Mel Byrne in Melbourne :)
Thought I'd try to summarise my 5 months in Melbourne in a blog, hopefully the pics will do most of the talking :)
My initial arrival in Oz was a large crowded backpackers in Melbourne city centre; with only 1 kitchen and about 1 million people trying to use it; at least it felt like that. It was chaos and messy.
After Laura and I split up (i.e. she travelled up the east coast and I stayed to find work) I was keen to get out of the hostel asap. Luck was obviously with me that week as I managed to find a double room in a lovely apartment overlooking the Docklands and I had an interview for a short-term role in Cadbury. Initially the role was for 3 mths but this was extended to 4 mths in December.
Overall I spent just under 5 months in Melbourne and I've loved it. I've met so many great people and its a beautiful city with lots of things to keep you entertained. I've met a few characters along the way including a homeless guy who asked me for a "hug for the homeless" on the street !
My favourite way of spending a free day in Melbourne was to go wandering the streets and lane ways and numerous gardens/parks to see what I could find. So much of Melbourne's best bits are hidden off the beaten track.
One of my fav weekends in Melbourne was Melbourne Cup weekend where everyone got dressed up in their Sunday best for the Races and sat on the lawns drinking sparkling wine from the bottle :) Dinner in the Docklands was also a lovely affair as I got to watch the sun set over the city, up there as a highlight is also watching the amazing sun sets from my 15th floor apartment, learning to salsa at the Night Cat in Fitzroy with Marie & Tony, playing laser games at work, riding the rollercoasters in Luna Park with Anna & Ruth, the Cadbury Xmas party where I dressed up as Amy Winehouse and having dinner in Southbank with the girls :)
I spent Xmas in Sydney with Lorraine, Sam and Grace, they were good enough to put me up for 12 nights on their couch. We had dinner on Xmas day with 30 other Paddys; unfortunately it rained all day; so it wasn't exactly the Xmas in the sun I was hoping for :(
I did all the usual tourist hotspots in Sydney; the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Botanic Gardens, Bondi beach, Paddington market, the New Years Eve fireworks etc...
January was my last month is Melbourne so I was determined to make the most of it, I still had so many things I wanted to do. Managed to fit in a pub crawl of Melbourne's roof top bars with the girls, the St Kilda night market, a paint party with Chloe and John, Australia day BBQ at Marie's place, Aussie day fireworks in Fed Square, outdoor cinema in the park called Moonlight cinema with Laura Mc C; it was a perfect Melbourne night; still 30 degrees at 11pm.
Summer in Melbourne is brilliant, there is so much going on; most of it free. Caro arrived on the 6th Feb and we chilled in Melbourne for a few days before going on a day trip to Phillip Island to learn to surf and see the fairy penguins arrive home to their burrows at sunset. It was a really good day, the surfing lesson was good fun, but I don't think the pros have anything to worry about ;)
We've been on the road now for over 3 weeks, its taken me a while to get back into the backpacker lifestyle; sharing rooms with 4-6 people, communal kitchens, communal showers, no air con etc.. all great fun :)
Caro is currently drafting the next blog on our exploits in Tassie, it will be winging its way to you shortly.