Looks like any normal city, you think? Well, look again. WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE??? Of course cars are coming and going like normal, but you can actually look down the street and not see anyone. It's almost like a GHOST city. With cars. And motorcycles. Now you are probably thinking, "well of course there is no one there, you probably took it at 6:30 in the morning when the sun just came up!" FOOLS! This was taken at 4:00 in the afternoon on SATURDAY!
OK, of course there are sections to the city that have more people in them, but there seems to be an awful lot of streets that are just like this. And Melbourne is a popular place, where are all the tourists taking pictures? I mean, besides me.
Anyway... all in all, Melbourne is a pretty cool place, but I don't think I'll stay here very long either... again... it's just another city.
Now on to what I've done in Melbourne so far! Well, yesterday I walked a HECK of a long distance to see where the Australian open was played (just for dad). I mean... it was a LONG way... a couple of miles at least... each way! My calves have gotten another nice work out! By the time I got there I was pretty beat, I had just come from a 12 hour overnight bus ride so it probably wasn't the best day to pick for this hike. And I pretty much only saw it from afar... I could have walked closer, like to the parking lot or something, but it looked like another long distance and I just kept thinking that I still had to walk back. Also, I am not positive which arena was the correct one... I was seeing it from the back, and there were a bunch of other arenas...
This one (the white one in the background) is what LOOKS like the arena to me, but I don't think it's that one. I think that is the Vodafone arena... but you can see the practice tennis courts here which is neat :)
This one was right next to it, and is the one that I think is the right stadium... I'm pretty sure (according to the map if I was reading it correctly) that this is the Rod Laver Arena.
Of course, I could be wrong and maybe what I think is the Vodafone arena is the right stadium, but i'm no tennis genius. Dad, can you enlighten us?
Anyhow, after I took a few pictures, I headed back. I was so tired that I didn't have time to sight see anymore that day!
Now, before I did the tourist thing, I actually did get to meet moms friend Karen and her husband. They are really nice people, very friendly (mom has good taste in friends!) and they invited me to a BARBEQUE tomorrow! My first real Australian barbeque! I'm very excited ;)
They also introduced me to a friend of theres who has been living in Melbourne so that perhaps he could show me around a bit (since they actually live outside of Melbourne and aren't as familiar with it as someone who lives there would be). So I'm meeting all kinds of nice people in Melbourne, it's fabulous! But I still wouldn't want to live in the city for too long :)
OK, so today, against my best judgement (my feet were still sore) I walked over to the Melbourne museum. It was pretty neat... it's cool to see museums in other countries. Some of the things are the same as what a US museum might have (dinosaurs and the like) but when you go into the natural parts and you look at the stuffed native creatures like kangaroos and these GIANT crabs that are bigger than a dog, you know you are in a completely different place. Also, when you go into the rooms where people talk to you via a recording, they are talking with an Australian accent. Nifty!
For all the computer geeks out there... a bit of Australian history trivia. Australia had built the 4th computer in the world, and named it 'CSIRAC'. It was built in 1949 and it was used from 1949 to 1964. And now, it is the ONLY 1st generation computer that is still surviving and operational. I just thought that was neat. I guess in Australia they take good care of their electronics.
Ok, now before I end my blog, I want to talk a bit about Australia Rules football.
I was chilling out on the couch in my hostel, and a football game was on, so I was watching it. Wow, this game is probably one of the most intruiging ones I now know of! It's similar to American football, but it's also very different. First of all, imagine a bunch of tanned, hunky, fit and toned Australian men... put them in tight shorts and tank tops... and give them a football. ;) Got that picture? Good!
Ok, now I'm not too sure about what all the rules of Aussie Rules are... but watching it was really interesting. They did a lot of kicking and throwing of the ball like we do in football, but they also BOUNCED the ball as they ran (sometimes). And when they threw the ball, it looked like they were actually serving a vollyball. They held it in one hand and bopped it with the other. When they ran with the ball and got ready to kick it, they ran holding it with 2 hands as far in front of them as they could, like they were holding a dirty stinky diaper and they wanted to get it to the trash as quickly as possible... and then they would drop-kick it (The ball, not the diaper).
They did the whole tackling thing too, but once they got the person down, it looked like they sometimes put them into a head lock until the person let go of the ball. And they had no issues with grabbing someones shirt and practically ripping it off in order to get them down to the ground so they can take the ball.
And the ball... it was SHAPED like a football, but it was yellow, and truth be told, it looked like a yellow NERF football. To me. And watching the guys run across the field throwing the ball from one person to another in order to keep the ball out of the hands of the other team, it seemed kind of reminiscent of 'Monkey in the Middle'.
The game seemed pretty rough, a couple of times a guy left the field bleeding (although he always came back) and they don't wear ANY padding or equipment like our pansy football guys do. Padding and long pants and helmets! HAH! I never realized what wimps our American football players are! (just kidding to all you nutty American football fans)
So, Aussie rules is like a bunch of different games rolled into one neat package... and it was fiercely entertaining. And not just because it was played by a bunch of hot tanned men in shorts :)
OK, that is my post for today. Oh, one more thing... on my trip to melbourne, I was looking out the window of the bus, the moon was half full so I had a bit of light to see the landscape... and wow, it was beautiful. For the first time, I actually felt like I was in australia. I mean, REALLY in Australia... it reminded me of this painting of australia at night, that is pretty famous (in the sense that I've seen it a bunch of times and I bet some people would recognize it if they saw it).
I couldn't find the painting online anywhere, but it was kind of similar to this picture below:
Kind of similar because of the tree shadows, but when I find the actual painting I'll take a pic and show you guys.
See, this is what I'm talking about! It looked so beautiful and was just so 'Australia'... the cities are neat and everything but they aren't what I came to Australia to see!
OK peeps i'll talk to you all later!