Monday, January 25, 2010

Australiogue - Epilogue The Final Chapter

Finally after 2wks of writing, I have finally come to the ending chapter of the trip, the concluding chapter, the epilogue! Phew! It took long enough to get here... Luckily I can still remember stuff from the trip..

This final chapter will focus on the days in Melbourne City area itself, where I spent a total of 3 days (Angeline only 2 cos she left earlier). It was a fruitful 2 (3 for me) days for us, where we spent the time walking ard Mel city, exploring the various tourist sights, did a little shopping (me only a little, Angeline ALOT) & such...

The day of Mel begun on 4th Jan 2010, when we drove 1hr from Mornington to Mel. The drive was rather uneventful, leaving the cool windy Mornington for a sunny Mel! The day started bright & Sunny, with the prospect of good weather to come! Even though the sun was bright, the air was surprisingly cool & the wind slightly chilly! So it was not exactly very hot out there! Quite a nice weather!

After we deposited our stuff at Clara's place. sat down a while to rest, we set out in search of carpark for our vehicle cos the parking at Clara's was only free for 1hr between 8-530pm. So we gota find another place to park our car b4 returning after 530pm for free parking! When u see 1P (8-530pm) it juz means u can ONLY park 1hr free during tt duration stated, & if u exceed, u'll be FINED!! Yes FINED!! There's no way u can buy extra hour! Unless there's a 'ticket' written beneath the '1P' which means u have to buy ticket for 1hr parking during tt duration. It sounds complicated but it's actually quite easy to understand!
Us @ Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens

So our 1st stop was Royal Botanic Garden, where we found a 2P parking (means 2hr free). In we stepped into the Botanic Gardens, & it was so much bter than the Adelaide one! At least I don't feel cheated hahaha! It was HUGE!!! Lotsa of blooming flowers, pond etc... I like the feeling of the Botanic Gardens there! IT was a nice almost 1hr walk, & we headed out to find another parking space nearer to the city center. This time we found a 4P (ticket), which means pay for at most 4 hrs of parking, & it'll be free parking aft 630pm. Coincidentally, a lady (v v kind soul) gave us her ticket which still had 1hr to go, so in reality, we paid 4hrs but got 5hrs! Which we needed cos we were there at abt 115pm, so we needed to park till 630pm to get free parking!

SO anyway, after Botanic Gardens, we walked over to Federation Square & begun our small tour of Mel city! We took the city tram (FOC btw), stopped at Bourke Street (Chinatown) and shopped a while! This Chinatown is alot bigger than the one in Adelaide! Then we went to Mel central & QV center. After that, we went over to Crown Casino just for a look! Nope we DID NOT gamble... After all were done, dinner ate, it was after 7pm! We headed back to Clara's place, changed into warmer clothing (cos it's kinda chilly at nite) & headed out to St Kilda's beach for penguin watching! Yes, u heard it! Free Penguin watching!! No nd to pay to go to Philip Island to watch the penguins. U can watch them for FREE at St Kilda's! The crowd is not tt big & u get to b closer to the penguins! Another tip, if u have a torch, bring it! Cos the guides there can provide u with red cellophane that u can wrap ard ur torch so that the beam will be red! & penguins are less sensitive to red light, so it will not harm them!

Night scenery @ St Kilda's

Night scenery @ St Kilda's

NEVER SHINE WHITE LIGHT AT PENGUINS!! Cos they need a long time to adjust and recover from the blinding effect.

Cute Fairy Penguin

Another fruitful day at Mel on 7th Jan, where we started the shopping spree at Queen Victoria market! A must go if u wana get cheap souvenirs, cheap fruits & veges & nuts! Yes, they are cheaper there compared to even supermarkets! Fruits like avocadoes r sold at AUD1 each (yes they may be smaller in size but compared to AUD3.50 each, not much smaller), passionfruits @ 8 for AUD2, or mangoes @ AUD1 each! It's like the pasar malam, selling clothes, souvenirs, food, etc.. Lots of stuff. There was where Angeline started her shopping spree!! Hhaha.. She was damn excited when she saw the currency note pad, which of cos she bought eventually! It's also a good place to grab a cheap & fast lunch where sandwiches/rolls are sold at abt AUD3-4 each, pizzas @ abt AUD5-7, comparably cheaper than outside.

I'm Too Sexy for This Car

After spending half a day at Queen Victoria, we went over to DFO (direct factory outlet) in hopes of landing some cheap buys, but didnt find any that caught my eyes. Next stop, was the Library! Haha, muz b wondering y we went to the library! Their library is actually v grand! & there were a few free exhibits inside! There was one on the history of shopping (yes even that can become 1 exhibit), changing face of Victoria & books & ideas. The exhibits are actually quite interesting..


Inside of the Library

This is a very furnie painting

After the exhibits, we went for a little afternoon tea or rather chocolate dose @ a chocolate cafe! Yum Yum.. The chocolate drink is actually quite good! ALthough it was abit too thick! My order was Spicy Hot Chocolate, v thick spanish hot chocolate drink with a tinge of spice. It was a nice counter balance to the sweetness of the chocolate, but the drink was abit too thick for my liking.. Had to pour water to dilute the taste.

The very very thick Hot Chocolate

After the short break, we went in search for our dinner! Clara recommended a woodfire pizza place & off we went in search of the place! Alas, we took a different bus which took us to the wrong end of the road & we had to take the bus to return to close to our starting point again! After 3 bus changes & several miles walked, we reached the place to discover that it was closed for the New Year! What Luck!~! However, luckily we found another woodfire pizza place & settled our dinner there!

Our most expensive dinner for the whole trip - Eggplant & pizza

& it was time to head back to Clara's for ANgeline to pack & head to the airport & fly home! With us accompanying her to the bus station to take the airport shuttle, we waved goodbye to Angeline. Then we headed off for the night view of Yarra River... It was a nice walk along the river coast, with all the lightings & stuff, although it is not exactly very brightly lit...But managed to capture a few good night photos of the scenery!

Night scenery along Yarra River

Last day in Mel, 8th Jan, left with myself & Clara (for half a day). We started the day with a walk @ Fitzroy Gardens with the temperature soaring to a high of 35 degrees!! A smaller garden compared to Royal Botanic, but it has its own beauties!

Fa Lun Gong demonstration

After a short walk we proceeded to Melbourne museum. It is AUD8.50 for adults but FREE for concession holders (i.e. students) which i so happen to hold! I highly recommend this musuem! It has very interesting exhibits, some permanent, some seasonal, so check out the website b4 u go!

Blob Fish.. How ugly

Spider ahead BEWARE

There were 4 main exhibits when we went - The Fossil (dinosaurs, animals & stuff), bugs, human life & aboriginal art! I think there was a 5th cos i rem seeing sth to do with Melbourne exhibits, but can't rem if it's part of another or one of its own..

Who the Hell wears such shoes?!?!

Me on the Moon

A Big Gold Nugget!!!

Anyways, the fossil exhibits were quite interesting, cos it wasnt all abt dinosaurs. There were interesting facts abt the underwater life, special species of fish, mammals etc... The exhibit on bugs was quite interesting as well, with live exhibits of bugs enclosed in glass boxes (obviously)..

Aborignal art was ok, although alittle dull as compared to the rest but it was interesting to read abt the life struggles they encountered during days of oppression.

I kinda like the human exhibit... Where they showed the various dissected portions of the human & explained way of working for various parts of the human body. There is also a section to educate pple abt reproduction process (which does not allow photography for obvious reasons). There are exhibits on human psychology & behaviour etc...

I'm a Size U!!

Do you know the answer to the remaining 2 spaces??

After the musuem, it was all me alone to explore Mel! I went shopping, finally, for some cheap bargains. Go along Swanston street & u can find quite alot of sale going on & some are quite good buys! I managed to get 2 tops which I like! They have alot of those long maxi dresses, which are cheap but i did not buy. Shld stop myself from buying too many dresses...

The ending figure. Believe me, it started with 31006

& so, after 12 days, 2,215km of car travel, here in ends my travel in Australia... My flight was rather uneventful, no shuai ge, no special encounters etc... By the time i arrived in Singapore, i was dead tired!

My stash of goods from Australia - lots of biscuits (Arnotts, not tim tam), 2 tops, lots of photos & great experience! I miss my Trip!!!!!!! Now it's back to reality back to work...

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