Melbourne and some Australian fauna

After 6 days in Sydney, I got on a train to Melbourne (34 EUR for an 11-hour ride, that’s cheaper than in Europe) to check another city in Australia.

Although I was freezing all the time (Melbourne can get pretty cold in winter), I enjoyed the city much more than Sydney. Here are a few of the things I saw:

Remebrance Shrine, built to remember the Australian victims of the two world wars:

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Immigration museum

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As I mentioned on my last post, Australia was first a land where British convicts were sent to work. Afterwards, non-convict inmigrants from all over the world kept joining the country, so it has indeed been influenced by immigration. In this museum, you can see, for example, a reproduction of the inside of the first ships that traveled to Australia

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or do a simulated interview to some virtual candidates who want to live in Australia nowadays:

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Here I felt as if, for a change, I was like that nice immigration officer in Las Vegas who found my plans of doing a round-the-world trip on my own extremely suspicious and wasn’t so convinced of letting me enter his country. Oh, I wish I could show him all my passport stamps right now.

State Library of Victoria

Free entrance! Free exhibitions! Free wifi! I spent some hours there, it has really a lot to see. It was so beautiful and I’m such a bookworm that, by the end, I wished I was a student again so that I could spend countless hours studying on one of those tables which were like pieces of art.

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Royal Exhibition Building

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I do like visiting Unesco sites, and I wasn’t going to make an exception in Melbourne. This building from the 19th century held the International Exhibition in 1880. After so many years, it is still used, for example, as a place for examinations of the University of Victoria.

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In the guided visit of the hall (it’s not allowed to visit it on your own), the chairs and tables were almost perfectly aligned waiting for the students. It must be great to do your exams in a place so full of history, don’t you think?

St Kilda penguins

Every day at sunset, a group of penguins goes back to their home in St Kilda pier. And an even bigger group of humans gathers there to see them:

It’s quite hard to make good pictures or videos because, for the wellbeing of the little penguins, using flash is not allowed. But I had a great time watching them for an hour, despite the freezing weather.

Great Ocean Road

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Following the road along the coast west of Melbourne, you can get to the 12 Apostles:

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This rock formations are one of the best-known tourist attractions of Australia, but I wasn’t very impressed. The North coast of Spain is full of landscapes like these ones although it’s still almost undiscovered by foreign tourists. And there are no tourist-helicopters disturbing you or snakes, spiders and ticks wanting to kill you πŸ™‚

A little bit more far away there is the London Arch:

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Until 1990 it was still connected to the shore and was actually called London Bridge, but one of its archs collapsed and it looks slightly different now.

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No one was hurt physically on the day when the bridge lost its arch, but there is a funny story to tell. That 15th of January, a couple was actually trapped on the new-formed arch after the collapse. They had to wait for hours until a helicopter was able to rescue them and soon after, they were in all the newspapers and TV channels. Happy ending, because they survived. Not so happy, because they shouldn’t have been there: they were married, but each of them to another person, and their respective partners found out about the rescue and the cheating live on TV. So, apart from the risk of getting bad karma, this is another reason why you shouldn’t cheat on your partner: you never know when your 15 minutes of fame might come.

On the Great Ocean Road trip, there were also some stops to see some Australian fauna in the wild. Believe me when I tell you that these are kangaroos jumping free on a golf field:

And look, this is a koala:

So I was able to see wild penguins, koalas, kangaroos and, wait, magpies as well:

You don’t need to go to a zoo to see animals! Plus, it’s much more rewarding to search for them by yourself than to just look at them through a glass window or a fence.

Before clicking “post”, here are my vegan discoveries in Melbourne:

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After many months of using whatever shower gel I could find, I came across this vegan one in Melbourne. Yes, shower gels and almost all cosmetic products usually have some animal product in them, so I’m happy when I find somehting marked with the vegan sign.

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I hate throwing away food, I really do. But in one of my hostels, I found a jar of Vegemite for breakfast, checked that it had no suspicious animal ingredients and put some of it on my toast. Uuuggg, disgusting! If it looks like Nutella, it should taste like Nutella, I thought. But it was very salty and alltogether, disgusting. I had to throw away the toast, I just couldn’t get it close to my mouth anymore after the first bite.

Maybe Australians are just used to that taste of “salty Nutella”. It reminded me of the time I gave salty popcorn to a German friend and she immediately had to get it out of her mouth while her eyes were telling me: “Do you want to kill me or what!?”. In Germany, popcorn is usually sweet, in case you didn’t know.

That’s all for now. It is taking me a lot of time to update my blog. It is actually taking me a lot of time to do anything, actually. I never thought I would say this but I’m tired of travelling. I understand now why Willy Fog wanted to do his trip around the world in no more than 80 days: I’m now on my 104th day and if you asked me right know if I would rather see the stunning temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or just be at home with my parents or just have some beers with a person that I’ve known for more than one week… it would be a hard decision.

Anyway, I will be back in Spain on the 15th of August, and I am planning to enjoy my time in Asia as much as possible during this last month. Afterwards, it will be time for job seeking and I really need to charge my batteries because that’s an exhausting task.

I will try to write about my two weeks in Bali soon, I promise πŸ™‚

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