This post would be about the travels only because I don’t believe in long travel posts and I have so much to share with you guys. The food part will come after this. This is my first journey abroad, ever! I was so excited and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
I went to Melbourne, initially, and was pleasantly surprised how a city could be so organized-trams arepredictable!- and the air could be so clean. So many parks too!
Of course I visited Brunswick and Sydney Road with all its cute little shops and restaurant. My crafty friend vanilla vain recommended this craft shop to me and I didn’t buy anything but I took pictures of the giant matryoshkas in the park across it. The pole in front of the shop was also decorated with crochet squares. Miss V would definitely love it! There was also this shop called ‘Kami’ that had loads and loads of pretty paper-most with Japanese patterns and this gardening shop with quirky tin animal decorations. Far cry from your gnomes and mushrooms!
The Melbourne Art Gallery was showing a special set on European Masters but that wasn’t my thing, so I explored the other parts of the gallery, I especially liked the Asian section and it had a special section on Tea! yesh. the zen of drinking tea indeed. It’s one of my favorite drinks you know.
It’s a shame the gallery was not displaying middle eastern arts -those from Persia for example- because I am a fan. I did found a beautiful second hand book on Islamic art but was hesitant to buy it.
Speaking of books, yes, there was a tour of record stores and book stores too but scant funds + being overwhelmed in general, led to more express, wide eyed exploring sessions and little purchase. I also went to the zoo and saw koalas and the most beautiful snow leopards there. I saw more koalas in the wilderness though.
One day I went to an exhibition titled “Skins and Sharps“. Apparently in the 1970s a youth subculture that is in some ways akin to the skinhead subculture in England had sprouted in Melbourne: the Sharpies. It had its own things though, such as the custom-designed tees and cardigans as well as its high respect for local bands such as Hush and AC/DC. The exhibition was well-organized and displayed very interesting stuff like actual cardies worn by the sharpies, cartoons and clippings from that era. The event also served as a reunion, apparently, so it was fascinating to see the sharpies-some now with kids and husbands/wives, pointing at the photos and saying “remember that day?”.
Then I went to CERES. I was told that I was going to go orgasmic on what I would find there and I have to agree it was very, very inspiring. it’s like my little dreams of what my capital city could have all coming true in one place…community gardens, organic cafes, solar-powered offices, and free bike repairing shop. definitely something I’d get involved in if I was part of the neighborhood.
I stayed only for a few days in Melbourne, then it’s off to the great ocean road. The beaches were spared of tourists because it was winter. The whole cold, silent atmosphere made the ocean, and the cliffs, even more massive-and beautiful!. We also went on bushwalks in cold rainforests. We made it to the Triplet Falls and the Melba Gully at night where we saw SO many glow worms! at first we nearly believed they
were non existent or decided to take the day off that day. I even mistook the moonlight peeking between leaves as their glows, but after a few minutes of walking we discovered they were there indeed! of course I couldn’t take pictures of that one.
On the way, We made a stop at the Amaze’n’games. Sure enough, there was a wooden maze and sure enough ittook me about an hour to finish the challenge, which was to get to all four of the flags in the maze.
When I was looking for the flags, I passed the exit several times, but couldn’t get to it when I actually wanted to go outside! I couldn’t even find the emergency ones! so I had to cheat (boo!) because we were running late.We stayed at the Johanna River Cottage-a lovely self-sustained wooden hideaway with a fireplace (!) overlooking a farm and the mountains.
The animals-sheeps, goats, alpacas, ponies, were lovely and we get to feed them! there was one sheep who was especially endearing. it kept following us around and it had a crooked mouth. the friendly fellow who was in charge said that the sheep was an orphan and its mother had probably known about this since it was born and so left it :(. There was also this friend here who was bullied around by the ponies 😀
After the Great Ocean Road, we went to the supposedly snowy area near Mount Beauty. We stayed in this Japanese style Bed and Breakfast with a view of Mount Bogong. The lady who ran the place was fond of classic movies so we spent considerable time watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the like with a VHS tape and were also entertained by the 1980s ad that showed up now and then because she recorded some of the movies from the telly. This place was also lovely and she had a fluffy cat called Snoopy.
We went bike riding around the area-I discovered yet again that I was SO unfit! I couldn’t make it through the ascending paths!- and saw beautiful orchards(sans trees or fruits due to the weather) the micro-hydro lake, and enjoyed the awesomeness in general. Our bushwalks led to a pack of kangaroos-they were HUGE, and what strong legs! I bet THEY would never have trouble getting uphill:D
We tried going up Falls Creek to go toboganning but apparently there wasn’t enough snow that day :(. ah well, I had a good day anyway for my bday. stayed at the cottage and did some sketches. a quiet day before more old movies in the night.
Now the dry skin from winter weather and the scars from the bushwalks are starting to fade, along with the memories. still I try to keep the best of them with me. It is starting to feel like a dream, actually, a wonderful one indeed. Even if there wasn’t any snow. 😀