Melbourne: Good to the Last Drop … of Rain!

Posted on April 3, 2009

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Today (Friday) was my last day riding the bus into the City and exploring.  The day didn’t start out so well.  header_bus_olI missed an early bus by about 30 seconds. Dang it! Then the next bus never showed up.  Hrmph! Then the following one showed up and it was FULL!  Well, I guess you could say it was two buses worth. 

So after getting into the City, I started to walk towards my destination:  Melbourne Museum.  I read about this Virtual Room and it was really intriguing me.  Then I walked past Target on Bourke Street.  Hmmm!  Well I know someone back in the States who would be crazy just to see a Target Store in Australia.  So I snapped a few pics of the outside and then heard her voice echo in my head.  “Why didn’t you go in?!”  So I did.dscf0641

Needless to say…. I found an outfit, tried it on and paid for it.  Then the fun started.  The street looked dark while I was standing in line for the cashier, but I thought the windows might be tinted.  No… it was a thunderstorm.  At first it didn’t bother since this part of the sidewalk is basically covered.  Until I reached the next block.  Ok, so a little rain doesn’t hurt right?  That’s when the thunderstorm kicked in.  I ran for a few blocks trying to see between the raindrops… err buckets of water.  I finally ducked into an office building that looked like it might have a cafe or something.  I was hoping for a small shop where I could buy an umbrella.  I found a pharmacy (chemist) and got an umbrella there.  (Let’s not even start to talk about how I have a perfectly good umbrella in my backpack which I decided I wouldn’t need.)

I kept walking to my destination and unfortunately got a little turned around.  The streets became rivers and my sneakers got soaked.  Having wet feet reminded me of my motorcycle trip when it rained for days on end.  Ah…yes, the need for adventure. Doh! The rain didn’t stop and at times it got harder.  Even the umbrella wasn’t helping.  My jeans were soaked to my knees as I tried to do my best long jumps over the flooded street corners while hugging my camera case close. (I forgot about salvaging the hair after the first few minutes and used a headband.)  Then I saw the signs of the Melbourne Museum.  I didn’t snap any pics of the signs as I wasn’t about to pull out my camera in the rain…even with an umbrella.  The Int’l Flower show was going on next door too so it was definitely crazy at Victoria Parade.

Once I got inside, I slowed down and enjoyed the exhibits.  What an eclectic museum.  It even has a mountain forest in the middle of it.  The two story atrium is fantastic and beautiful complete with  a creek and a bitty waterfall.dscf0664

I reallyenjoyed the history of Melbourne too and the giant replica of the Australian seal with a stuffed roo and emu. It was HUGE and really awesome! dscf0647

Another part of the exhibit was how the suburbs of Melbourne were created.  One of my fave things was the ‘old time’ TV set.  I remember growing up with one of those B&W deals till I was in High School and… the channel knob was missing on this one too!dscf0645  You know what I’m talking about.. the knob that become the pair of pliers to change the channels back when you had to get up to change the station.

The biggest attraction for Australians here is Phar Lap the wonder horse who won tons of races including the Melbourne Cup and a race in US.  He’s been stuffed and is on display.  He’s actually a beautiful horse and the people who remember him really have an affection for him.

Phar Lap

Phar Lap

I did snap a pic of the museum that is brightly colored albeit it looks a little rained out and the balcony was locked so I had to shoot thru glass.  But it was still purdy!

dscf0672Virtual Room was fun but it wasn’t what I expected.  It was basically a room with a circle of screens showing 3D clips.  The idea was cool though.  At times, the clips made it look like you were viewing a window into a circular room.  The clip on Space was really awesome showing the formation of galaxies and the universe.  Then there was this stuffed playpus…. dscf0668do you notice a theme forming here?  Ya it’s a museum and most things are stuffed, in a jar (eww big cuttlefish) or skinned down to bones. dscf0673(Pic of Pygmy Blue Whale skellie found off the coast of Lorne, Victoria in 1992)

As I got readyto leave I realized that after two weeks of walking on the left hand side of the street and driving on the left side of the road…(yes, I did a little) that the escalators are also opposite of the ones back home.  And that explains why I kept walking into people in the department stores. 

You can't tell from the pic, but the UP escalator is on the left.

You can't tell from the pic, but the UP escalator is on the left.

Well, tomorrow is my last full day in Aus.  It’s been a great experience.  I hope to come back soon and see the Great Ocean Road, ride a motorbike in the countryand go back to Sovereign Hill to see the rest of it.  I may not get a chance to post before  leave.  Wicked tomorrow at the Regent Theatre complete with Aussie accents…yay! wickedposter And sadly, a morning flight to go home. Well, at least I get my day back that I lost coming over.  I wonder if I get two breakfasts again?!

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Posted in: Travel