Saturday, February 7, 2009

Melbourne take 3

I told you I like this city. So why not visit it again? Melbourne is starting to feel like a home away from home, because I’m getting to know the area and actually know people around here. It was only a short stay – 3 ½ days, but very very action packed.
After spending a day wandering around Victoria Market (which I really enjoy doing... there is so much to see), Erin and her uncle picked me up for dinner at their place. Erin says hi to those who know her and for those that don’t, she is a friend from grad school. Anyways we had a lovely salmon dinner and I met Ana and one of her sons. After dinner, we went to the Casino. It wasn’t quite like our charity casinos... We learned how to play Roulette (apparently just putting down one chip at a time isn’t the best way to do things – who knew?) and had fun watching black jack and putting one dollar in the slot machine. It was a very atypical Erin and Lindsay night, but much fun.
Wednesday was zoo day. Erin and I went and took 300 pictures each of all the animals at the zoo. We saw lions and giraffes and elephants and gorillas and wombats and kangaroos and echidnas and snakes and lizards and butterflies and birds and monkeys... just to name a few. It was a nice little zoo to walk around. And the only way to end a hot day at the zoo is with ice cream and a twilight swim at the beach, which of course is what we did.
Thursday – what is the only place better than the zoo, why the aquarium. So after touring Victoria Market (Erin’s first time) we headed over to the aquarium. The first thing you see when you go in are the penguins. Two different species – and they are cute. We watched them swim through the water and waddle over the land. While they were great, they were the only animals in the Antarctic display. (There were a few videos and displays of researchers and the gear they use). I know there are more than just penguins in the Antarctic because I’ve seen them at my various conferences.... but unfortunately none were shown at the aquarium. We then moved on to the cool animals like lionfish, sea dragons, and clownfish. (and a diver cleaning a tank). We heard the coral reef talk and the shark talk. The shark tunnel is super cool, 360 degrees of fish swimming around you and even over your head. They really are amazing animals. The day ended with a 3D movie at the IMAX – Wild Ocean. While it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, it was pretty cool to see the huge swarms of fish and the birds, dolphins, sharks and seals diving through it to eat the fish.
Friday – a quiet last day in Melbourne. I met Erin for a swim at the beach. After enjoying the water we walked along the beach and then had an early dinner at the restaurant before I headed back to pick up my bags and get on the bus that would drive all night to get me to Sydney for my last few days in the country.

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