Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trip To Victoria - Day One

We had an early start to the day getting up at 3:30 to make kimbap (sushi) to take with us on the flight as we were travelling with Virgin Blue and they don't provide anything. They truly are a budget airline. Our flight left at six so we caught a taxi at 4:30. Our driver was Mika, a Tongan, and he is almost the only driver I've seen to use blinkers. He couldn't shut up though.

On the flight we were seated next to a family of five - in only three seats. They had two babies who cryed nearly all the way. What fun.

The funniest thing that the flight attendant asked us was, "Would you like to buy something from the menu?" Four dollars for some Pringles that you could fit into the palm of your hand is a bit rich for me. Interestingly the flight attendants wore blue gloves when collecting the rubbish. I guess there is a health and safety issue there. And what happened to all of the pretty flight attendants that they advertise? We had one who looked a bit like a bulldog.

Yu-Jin was all excited on the plane and fairly well behaved but do you think he would go to sleep? No. As soon as we arrived in Melbourne and caught the very handy Skybus to Southern Cross Station, formerly known as Spencer St Station, Yu-Jin promptly fell asleep. The station was just across the road from our hotel. When I went to check in the online booking hadn't indicated that there were three of us, even though the price I paid included two adults and one child, so they had to upgrade us to a courtyard room. And it was not a nice room.

We left our stuff and headed off into the tourist sunset. Miky was able to remember where the shops were even though she hadn't been to Melbourne for seven years. Wow. But she became more and more upset about the room we had been allocated as it wasn't conducive to relaxing. I rang the hotel and spoke to Stuart who agreed to upgrade our room, at our expense, to one that was a bit more comfortable.

One of our first ports of call was the Fitzroy Gardens where we saw the Conservatory, Captain Cook's Cottage, the Fairies Tree and the Tudor Village. I got Yu-Jin a lovely little replica of Cook's ship the HM Bark Endeavour.

The Rialto Building in Melbourne.

Inside the Conservatory in Fitzroy Gardens.

Inside Captain Cook's Cottage.

Captain Cook's Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne.

The Tudor Village in Fitzroy Gardens.

Back to the hotel and we changed rooms. You know how I mentioned that Miky was able to remember where the shops were even though she hadn't been to Melbourne for seven years? Well, she couldn't remember our original room after less than four hours. What a difference. Our superior twin deluxe, or whatever it was called, was excellent. Miky could now relax so we headed to Chinatown to have tea. Our restaurant of choice was Yuriya, a Japanese restaurant, and their tempura is great.

The first thing that struck me about Melbourne was the cigarette smoke. Melbourne must be the smokers' capital or somesuch. And Melbourne was also full of Koreans and West Coast Eagles fans who had just won the AFL grand final and were continually parading themselves around in uniform. We'd come to Melbourne to get away from Perthites not be amongst them.

The Melbourne trams held some fascination for Yu-Jin and he couldn't wait to ride one. Once on board he said something along the lines of, "This is the way to travel."

It was most unusual to see cars pull to the left when they want to turn right and wait for the lights to change red if they wished to cross in front of a tram line. But, it is necessary to avoid colliding with trams. They call it a hook turn.

Krispy Kreme doughnut shop had opened its first store in Australia a week previous to our arrival and was just around the corner from our hotel. Earlier in the day there was a queue of some 50 people out the door waiting to be served. At about 8:30 tonight there was still a lineup of about 20 people.


Hammysmum said...

Did you even cinsider climbing to the top of the Rialto building? How many stories is it.

Hammy said...

No, actually. Not in the slightest. I would have slapped myself if I had thought of that. Too sick to contemplate it at the time.