Saturday, January 14, 2012

New City, New State, New Home

We are now in the city of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, in the country/continent of Australia. Whew, that's a mouthful! Our journey began at 7.00 A.M as we checked out of The Gabba, and took taxis to the airport in Brisbane. The check in for today's flight was much quicker, and easier, than the previous adventure in the Sydney airport. The flight was only 2.5 hours long or so, during which I twisted myself into awkward positions, trying to sleep.

We arrived in Melbourne to ridiculously cool weather, with the threatening gloom of impending rain. I actually ended up pulling my North Face jacket out for the first time since I arrived in Australia! It came in handy multiple times throughout the day, so I'm glad I brought it.

Inner Courtyard Area
After traveling from Sydney, to Brisbane, and now to Melbourne, I have almost forgotten what sleeping in my own bed feels like. We arrived at our new home (for the next week, that is) after a lengthy taxi ride. From the street, RMIT Village looks "lame" and rundown. My first impression was obviously not correct as you can tell from these few pictures. The rooms are split into 2 bedrooms, with a shared kitchen and bathroom. Privacy? What's that?!

My room

We had a few hours to get situated, eat lunch, or take a nap, before meeting back up as a group to explore Melbourne. Meghan and I took advantage of our much cheaper, and much faster, internet, before roaming around the north side of Melbourne in search of food. We came across a small shop, named Cafe Perri. The owner was from south Italy, and spoke in a strong Italian accent. He encouraged us to sit down and take our time ordering, as we were the only customers in his restaurant. After some deliberation, we chose our meals, and he went back into his kitchen and prepared what we ordered. My chicken schnitzel and salad was fabulous, and my can of Coke was only $2, as compared to the $3.50 I've been paying elsewhere. We paid for our meal, and the owner offered us espresso on the house. I have never actually tried espresso, so I agreed (it was free, so why not?) to try it. That espresso was so strong, but oh so good. I have an inkling that I will be visiting that little cafe again before we leave Melbourne!

The rest of our day was spent trekking around and across Melbourne as we saw Federation Square, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and part of the 1956 Olympic Park.