06.03.2007 - 14.03.2007
After spending the last 5 days in a camper van and 3 nights sleeping in it, it is great to have a place to stay. My hostel of choice is The Nunnery. As it suggests by the name it used to be a Nunnery and so is an old style building with great character. The stairway is grand with huge mirrors and paintings in the stairwells. The hallway is quarry tiles and antique furniture, the doors are heavy, the only thing modern about the place is a key card entry system..not to mention the cool nun motif splashed about everywhere including our key cards!
This place certainly had its fair share of characters and crazy people. To name but a few I met some of the long stayers, Eva (NZ), Dave (Ireland), Sarah (Perth), Dane (NZ), Josh (UK), jared (Canada) and Sean (UK). I also met so many other people who like me were only sticking around for a few days. Straight away, Laura and I met a Dutch girl names Meriam who was so much fun to hang around with. On one of our first days we also met two guys from England called Dom and Tom, we checked out Victoria Market which is well known for its cheap fresh food produce and a huge array of clothing. We found a funky hat stall which was loads of fun, the hilariaty being greatly improved by the fact Tom sports a very large beard and has long hair...thus resulting in him often being mistaken as either Jesus or John Lennon!
The five of us hung out for a couple of days, cooking meals together and seeing places like the Botanical Gardens, Foundation Square and other city sights such as Flinders station. It is easy to get around the city as there is a free tourist bus and a fantastic tram system. I am amzed at the trust of the public transport system companies or honesty of Australian citizens as in both Adelaide and Melbourne you buy your tickets on the trams and they are never checked...everyone still buys them though!
I hate to admit to this but the sad fact is that my highlight of Melbourne was visiting the neighbours set! A friend of Dom and Tom had made in Mexico was a local guy called Nick. He offered to take us to Vermount, the suburb in which Pin Oak court is located..aka, Ramsey St. Now this was cool enough but when he turns up in a convertable mark 1 golf that is literally falling apart and the smell of petrol is so great that if anyone decide dto light a cigarette near us it would have probably blown up, it made the trip oh so much more enjoyable.
Now i did warn the others how excited i was going to get but nothing could have prepared them for the overactive child that i became when i found myself in the surreal situation of standing in the middle of Ramsey St. I couldn't help but to have a picture taken of me outside every house and a few more to boot! I chatted to the security guard that ensures people don't wander onto the properties as obviously people live in these houses and are paid a tidy sum to allow filming two times a week and let their house number change, have their car removed from the drive and a number of other continuity issues inflicted upon them.
While in Melbourne i did check out some other city attractions, the Melbourne Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Animation and Moving arts museum being the most notable. Also a few scenic spots of Carlton and Fitzroy gardens that are located across the city were great to chill out in.
Dom and I spent an afternoon at the beach resort of Melbourne, St Kilda. Here is the famous Lunar park, an old skool fairground where the entrance is a large clowns mouth...actually quite terrifying! The beach wasn't that amazing and the wind chill factor didn't make it the best to laze on for that long.We kept ourselves entertained by doing gymnastics, break dancing and body popping (well me attempting anyway!). We took a stroll down the popular and swanky Alders Street. This is every tea drinkers and cake eaters heaven...we couldn't help enduldge and blew our daily budget on the lovliest cakes we could lay our hands on. This street is filled with beautiful people, even the joggers were stunning.
While in Melbourne the Moomba festival was on. This is a 4 day event based around the river. Watched the bird man competition which is always good for a laugh wherever in the world you are. Took a carefree stroll along the river, taking in the fairground atmosphere and all the free entertainment that was put on.
Much of my socialising while in Melbourne was spent in the hostel drinking the notorious goon. Now for those of you that don't know what that is and i am unsure whether i ave explained this in my blog before, is a very cheap alternative to wine. Now no one is really sure what is in this stuff but i think it is fair to say that grapes are not high up on the ingredients list. I have drunk from a box of goon that states that it contains, milk, fish, eggs and nuts. Whatever is in it, it is sure to take you from sober to stupid goon drunk in a matter of around 30 minutes and you can be sure you will have the worst hangover for most part of the next day which gives you plenty of time to try and piece together what antics you got up to the night before! When i did make it out of the hostel, Melbourne had a pretty good nightlife. The nunnery was located in the trendy Fitzroy area which is very popular to go out in. Bars to mention are Bimbo delux, a trendy night club and the Night Kat, where I danced to a 12 piece jazz/salsa band one night. There were several other bars and pubs along Brunswick and Smith st that we checked out too. The scene is quite similar to Camden...a place where every fashion and trend has a place. I also had a cheeky red wine in a very English pub called the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the city after a hard day lazing in the Botanical Gardens, drinking with the suits who had just left work...the poor souls!
The only thing on the backpacker to do list that i didn't manage to tick box was to go to the Neighbours night in St Kilda to hang out with toadie and lynn and listen to Karl Kennedys band! Something tells me that i didn't miss out on too much!