Travelling to and within Melbourne is actually pretty easy (now that I've done it a few times). The hour-long train ride from Geelong to Melbourne is only $7.88, and it's quite comfortable if it's not too busy and there are seats available. Then once you get into Melbourne, the MiKi cards you use to pay for the train also pay for the metro and trams through a tap-on/tap-off system. I'll admit I did take the tram a few times, but part of the experience was walking around and enjoying looking at stuff, so often I would skip the tram.
My tickets to see Wicked were for May 14th, and I'm told that the show had just arrived in Melbourne on May 7th, so there were tons of ads all over the place about the show. Throughout the day I had multiple reminders about how fun my evening was going to be. It was fun to continually get excited throughout the day as I walked around and saw Wicked posters.
My first little errand - I paid for a passport stamp back in July 2013 when I originally got my Visa, but I never actually got the stamp (logistics didn't work out before I left). I still had no trouble getting into the country because my visa was digitally linked to my passport, but I had already shelled out the cash and had my receipt, so I figured I would at least get that one thing done. I had the whole day available to wait in line, but thankfully it only took about 20 minutes. Success!
Since the show was going to be over late, I booked a room at a hostel in Fitzroy that I stayed at last Christmas when Dad and I visited Melbourne. It's a cozy old nunnery (called The Nunnery) full of young international travelers. I shared a room with a young German girl and an older Russian lady. It was cheap at $35 a night, and worked absolutely perfect for my situation. The funniest thing about staying there was the signs they had put up about "house rules". The Nunnery was a convent at one time, but hadn't had nuns in it since the 70s, yet all the signs had references to the nuns. "Keep quiet for the nuns" haha
With my bag dropped off, I set off to enjoy some scenery. During the time in which I visited Melbourne, Victoria was enjoying the last few weeks of warm fall weather before it started to get a bit cool (and I say cool, not cold for their winter). The beautiful Royal Gardens across from The Nunnery had trees that were slowly turning brown. I remember much more vivid colors (more deep yellows and rusty reds) from enjoying fall in the New England area, but I didn't expect to see fall colors in Australia. It was a bit odd because it was a really warm day and plenty of flowers were blooming in the garden as well.
My favorite building in Melbourne is in the heart of the CBD. I have no idea what the building is for, but when the sun hits the colored panes just right - it's so beautiful. Like walking through a rainbow.
I continued strolling through the CBD for the rest of the afternoon. There was just so much to see and experience! Beautiful architecture, cute little shops, and I loved the street art! Every large city has it's fair share of graffiti, but it felt like true street art in Melbourne.
|Love the bright color|
|Street monkeys :)|
Caption reads: "Tim's reputation for breeding sheepdogs is internationally known. His team of kelpies herded this flock of 1,500 merinos, in orderly commuter fashion, to celebrate 150 years of sheep in Melbourne and the arrival of the Melbourne Show.
I scored a terrific seat when I bought my ticket - very front row all the way to the right. I'd seen the show once before so I wasn't to worried if only 90% of the show was clear from my seat, but I ended up having only one or two times where my view of the main character was obstructed by a cast member. The show was absolutely fantastic!! For some reason I expected the characters to have Aussie accents but they certainly didn't - the American parts were played with an American accent and the few English characters had appropriate English accents. I sang along (only in my head) to every one of the songs and loved every single second.
When everyone exited the theatre, the CBD surrounding the theatre had been all lit up in green. I wasn't sure if it was for the show or they normally use green, but it make my walk home to the hostel extra-enjoyable.
All-in-all, a fantastic day. I had a very comfortable night at The Nunnery and walked to the train station the next morning after a leisurely breakfast. If you ever get a chance to visit Australia, I highly recommend spending a few days in Melb to take in the sights!!
|In front of the Royal Exhibition building|