Ferrari comes to Melbourne/We go to Ramsay St

Trip Start Sep 03, 2006
Trip End May 23, 2007

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

After saying good-bye to Andrew & Roisin we were into our final week with Tarun & Liam and the final week of the Australian summer....
With the final week of summer, a lot of the things around Melbourne were in their final week, including the Queen Victoria night market, and as it was something we all wanted to do, we decided that this would be the perfect thing to do in our last week together.  As backpackers we had no interest in buying anything (and with 3 guys there was no interest in even looking!)  However, the night market is famous a wide variety of cuisines.  We walked in and were brought back to times in Asia, with the smells enticing us in to every stall.  We had a choice ranging from Japanese to Indian and from Chinese to Ethiopian, and of course seafood and all other Australian favourites.  We had went down to the markets with one thing in mind and that was to tackle some foods that most Australians have never even tasted.  So it was with much excitement and anxiety that we tucked into a platter consisting of a kangaroo burger, camel rissoles, emu sausages and crocodile tail fillet.  We had all had kangaroo plenty of times before (with spaghetti bolognese, roo curry, kanga bangas - sausages) so there was nothing unexpected there, but the others were all new.  I loved every one of them, but the lads were a bit uneasy with the emu sausages, but loved the croc.  We would recommend this to anyone who visits Australia -  one for the experience, but 2 because it is actually very nice.  We finished the night off with a walk around the city and a drink in the Irish Times who apparently do the nicest pints of Carlton in the city and also provide me with blue WKD!
We started our weekend in our good ole faithful local - Greasy Joes for drinks and then on Saturday Paul, Tarun & Liam headed into the city to get their final bits & pieces for heading on, and Kerry, Jo & me hit the skate shop and hired roller blades and headed to the beach and skated along the pier and the length of the beach.... It was so much fun and we figure that since it was quite cheap and good exercise we are going to make it a regular thing now!  Saturday night we sat in the house with a few drinks and Peter Kay providing the entertainment and then headed down to Greasy Joes to watch the Man U Fulham game, as our last night in our local as a group... quite a sad wee thing to think about....we are almost like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. in Central Perk in that place.  Ah well... all good things come to an end!!  We had big plans to somehow catch the Ireland v England rugby game at Croke Park... but after a Mackers (McDonalds) the nights drinking had caught up with us before 4.30 and we were tucked up in our beds fast asleep!
Sunday morning we got up and went to have our last ever breakfast as a group... (we have grown quite fond of a life where we dine out for breakfast quite regularly), so as you would expect after a feed it was back to the apartments for a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Garry (our landlord) organised a BBQ for Tarun leaving so around 5 we made our way out to the courtyard.  We had a very good night, and even bumped into Suzanne (Paul's brother-in-law's sister - what a small world!)
On the Monday, Paul and I had been together for 2 years and to celebrate Paul was taking me to the Gold Class Cinema (where you dine in recliner chairs with wine etc. - very posh and looked so cool - a must do on our list in Melbourne).  So we headed out around 7ish and planned on going for a drink and some wedges (with sweet chilli & sour cream of course).  I could see there was a que forming for the cinema and thought we still had to collect our tickets and said to Paul who told me had the tickets sent out to him and handed them to me.... for me to find out that we weren't going to the cinema at all, but that Paul had actually bought tickets for us to go see Damien Leith in concert!!!  Damien Leith was the winner of 2006 Australian Idol who I just adore and had been dying to get tickets to see, but they were just too difficult to get my hands on!  It was the most romantic thing ever and was honestly one of the best nights of my life!  Not only did we get to see Damien Leith in concert, but we got to see him in the Palms at the Crown Casino... so it was an intimate gig with the typical casino set up (a stage with a semi circle of tables around it!)  I am so sad but I actually cried watching him sing on tv so actually seeing him live and without having time to build myself up to seeing him... I was a blubbering mess!  This man can sing like I've never heard before he has a voice that just sends chills down my spine especially when he sang Pavarotti's Nessun Dorma... the lights were dimmed and the stage lit up with what looked like a starry sky! Wow...I could talk forever!  Thank you Paul... I love you!
We came back after the concert, spent a bit of time with Tarun and Liam and the next morning it was an early start to get up and see them off on the bus to the airport!  It was a bit sad, but lads we will see you real soon & we can't wait!
So after an easy week with everyone gone, we had big plans for the Saturday.  Jo, Kerry, Paul & I took a tram into the city and headed to Lygon Street (the Italian quarter of Melbourne - & wow is it Italian!)  We've never been to Italy, but it just had a feel to it that made you think you were there!  It was on our list of things to do, but the main reason we were there was to that with Australian Grand Prix just around the corner, Ferrari were celebrating their 60th Anniversary, and would be having a festival with F1 simulators, bands, appearances by celebrity challenge drivers and a historic parade of 60 Ferraris representing each year of Ferrari, but the highlight of the day was a Ferrari Formula 1 car driven by F1 driver Mark Genay up and down Lygon Street.  It was a really cool experience being so close to an actual F1 car and hearing it's engine.  The atmosphere was brilliant, and with an F1 car racing through the streets, it was like a mini Monte Carlo.... it really was a rare experience and one which we will remember for a long time.  We are going to the Grand Prix this coming weekend, and the whole Ferrari Day experience has us so excited... even me who could really take it or leave it where F1 is concerned.... not anymore, there is a real buzz to actually hearing those engines and seeing just how small those wee cars really are!
Our initial reason for visiting Lygon Street was to visit Brunetti's), we had been told not to leave Melbourne without stopping by for an Italian Hot Chocolate and some of their famous Carrot Cake.  The Hot Chocolate was lovely (like melted chocolate) and even Paul who doesn't like hot chocolate thought it was beautiful.  Much to our disappointment they didn't have any carrot cake left, so we opted for some Italian bread & cheese things - quite nice, but we will be back for carrot cake.  We were also told to stop by the Original Lolly Store (lolly means sweet/candy in Australia) & wow was that a stop well worth taking... they had Jaffa Cakes, PG Tips, Flakes, Minstrels, Galaxy Ripples and so many treats from home that we hadn't seen in so long, all overpriced, but still it was nice to look at the wrappers and remember.  They also did all the old fashioned sweets in a jar where you can get a quarter or 8oz etc.  Although I should say thank you to my mum and dad who have ultimate stars in sending us over crisps, chocolate and tea from home!
The following Friday night Paul & I headed to Melbourne's Botanical Gardens for the Moonlight Cinema to see "The Holiday".  It was something we had wanted to do for a while and since it was the last weekend we had very little choice of what movie to see, and although I was looking forward to it, Paul was a little more dubious of seeing a 'chick flick'.  However, apart from the mosquitoes it was a very romantic and brilliant night for both of us.  It was a really cool experience sitting in the middle of a park below a starry sky, watching a film and seeing the city skyline to the side of the screen.  We would recommend this to anyone visiting Melbourne in the summer months (& don't forget your picnic basket and a few drinks!)
Saturday night we had a few drinks in our apartment then hit the dance floor at Traffic, for some cheesy must do these things when drunk, and since I have now met some peas from the same pod as me (Kerry & Jo) dancing on nights out feels more like the good ole nights out with my friends at home... I miss you guys, but you can start polishing your dancing shoes, we will be home in less than 3 months and trust me I will be hitting the dance floor with you all!
After a long recovery on Sunday (in bed with DVD's - thanks to Andrew & Roisin), we had an early night and having wasted a day off work, we made the most of a public holiday on Monday, and took the tram to Vermont South the visit Pin Oak Court (better known as Ramsay Street).  We didn't get to see any filming, but it was cool seeing it and placing the houses with their fictional residents.  It was surprisingly small, but still - pretty cool to have been there!
We now have a just under a month left in Australia, and really have to start ticking things off our to do list.  On that note, we must say Congratulations to Karen & Chris on getting accepted as residents of Australia, and who will be joining us in Melbourne on Easter Monday, before we head on the final leg of our journey to New Zealand, Fiji & onwards to Irish shores, while they go on their Australian tour, before deciding where to settle!  We are so pleased for you both, wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you real soon!
Until next time...
Paul & Ciara  
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