Holiday In Melbourne
Dreaming About Going Back
by Joe Fleming
C'mere, You two
My wife and I were having a bit of a think about where we’d go to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
Just the two of us for a change.
We’d had several fleeting visits to Melbourne in the past, maybe half a day here and there, while passing through.
The first was when we took a drive around Australia, discovering that it is the people that make a place. We’d hurried through Melbourne in order to get somewhere else for some reason.
The last one was in 2008, when we drove through to the dock to board the Spirit of Tasmania.
On the Spirit we shared a bottle of fun with an older couple who were headed for Tasmania for their twentieth time for a bit of togetherness and adventure. They weren’t married to each other, but I won’t mention that bit. Characters.
‘Tell me something,’ I said. ‘How come we’ve been zigging and zagging all over the Bay and we haven’t gone through the Heads yet?’
‘Ah,’ says he. That’s because the ship has to follow the bed of the ancient Yarra River because the Bay is a Ria
, a flooded river valley. Happened after the last Ice Age. It’s quite shallow.’
Thinking back on that trip settled it for us. Melbourne would suffer.
When we first arrived in Melbourne, wife announced that she’d forgotten to bring a nightie.
‘You won’t need one’, I said, but she can go remarkably deaf when she feels like it
. We went straight to Queen Victoria Market
and had fish 'n chips for a late lunch. She bought a nightie. We didn't need supper after that lunch!
Then it was up the Eureka Tower
to do 'The Edge'
, a platform, made of glass which travels out about 12 feet or so and when you look straight down, you are at something like 900 odd feet above the street below. It's supposed to be scary, but it's only that if you're very young or a total virgin in all things.
Herself won $300 at Crown Casino
, which is a bit grander than Star City, but then she lost it again. Doesn't know when to stop, that woman of mine.
We did a Crime Tour
visited all the Underbelly areas and sites, including Hoddle St where the massacre took place in 1987. The guy is coming up for parole soon and has boasted that he'll do it all again. I hope the authorities are listening.
One infamous character had a fondness for hot chocolate and we were taken to the French cafe which serves it. I'm not surprised he liked it. They dissolve real bars of chocolate in it. Delicious. About a 6-hour tour. Lots of bad guys in Melbourne.
There was the Jail Tour
. It began when we were ‘arrested’ and sent to the Watch House. I thought I was back in the Army again and said so. Loudly.
The female sergeant got everyone under control really quickly, but, for some reason, she didn't pick on me or Bev! Not until much later when I got a hug. Her name was Wendy and she was an actress employed by the tour, but I think she understudied either a drill sergeant or a real admissions sergeant. Her language was not quite as authentic as the real thing, stopping just short of the 'F' and 'C' words. She singled out some silly people.
'Hey, you! Yes, You. Change places with the air-head down at the back. Get your arse up here, air-head. MOVE.' And so it went on. There were about three 'place-changes'.'Fifteen'
is a restaurant planned originally by Jamie Oliver
, who trained the chefs. The food is excellent. Nuff said. It didn't take us long to make em laugh and to make friends. A great feed.
We were in Melbourne for three nights.
Would I go back again? Yes. Yes. Yes.
Was there a ‘down’ side?
I’d need to do a TAFE course in order to buy the proper ticket on a tram. I found that bit quite tricky.
The best bit?
Dreaming about going back to day one and doing it all again.Reply SuperNan
Wow that was great!
You two are welcome back here anytime! Let me know when you are due back and I will make sure that we meet. I would love to show the two of you around as I think you guys would be so much fun.