Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Melbourne Part 2

Before I go any further I must tell you I forgot to add something last time. Wednesday we did not stay home. Dobby sang in the Festival of Music at the Festival Theatre, along with about 150 other kids, and a troupe of dancers. She was in it last year too and it was great!

Anyway, After traipsing all over Melbourne CBD for a Smiggle store, not finding one, making our way back to our room for room service dinner, we looked in the telephone book and found a Smiggle store - right around the corner from us! Typical!

So Saturday we knew exactly what we were doing. I had booked us tickets at the 11.00 viewing of the Titanic exhibition, so we had a little time to spare. Now, in Adelaide, all the shops open at 9.00am on Saturday. We thought Melbourne would be the same. So we went down to the Sky Lounge Bistro for breakfast. This is a pic of it, though not a good one.

If we booked breakfast upon check in it cost $17.95, but if we just wandered down it was over $23. We booked. But it just wasn't worth it. Dobby only had two little (and very tasty) hash browns, a dessertspoon full of scrambled egg, a bowl of cornflakes with yogurt. And a glass of juice. That was it. I didn't eat much more, just added bacon and swapped the cornflakes for tasty muesli. So we cancelled Sunday's breakfast.

After breakfast we set out for the Smiggle store. Down the street, around the corner, and we came across a heck of a lot of noisy road works. On the Friday Swanston Street was a hive of cars and trams. Saturday it was closed off, fenced off, and full of machines digging holes and tearing up the tracks! Huge job in progress.

We saw this couple of buildings along the way.

Quote of the day - Me: "Hey, look at that one!" Dobby: "Yeah, looks like some kind of building...."

I am not sure what this building is, but it looks interesting.

A few streets down we found La Trobe Street, and half of this street was blocked off to house the machinery used in the Swanston Street works. Across the road we found the mall.

Remember I mentioned that round, pointed building in my last blog? Well, all the while we had been staring at the biggest shopping centre I've ever seen! It's called Melbourne Central, and it's built around an old prison.

This is inside the building, looking up at the dome. It had areas covered in Ivy, and something different everywhere you looked.

This is part of the old prison building, inside the bigger building.

It's 3 levels high, passes over the road in one area, and you actually cross the street in the middle of the arcade in another level.

It seemed to stretch for miles!

What we found when we got there at 9.20 was that it was closed. Until 10.00. We were only there to look at Smiggle, so we knew that we would be cutting it fine to shop and then make our way to the exhibition by eleven. So we cased the joint, found Smiggle, then killed some time by looking around. We stopped at Diva for a look and found a few bargains.

Then, surprise of surprises, Dobby spent less than I at Smiggle. I wanted a notebook for my handbag. So I bought a pack with a notebook, pen, huge paperclip and eraser and pencil. Then, I thought, I need a sharpener. So I bought one of those. Then figured why not a calculator? Then a pencil case to put them all in. Now I am kitted out properly!

Outside the museum was this lovely Royal Exhibition building, with this fountain outside, which I would have liked to have had time to photograph properly... behind it they were setting up for the food and wine festival.

Our first view of the museum proper, was a stretch of open ground, with signs pointing us to the main attraction.

We had to walk fairly quickly back to the exhibition. It wasn't far, but far enough. And all uphill. We were quite pooped when we got there, with just a few minutes to spare. Well, ages actually, because people were lined up way back out the entrance.

I tied my jacket around my middle, and wouldn't you know, when we got inside they were taking photos. "Don't worry, we are only taking head shots so you're jacket will be fine" says the kid taking the photo. And stupidly I believed him. Dammit.

Still, it's not a totally bad picture I guess... we also bought a black and white one, of us standing in front of the huge propellers.

The exhibition was interesting, but so crowded it was difficult to see some of the displays. Just too many people at once. They were stopped in front of the huge blocks of writing, so you couldn't get past, they were crowded around the display cabinets so you couldn't see what was in them. People everywhere.

But the total effect of the lighting, sound, display set up (complete with a hallway, staterooms, and actual chunks of the side of the ship) was very good. There was a video playing of how they collected some of the artifacts, however it was at the end of a hallway, beside a corner, so you couldn't stand there and watch it because it blocked off the walkway!

Anyway, after spending a small fortune in the gift shop (2 books, a lovely brooch/hair pin for Dobby, tea towel and magnet for mother, badge for father, pen and stubby cooler for dad, plus the photos came to $112...) we headed back toward the city centre.

Dobby wanted to see the Tim Burton exhibition, which was on as well. And were do you think that was? All the way down the other end of the city of course! Back down noisy Swanston Street. By this time we were truly walked out and knackered. When we got there, we were rather saddened to find it was going to cost us heaps to get in, and there was a half hour wait.

Dobby was not terribly impressed when I expressed my reluctance. But we both agreed we needed to sit for a bit, so we just found a little stone wall, and watched the people walking about. There was a huge screen up, with a hidden camera, and we watched with amusement the people stopping to take pictures of themselves on the big screen. Quite funny.

Anyway, eventually we were beaten so we slowly made our way back to the room. A quick stop for Sushi on the way for lunch, even though we had eaten some lovely yogurt earlier.

This church was massive, too big to photograph at once. There are some lovely buildings on this street, and some weird people too. Like the older gentleman, wearing brightly coloured board shorts, with an equally bright, but sadly mismatched shirt, buttoned with only two buttons, rather crookedly, across his huge stomach. I joked that was Dobby's father-in-law, as her dad keeps finding her "husbands".

This chair was just sitting on the sidewalk outside a little cafe (there are hundreds, but mostly Asian food) minding it's own business. I rather like it, don't you?

Back up stairs we decided we would just sit for a while. Alas! No satellite television! That meant we only had 7, 9, 10, ABC and SBS, and we all know what weekend television is like! Dobby found her perch back on the window ledge and stayed there most of the afternoon.

We went to McDonalds for dinner, it was right near the hotel. Actually, Dobby had Maccas, I had the last of my pizza from the night before, and we stopped at a little deli and bought an ice cream each.

Sunday morning we were awake early. After packing up, we decided to go to Maccas for breakfast (hotcakes, hash browns and a drink was far cheaper than the bistro!). As we had to check out at ten, we figured we were all walked/shopped out, so we may as well head to the airport.

When we stepped outside the hotel, a taxi was waiting for us. I don't remember if I told her the taxi on the way in ripped us off, something shocking, and his car was dirty and smelly.

This one, also driven by a middle eastern person, was worse! It rattled to such a degree I didn't think we were going to make it! And his fuel light was flashing!

Anyway, we did make it, and he didn't rip us off at all. Saved ourselves over ten bucks!

At the airport, we dragged our bags around for a while looking for shops. Dobby heard there was a Smiggle shop there (did I mention she's obsesses??) but we didn't find one. That was the only time she got moody and horrid. Otherwise she was great.

We found other shops at which to unburden her wallet of her remaining money (most of it anyway). We stopped for awhile at Krispy Kreme for a snack and I read my ebook while she looked around. Then eventually we moved to the bakery and partook of some very nice baguette and pie. Eventually, with about an hour and a half before our flight we made our way down to the lounge. It was actually quite nice to be not in a hurry, take our time, just hang, you know? We both seemed to enjoy it.

We got home and Fluffy had cleaned the house from top to bottom (which meant we had to be very careful not to misplace a single thing or we would bare the wrath of the cleaning monster!) He had done about 5 loads of laundry over the weekend (it had been wet all week so I couldn't do more than what would fit on the airer in the lounge over night with the heater blowing on it), vacuumed, tidied, cleaned, and cleaned the inside of the car.

I was extremely grateful for everything he did. It was lovely to come home to a clean house. And it's always nice to climb into your own bed, but when that bed also has fresh sheets, it's even better!


JoeinVegas said...

Fluffy cleaned? Delightful! Sounds like you had a nice time.

SOL's view said...

That's the worst part of visiting popular exhibitions. I found the same with the Ron Mueck. Just waaaay too many people to try and jostle your way past for a look.

I lose patience and end up thinking it's a waste of money cause I didn't get to see anything.....

Would have loved to check out the Tim Burton one though!

Anonymous said...

Thats a really nice pic of you and Dob. And I love that sidewalk seat! Would love one for the garden! It actually looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie! I would have loved to seen the titanic exhibition but it would have been no fun being that crowded. I thought the staggered viewing times were to prevent overcrowding. Love Rat

Chris H said...

We love the Smiggle stores too!
I have been in the Melbourne Central shopping mall and taken a photo of the round roof too! lol
Lots of lovely building around there too... I am hoping to go back to Melbs next year... can't wait! Shopping.... drool!

Anonymous said...

part 2 looks fun too.. love wally