeah the sales were on too... killer!)

Oh another thing I loved about Melbourne was the food, surprise surprise! Not that we ate out once, it was Coles all the way, but the menus for restaurants looked fantastic, I spotted a really cool little soup cafe and there was tons of fresh sushi around - there were loads of asian style places, so we guessed that this is a popular location for Asian people to come to Uni.

We (well one of us) really wanted to do a tour of the MCG whislt we were in town, but the day we went to go it was raining and miserable so we spent the day doing all our research for our Great Ocean Road instead, we booked a few hostels, worked out our route and picked places we wanted to stop off.  Soo excited about our roadtrip!!

Em & Mart

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