So, feeling better today. I knew I would. Two very nice Canadian dorm mates took me under their wing, and took me on the tram to Federation Square. I thought I was coming from bad weather: they’re from Edmonton, and it was -37 degrees Celsius when they left home!
I got off the tram and picked up loads of leaflets in the Visitor Information Centre. I went for a coffee near the racing museum while I sifted through them. Don’t think I’ll bother going to the racing museum – don’t know of any Oz racehorses (sorry Dad!).
Is every city in the world constructing something for a temporary event, or just the ones I’m going to? Trying to enjoy a coffee in Federation Square and watch a bit of the tennis on the big screen TV. According to the commentators, this week is better weather for the tennis. It’s still boiling hot though.
Federation Square is strangely appealing. It seems like awkwardly pieced-together glass and steel. But it is quite pleasant, and reminds me of Millennium Square in Leeds when they actually do something there.
So after my coffee I wandered up Swanston Street, which is ‘the people’s street’ apparently. Don’t know what that means – just a tourist/marketing term I think. Nothing special about it as far as I could see. Just a shopping street. There was a trapeze though. And a crowd of people watching cheered as a girl made a catch. I went into the State Library, which wasn’t hugely interesting. I did learn a bit about Ned Kelly though.
Then I wandered back down the other side of the street and to a little side street called Degraves Street, for lunch. It was only small but had cafes on either side, all with tables out on the street.
I’d been told there was a supermarket on Elizabeth Street so walked up, but couldn’t find it. Then I walked back down, and it was about two doors down from where I’d started! After getting some basics I sat in Federation Square and watched a bit more tennis before getting the tram back to the hostel.
There wasn’t anything particularly interesting going on in the hostel, so I read for a while, then decided, around 7.45pm, to go out to the beach and watch the sunset. The hostel is right on the beachfront, so I crossed the road and walked left (towards St Kilda) until I reached a pier. I watched the windsurfers and fishermen and a lone surfer trying to catch a wave for a few minutes, then walked back past the hostel for ages in the other direction. I passed the life saving clubhouse, where there was a group of people about to do tai chi or something. I was really hoping they’d break into a Fatboy Slim “Praise You” routine right in front of me, but alas, they did not. I managed to get all the way along the prom and back to outside the hostel before the sun was near setting. I sat on the beach to watch the last few minutes. Took way too many photos!
I think seven days is a long time to have here, especially with little money to spend. But I’m still in the mindset of getting up early and seeing everything, which isn’t necessary. I’m in a better mindset than yesterday. This hostel isn’t all bad. Just cheap. Can’t argue too much for 6 quid a night.
I imagine this is a nice place to live. I’m in the inner suburb of Albert Park, which is between Melbourne city centre and the inlet of sea just south. It’s about a 20min tram ride to the centre. The hostel is right on the beach, which is a fantastic location. Most of Albert Park that I see on the tram ride is coffee shops and boutiques. Places you imagine people run just as a hobby, rather than to earn a living.