So after months of waiting and anticipation, off we went to the other side of the world. We don't normally plan trips this far ahead of time but the hubs managed to score first class tickets using our frequent flyer miles so we had to set it all up way in advance. And yes, it was awesome.
Just about 24 hours later, we arrived bleary eyed and confused about what day it was in Melbourne. In an effort to stay awake that first night (to fight the jet lag) we booked an afternoon/evening tour to see some of the wildlife just outside of the city. First stop was a farm where we got a chance to feed kangaroos and wombats. I wasn't sure what to expect but both are adorable and we had a great time.
Just as the rain started we stopped at a Koala sanctuary. Did you know Koalas don't like the rain? Well they don't. So they weren't hamming it up for us but they were still adorable.
See, look how miserable he looks.
Next was the top billing of the tour, seeing the little penguins storm the beach on their way home from fishing each evening. Its quite cute but I'm not sure if was the fact that I weren't allowed to take photographs (downgrade!) or it was drizzling or I was just too tired to appreciate it but it was a bit of a let down. The penguins are adorable for sure but it was just too much of a commercial circus for me. We did manage to stay awake until a decent hour so score on that. Back to the city we went.
The following day we took the train to Camberwell for their Sunday flea market followed by a tram ride to St. Kilda for the afternoon. A great day to soak up some of the atmosphere of the area and browse. There were quite a few things I wouldn't have minded taking home with me but it was about now that I came to the realization that Melbourne (and I would later realize everywhere else we visited) was really expensive! Chalk that up to the weakness of the American dollar but I wasn't quite prepared for it. And I'm not talking about just at tourist spots or high end places - the prices on just about everything from 711 to subway fare surprised me.
Our final full day in Melbourne was reserved for the lanes and the Queen Victoria Market but I somehow missed the fact that it was closed on Monday. Chalk that one up to reading the travel guide incorrectly but my fault. So off we went exploring the lanes. I had originally thought that was one place but in reality its tons of tiny little alleyways hidden all over the central city. Fun to explore and window shop. And even though we seemed to cross all over the city, Im sure we missed loads. I guess that is the nature of Melbourne.
Melbourne was wonderful as was the entire trip to Australia. I can see why Australians are so proud of their country - its a wonderful multi faceted place. We were a little surprised just how little culture shock we experienced. I expected a place so far away from home would feel foreign but that is just not the case. We both felt right at home in this city as well as everywhere we went in Australia. Its just a very friendly and comfortable place to explore. The thing about Melbourne (and Australia in general) is that there are just too many things to do in our short time there so we barely got a taste.
Our time in Melbourne was up and off we flew to Queensland. Hamilton Island to be specific. More on that to come.