Saturday, December 24, 2011

Honeymoon Day 9: 24th December (Saturday) – Melbourne

Ann and I did our own thing today and it was another day of local exploring!
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First stop, a five minute walk down the road to ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) where we visited the Star Voyager Exhibition (all about man’s exploration into space). It was a combination of historical stuff and fictional bits and pieces from the movies and TV – brilliant! There was also a large exhibition of all things relating to Australian TV which predictably, included scenes from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo!!

Then we jumped on the free city-centre tram and headed for Parliament Gardens and then walked the short distance to Carlton Gardens that also housed the Royal Exhibition Centre – it all felt very English.

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Then, it was next door to the rather splendid Melbourne Museum. But not before we’d had a coffee break (check out the pattern on the froth – ahh, sweet!) 
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I think it’s the first museum we’ve ever been in that housed a mini-forest! Amazing!! And as if that wasn’t enough, it had a really comprehensive dinosaur section,  a full size replication of the Australian coat-of-arms, more stuffed animals than you could shake a boomerang at, as well as a  really comprehensive section on brain research. It was all quite overwhelming (in a good way) and it took us around two hours to get round it all – fantastic!
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After being thoroughly cultured-out, we headed back on the tram to base for a cuppa and put our  feet-up.

Then for our evening meal, we met up with Ralph and Karen on the South Bank (where we’d eaten last night). We chose La Camera, an Italian restaurant. The food and service was good and it turned o9ut to be our cheapest meal out to-date! ON the return walk we briefly stopped to see a street performer on a pole being held in place by members of the audience with ropes. If that wasn’t enough, he was juggling – with fire! Amazing stuff. As we hit the main street, and walked past the rail station, the town was buzzing – we think the whole of Melbourne was out celebrating (but it still didn’t look much like Christmas, with hardly any decorations in any of the shops – and the Christmas street lights were turned OFF – bizarre! Still, it looked pretty colourful.
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We’re checking-out tomorrow after brekky and then picking up our hire-car. So it’ll be good-bye to the Hyatt Regency hotel and hello to a three hour drive to Apollo Bay resort where we’re spending the next couple of nights in order to explore the Great Ocean Road and surrounding area.

Merry Christmas everyone!