Thursday, May 01, 2008

What I Did On My Australian Vacation: Day Two

Hey, maybe I will finish this in less than the two weeks it took to do, after all! Anyway, were we go...

Day Two:

As alluded to in the last post, this is the point where I experienced some misgivings about the whole package tour deal. Because the activity for Day Two featured a sightseeing bus tour of Melbourne, which started in the morning and which I was expecting to be maybe a couple of hours. Instead, it didn't finish until 1 PM. Now, my biggest concern about doing the guided tour thing was that there'd be a lot of rushing around and looking at the world through the windows of buses and never really getting to see anything, so we deliberately chose this tour, in large part, because it offered up a reasonable amount of free time at the various stopping points. But we then went and signed up to do an optional drive along the sea coast during what would have been our free day in Melbourne, so the fact that I spent an entire morning and then some hearing "and over there's an interesting place you might want to go" and "we're only going to spend a few minutes here, but it would be a great place for you to come back to tomorrow" was pretty frustrating to me, especially as Melbourne seemed to me like a lovely, friendly interesting city that I could happily have spent several days exploring. I also had the vague notion of perhaps looking up an internet friend of mine who lives in the city for lunch, but given that we didn't get back until after lunchtime, that sort of went out the window, too. And then once the bus tour finished, we ended up spending a fair amount of time in the Aussie equivalent of Wal-Mart purchasing all the stuff that everybody had neglected to pack, and then ate something of a hurried lunch. (Although, Melbournean internet friend, if you're reading this, I will mention that I did have souvlaki, and even though it was just from some food court place, it was delicious. You were so right about it being easy to find good Greek food in Melbourne! Who knew?)

By the way, while I'm talking about shopping in Australia and while I'm already whining, I will add that, financially speaking, this was so not the time to visit the country. At an exchange rate of nearly one-to-one, things were definitely on the expensive side. It was like paying airport prices everywhere.

I really don't want to be too negative here, though, because despite these frustrations, it actually was an enjoyable day, and Melbourne did strike me as a wonderful city. If it didn't require that horrible, horrible plane flight, it would top my list of places to visit again. And once we left Melbourne, said frustrations melted away and I was extremely happy with the rest of the tour.

We did find time in the afternoon to visit the Melbourne Museum, even if we didn't get to see anything like all of it. And for dinner, we went to this Italian place where I had what I can safely say, with no hyperbole whatsoever, was the best lasagna I have ever eaten in my entire life. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now, and I'm not even hungry.

And then we went to bed early again, which was a good thing, because Day Three would require getting a very early start. But more on that later. In the meantime, have a picture of some local vegetation:


I did love the vegetation in Australia, by the way. There's something about the sight of eucalyptus trees and cycads everywhere that really kept bringing home to me the fact that I truly was on the far side of the planet.

2 comments:

  1. If it didn't require that horrible, horrible plane flight, it would top my list of places to visit again.
    Next time, take a blue police box.

    And then we went to bed early again, which was a good thing and I did love the vegetation in Australia, by the way.
    After just two days, we'll make a morning person and a gardener out of you yet!

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  2. You joke, but that entire time I kept lamenting how I wished I had a teleporter, or a TARDIS. And I was so not joking. :)

    After just two days, we'll make a morning person and a gardener out of you yet!

    *meep*

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