Back from Tasmania. The ferry departed at about 4.30pm on Saturday. We once again took advantage of the 'Teen Lounge/Galactica' video game and pinball machines, noticing that (a) Teenagers of Today have no concept how to play pinball and (b) pinball machines on ships don't have their tilt sensors activated at all!
So we had dinner at 6.30, read a bit, and went to bed... for the ferry was scheduled to dock in Melbourne about 5:00am. yawn You couldn't sleep much past 3am anyway, since they kept on announcing 'Breakfast is now served in the Promenade and Nauticals restaurants" every 20 minutes or so.
We didn't have to wait the hour and a half to unload the car; we rolled off in about 40 minutes or so. Then the question became 'what is there to do in Melbourne at 6:20am on a Sunday morning?' It wasn't even light enough to go to the botanic gardens, so we drove to the airport, bought newspapers and coffee, and marveled at how the Ansett signs were still very much lit up. There was lots of Ansett crap around, in fact. Even the e-checkin kiosks were still there and branded.
I was also amused to see that Air Canada flies to Melbourne from Toronto, via Honolulu. Why, I do not know.
Afterwards, it was getting light, and I suggested we drive to Hanging Rock (as in Picnic at). It was mildly interesting, but more importantly it was sunny while Melbourne was gray and overcast. We drove back through the Wombat State Forest. Let's just say that after Tasmania it was a bit dull, just some wooded rolling hills that hadn't been logged in a while.
We then checked into our serviced apartment--a converted 1960's apartment building. It reminds me of my college digs (2701 Ellendale Ave, Los Angeles, why do I remember that address?) It's a bit dingy--peeling paint in the bathroom, unsealed grout in the shower, the living room is lit by a single overhead 60 watt bulb in a 'pillow' fixture, mysterious splotches (gum? bong water?) in the carpet--but it is cheap; the fresh new Medina apartments down the block go for A$182 a night. I don't feel like going barefoot here though, I'm vaguely fearful of getting stuck by a leftover syringe in the carpet.
Napped for two hours this afternoon and then walked from the apartment (roughly Domain Rd and Punt Rd in South Yarra) down Chapel Street for an hour, then back. Too many cafes and bars to count! Funkier than I expected, too. Chris had fallen asleep by the time I got back. In desperation to get an Internet connection, I signed up with AOL too, since my normal ISP can't be dialed from here.
Now what? The Laird on a Sunday evening?
Why O why O why O why O why didn't you go CLIMBING at Hanging Rock???? - that's the WHOLE point of it - hours and hours and hours and hours of fun, some of it damn dangerous, some of it impossible to see, actually, unless you have at least three people to help you haul through it.
Probably because we have absolutely no idea how to go climbing! We did however spend time scrambling around the rocks at the top of the place, and enjoyed watching families with small children go up and pet a small kangaroo with a very cute joey hanging out of its pouch. It was a fine morning, and it was worth the drive.
Which reminds me: On the way back through town, we drove through a small town nearby... let me get my atlas... Trentham, I think it was? It was kind of weird because there were huge gay flags hanging from at least three business on the (wee) high street. Can you explain that? :)
Easy - the flags were the real thing - you were in the heart of gay country Victoria (an' ya didn't know it! tee heee....). Trentham is part of an area (centering around Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, mucho mineral water etc.) which has high homosexual content. I have friends at Trentham and stayed there last September for a few days. It's incredibly cold there in winter, but kinda pretty, no?
You're right there, it was fairly pretty. Pleasant in a rural sort of way, plus lots of antique stores 'n stuff to keep the city folk occupied. I was almost tempted to stop at the bakery for scones, even...