I have been on long plane flights before but nothing comes close to that of the London-Melbourne flight. Even with a 90min break in Hong Kong this flight was long enough that even I managed to get some sleep on the plane. Still managed to watch several films… mostly ones I failed to see in the cinema. Thor, Kung Fu Panda 2, Paul, The Soul Surfer (very good), Tangled (which I loved)…
Arriving at something like 5am it meant that by the time immigration had been gotten through it was a suitable breakfast time, but also meant that I could take advantage of the free tourist hop-on/off trams that circle the city centre. This is really quite handy as you get a 45min trip around the city with on-board commentry telling you what you’re passing.
I will have to admit that I quite liked Melbourne. It’s a very nice city. The botanical garden was nice, and they have Captain Cook’s house in the park… which I have a funny feeling they brought over from the UK.
That afternoon I headed over to Melbourne Zoo. This was quite simply so I could see the main animals of Oz, in Oz… as I suspected I wasn’t going to see them any other way whilst spending so little time in Australia!!
And of course, the terribly unusual platypus!!
The next day I did go spend considerably longer at an archery store than I had planned… but gee, I got chatting and they had Jaffa Cakes… it would have been rude to have left earlier!! But after that I headed down to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), which is one of those classic sports grounds.
If you are wondering about those lights, it’s because during the winter that half of the turf doesn’t get enough sunlight for the grass to stay healthy. And I will say, if it was full (120,000 people) it would be one hell of an amazing pitch to walk out onto. I think one day I shall have to make it to a Boxing Day Ashes Test just to hear the roar of the crowd.
From Melbourne I travelled to Sydney, but whereas most people would fly I took the train. I don’t know about you (whoever you happen to be) but I do find travelling by train a wonderful way to see the country. You can sit next to the window and watch the world go by… towns, villages, farms… you know… The Country. I think you may recognise the train, based upon our Intercity 125 trains.
My next post will be coming from Sydney, however if you want to see more photos from Melbourne (and the Sydney ones) they are on my Flickr account and in the set RWC Trip-Chapter1 Australia