Friday, February 01, 2013

melbourne, part 2

Meh, I always lose interest in the second part of any travel post. Often I lose interest in the first part, too!

Okay, so the rest of Melbourne: we ate some food, we went shopping, we ate again, we slept, we ate, we wandered, then shopped, then ate. I guess I could go into a bit more detail.

I'm not sure why I left the last post where I did. After the market, I got tired and we sat for a while in a nice park. Then we went to two different outlet malls! One of them was really big and ugly outside, and mostly empty inside. Lots of the shops were gone, making the ones that had stayed look really lonely. The second outlet mall was attached to the Hilton at South Wharf and was quite a bit swankier. There were no empty shops there!

We wandered down the wharf area and found a nice Japanese restaurant for dinner. We sat at the reclaimed timber tables and benches along the river. I was brave and tried plum wine, which was a bit sweet for my tastes, but still nice.

Wednesday was our last day in town. We took the tram down to St. Kilda, which is a little seaside town on the southeast edge of Melbourne. It was very charming and I decided that I wouldn't say "no" to living there, though I don't think anyone will ever ask me to because it's a wee bit pricey. Lovely seaside towns on the edges of big metropolises tend to be that...

We returned to the city center and explored Federation Square for a bit. Federation Square is one of those bits of city that someone spends millions of dollars redeveloping and then it becomes a tourist attraction for that reason alone. Well, kind of. It is meant to be a modern cultural center. The Australian Open was just beginning in Melbourne that day or perhaps the day before, and there were big screens set up on the sides of buildings in Federation Square. There were also lots of lawn chairs scattered about so people could relax and enjoy the tennis.

We wandered into one of the buildings, which had some gift shops and some historical displays and a big screen showing TED talks and seemed to house some sort of conferency, museumy-type lecture hall. I thought we were leaving, but then Hugh led me into a place called the Australian Centre for the Moving Image: it was brilliant! It was like an art and science museum hybrid, dedicated to video: television, movies, cinematography, video games, all sorts. It was really interesting and had lots of cool interactive bits. And it was free to get in! I'm totally going back there to hang out.

I forced him to stop and pose.

And that was about it. We pretty much wandered to the airport after that.

When the plane landed in Adelaide, I involuntarily breathed a sort of relieved sigh. We were home, in the quiet, sleepy, laid-back, nature-surrounded country town that is also frustratingly stuck in the past and spraawwwwwling. Sigh, why can't I find a place to live that suits me just right? Am I too demanding? I want the country and the nature and the relaxed atmosphere, but I also want the humming and the movement and the open-mindedness and the excellent transport connections. And I guess I do get both, because I've spent the last 7 months in Adelaide, and get to spend the indefinite future in Melbourne!

A Melbourne tram is just like a rhinoceros on a skateboard so, you know, be careful.

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