Ramsay Street!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
Trip End Feb 27, 2006

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Monday, August 15, 2005

I didn't see Harold Bishop.

In fact, I didn't see any of the 'stars,' but I really enjoyed the day out regardless. I think this was mainly due to the fact that we went on an 'unofficial' tour, which basically meant a guy from the hostel drove us around in a minibus! It cost a mere $12, as opposed to the $35 that the 'official' tour charges, and we were saved the embarassment of travelling through the city in a big blue bus with the words "Ramsay Street" emblazened across it. Our minibus was plain white, and me and the only other lad on board were thankful for that!

We set off at 9.45am, and our unofficial guide was really entertaining, as he often mocked Neighbours and its popularity - a refreshing change in my opinion! After about half an hour, we reached Erinsborough High School, but it didn't look familiar! Still, one of the girls was obviously an avid fan as she squealed with delight and took photographs! We also passed the studio where filming was taking place, and I felt honoured to get a glimpse of Harold's volvo.

A few minutes later, and we were pulling into Ramsay Street, and it felt a bit weird to be honest. I thought about the opening sequence from the early '90s, when all the residents were out playing cricket on the street...Joe Mangel, Jim Robinson and Bouncer! We had a cricket bat, but it was raining so we didn't get round to recreating that scene. Our guide talked about the history of each house, who'd lived there etc. He made fun of the show, but it was all a bluff really as he certainly knew his stuff!

My first impressions were that it seemed a lot smaller than on TV, but I could definitely remember seeing the houses before which was a relief. So I took a couple of photos, including the cheesey snap of me holding the Ramsay Street sign (and the cricket bat for some reason). A girl from Taiwan looked completely bewildered, and had already returned to the minibus to escape the rain. It turned out that she'd never heard of Neighbours, and had just come along because we were visiting the Dandenong Ranges afterwards!

Usually the tour involves a barbecue, but the rain meant that we were going to a cafe for pie and chips instead. En route, we stopped off to feed the birds, including the "Flamin' Gallahs," and they'd literally land on your head which was a weird sensation. There were some lovely colourful birds there, and it was definitely worth stopping.

The fact that the pie and chips ($8.50) were included in our $12 fee meant that it was without doubt the best value tour I've ever been on! The steak pie was delicious, and the cafe was very quaint, set high up in the Ranges. The views weren't so good as it was very foggy up there, but a visit to an old sweet shop more than compensated for that. I bought a bag of strawberry milkshake bottles, which I ate before we reached our next destination...

We all went for a short walk through the rainforest to see the impressive variety of trees, before stopping again to feed yet more birds, these ones beautiful red parrots and more gallahs. This turned out to be our final stop as we made our way back to the city, with our guide doing some slight detours to show us the trendy bars on Brunswick Street and the Italian restaurants on Lygon Street.

It was 3.30pm when we got back to the hostel, so we'd all had a good day out for just a few dollars.

I'm looking forward to watching Neighbours again so I can say..."Been there!"

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