Friday, May 5, 2017

NZ/Aus Days 45 & 46: Melbourne for Reals

We got into Melbourne late in the afternoon and after getting groceries, feeding Baby, eating ourselves, and putting her to bed, we were more than pooped. We'd spent a lot of time in the car the last three days and were ready to stretch out and recoup. Unfortunately, the Melbourne Department of Transportation had different plans for us.

Our accommodation was situated right beside the above ground train station. For some reason, there was an apparent need for the trains to honk their horns when coming into the station. Loudly. Sometimes with two honks. So imagine trying to put a baby to sleep during rush hour when trains are arriving every three minutes from each direction. It was brutal. Then imagine trying to sleep yourself on a saggy mattress while the trains continued to do this all night long. Hell.

Maybe the day will turn around
So when we got up the next morning (note that we did not say "woke up" as that implies we were sleeping in the first place), the deluge taking place outside mirrored our moods. When the hail started coming down and water began falling (again, note the word choice - not "dripping"), and the apartment started to flood, it was laughably appropriate. Except that we were too busy throwing our bags on the bed and pulling the couch away from the wall to laugh.

But, you see, we had brunch plans because the thing to do in Melbourne is to go for brunch. So we got dressed, shrugged our shoulders at the pool of water on the floor, (and notified the owner), and went to brunch!

After a delicious meal and delightful conversation with Kirsty, we threw in the towel, (or more literally, threw it on the floor), and decided to cancel our plans for the day. Thankfully, Erin's cousin Ros is the most accommodating person in the world, and she agreed to come to us for the day rather than meet us downtown. To this, we were so grateful, especially when we discovered that our train station had closed due to flooding (though the trains still needed to honk when passing through the station!). We relaxed, got caught up, did laundry, gave Baby a bath, and had a much needed day at "home."

With the second night being not much better than the first, and our 2.5km drive taking 35 minutes in morning rush hour traffic, we were not feeling oh too happy with Melbourne. But we tried our best to give the city a fair chance. Whether it was Ros's upbeat personality, the fact that the sun finally came out, or that we were away from the infuriating beeping, we actually did find things to enjoy. 

Melbourne is trendy but not uninviting. It has a thriving art scene with interesting-looking museums that we would've checked out if we'd had more time. And we loved the alleyways with wall-to-wall graffiti. We sadly didn't get to visit the bar under the bridge because it wasn't open yet, but we did stop for a bite beside the river. Thankfully, for us, Melbourne's best attribute was its company. Thanks, Kirsty and Ros, for making our time there enjoyable!

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