To get from Canberra to Melbourne required a short bus ride and a long train ride. The train takes much longer to travel between major cities than a plane would, but I’m glad we’re taking the train as it gives us a better appreciation for how large this country is. It also gives us a chance to see the countryside roll past our window. And when we get tired of staring out the window? We watch some Mad Men. We’re up to season 3.
Unfortunately our Melbourne hostel was on a busy street, but we managed to doze off despite the noise from weekend partiers and city trams. Sunday morning started rainy, but after a yummy breakfast down a busy narrow lane the skies started to clear up. Our first stop was at the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI). It’s basically a museum dedicated to the history of film, TV, video games, etc. They also have theaters showing avant garde movies and they have exhibits of video art. It was pretty cool seeing the history of moving pictures, and the ACMI’s focus on Australian stars and filmmakers was interesting.
After the ACMI we wandered through the Fitzroy gardens where they had a cute miniature Tudor village. I was also surprised to see that they had a small JFK memorial garden that had been created back in 1965. I’m surprised JFK had such an impact on Australians. The city was pretty busy that Sunday, probably because the Australian Open final match was later that evening. After our day of walking around Melbourne we both took a nap at the hostel before making dinner and staying up late watching TV.
The next day was our last full day in Melbourne. On a negative note, someone in our hostel stole our bottle of OJ from the communal fridge! That’s the final straw against this loud, crowded hostel. No way I’d stay here again. After breakfast we spent some time figuring out our plan for the next week. We decided to rent a car the next day so we could drive the Great Ocean Road. It’s a road that goes along the coast west of Melbourne and it’s supposed to have some great scenery along the way. We considered taking a two day bus tour along the road, but decided a week in a car would give us a better chance of soaking in the scenery. After our morning of travel planning we walked along the riverfront, saw a colorful narrow alley where graffiti is allowed, and walked around the Royal Exhibition Hall where they had a World’s Fair type exhibition in the late 1800s.