July 25, 2017
After spending two weeks in Perth, its now time to head to my next stop. Being one of the well known states in the country, I decided to spend a few days in Melbourne Australia.
Growing up in a tropical country, and having been living in the sandpit for a couple of years, a very cold weather is something that’s really new to me.
Not being sure how far my hostel is from the airport, I took the number of an airport shuttle from the ad I saw onboard, called Bluebird. It was advertised for $21.00 (one-way) and $33.00 (two-way).
My plane landed at 6:15 AM. Wanting to make sure I won’t spend too much getting to my hostel, I called Bluebird. Unfortunately, the price is saw was exclusive for onboard booking. So I ended up paying $25.00 each way. I figured it’s still a lot cheaper compared to getting a cab so I went ahead and booked my transfer.
I was instructed to go to the pickup area just right in front of T3, across the street, at the shed labeled GROUPS AND CHARTERS.
The moment I stepped out of the airport, I immediately felt the coldest breeze. I was wearing a thick jacket, a beanie, and a scarf, but they didn’t help at all. I continued walking and head to the pickup area. Got there around 6:50 AM, and waited with the temperature of 1°C. My hands quickly got numb, and my face started to feel burnt. Of course, it wasn’t but that’s how it actually felt. It literally felt like I was gonna freeze to death.
After about 25 minutes, with three phone calls to Bluebird, my shuttle finally arrived. I walked as fast as I can and just got in the van.
To be honest, I just forced myself to go out that day. Luckily, the hostel I stayed at was just a few minutes away from the Queen Victoria Market. Ended up spending a few hours walking around this place as there are so many things to see.
From clothing, jewelleries, and souvenirs, even fresh meat, fish and deli halls.
I remembered seeing this brochure at the hostel about the “I am FREE” Walking Tours, and so the next day, I decided to give it a try.
They have two schedules each day, 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM. All you have to do is to show up in front of the statue of Sir Redmond Barry at the State Library of Victoria.
I woke up the next day disappointed. It was raining. I waited ’til it lightens up a little then I head out to have lunch. Then back to the market to kill some time while waiting for the afternoon tour schedule.
I wasn’t really sure if I was going to make it. The rain just wouldn’t stop. Amazingly, around 2:15 PM, though it didn’t completely stop, it got a little but tolerable, I’d say, to walk around, so I walked as fast as I can to get to the meeting place on time.
And other more places like Carlton Gardens, Eureka Tower, Hidden bar scene, Centre Place, Melbourne’s Coffee Culture, and you’ll also be given tips about other things to do and transportation. The tour lasts about two and a half hours, so make sure you wear a comfortable pair of shoes.
I’m still surprised how I survived walking around with the icy wind blowing and the pouring rain. Being a fan of historical places, I guess I got so busy admiring those beautiful old buildings.
Yes, they are advertising as a FREE walking tour in Melbourne, however, by the end of the tour, they’d expect you to give some tip. I gave him $20, but I’ve seen some of the people in my group that gave $5-$10, and that should be okay.
Another one on my bucket list is to see the iconic Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes. So the next day, no matter how cold the weather was, I pushed myself to see it. I know there are tons of other ways to get there without spending that much, but since I was struggling with the weather at the time, I decided to just get a cab instead.
It took me about 30 minutes to get there and paid $40.00 for the cab. The moment I saw these 82 distinctive bathing boxes, I got that giddy feeling as I was finally able to them in person. I know it’s a bit shallow for most people, but for someone who’s only used to seeing these places on TVs, the internet, and postcards, seeing them in person, that’s priceless.
I stayed there for a few minutes, taking snaps, and selfies… Admiring each boxes’ art paintings, enjoying the moment… feeling the wind… listening to the sound of the ocean… It was so surreal.
When I was ready to leave, I tried to find the nearest train station, however, I literally have no idea where to go. So again, I called 13-cabs and arranged a pickup, and that cost me another $32.00.
This basically wraps up my trip to Melbourne. I wish I came during a better season. I could’ve seen more. But I don’t really feel that bad because I know one of these days, I’ll be back to explore further.