I've made it

Trip Start Jan 15, 2006
Trip End Aug 06, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Melbourne is gorgeous. Too bad it's such a pain in the ass to get to. The combination of jet lag and sleep deprivation is doing funny things to my body and mind. My legs will suddenly feel like lead, and simple math has become a problem. Trying to calculate a 16 hour time difference is way more complicated than it should be.

Being picked up at the airport by my friend Rachel was surreal. We lived, ate, and worked together for 10 weeks in Costa Rica over 2 years ago, and there she was, driving me to our other Costa Rican/Melbournian friend's house, where I'll be staying. A shower, a nap, some food, and some MSN conversations with friends back home, and then I headed out to town.

On the main road towards the city, there's beautiful green space, with botanical gardens, and a peace structure, and fountains. It hugged the right side of the road, while the left was a noisy mess of cars, trams, and extremely fast motorcycles. The modern skyline was a great contrast to the trees shading me from the hot, hot sun. I don't think it's much hotter here than it is in Toronto in June (though less humind, thankfully), but it does seem like the sun is stronger. Maybe that's just because I've been out of the sun for too long.

The main intersections and squares were bustling with tourists and kids on their holidays. Currently the Australian Open is on, so that's a big deal, but I'm not a big tennis fan. I stopped in St. Paul's Cathedral for a minute, because even though I'm not Catholic, and barely practice my version of Christianity, I love cathedrals. I had big plans to wander around the city for longer, but it was tiring trying to find anything more than stores, so I wandered back via the National Gallery of Victoria. They had free exhibits, so I checked out some fantastic landscape paintings done by the early colonialists. On the walk back to Tidha's house, I checked out the war memorial, which was impressively large, but doesn't seem to be revered.
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