Posts Tagged ‘ photo ’

Melbourne Adventures

Before I get into the details of what I did and where I went, let me tell you how this trip came to be. I’ve been in Australia since last July and all I’ve been doing is go straight from Home to Uni and back. Sure, I’ve been around Sydney, seen the Opera house (a bit too much), and done all the other touristy stuff. But with only a couple of months left of study, I realized that this may be the best opportunity that I may ever have to explore Australia.

Now I’ve been after an SLR camera for quite a while now (just ask my parents), and as of 19th June, I’m the proud owner of a Canon EOS 550D. Naturally, the first thing I did after I got the camera was to go out into the city and go see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge again, and luckily, VividSydney was on, so I got a pretty decent show and some awesome pictures. (Gallery is at the end of the post)

A couple of weeks before I got my camera, a friend of mine from class asked my if I wanted to go to Melbourne for a few days, so as soon as we could, we decided on a date and booked the tickets (super-cheap $33 Tiger Airways tickets) and a room at a small backpackers hotel and then we were all set.

So on the 21st, I was alone at home and had to be in the airport at 7:00am, and I desparately needed a good night’s sleep. My mental calculations told me that I would have to leave the house at around 6, and I decided to get up at 4:30 and set my 4 alarms (That’s Right… 4) . Now, those of you who know me would know that getting up in the morning isn’t exactly my thing. So I did what I would usually do in that situation. I ignored my 4 alarms, overslept and got up at 5:45. After a super quick bath I rushed out of the house and luckily, got to the Airport with enough time for a decent coffee. So we got to the flight, checked in, went through security and all that and got on the plane. One hour and a pretty good flight later, we landed in Melbourne, in what looked like a Military air base (but it was just a normal airport apparently :| ). We got on the bus and headed to the City.

Melbourne Day 01

WrongWay Sign

So what’s the first thing we did when we got to Melbourne? Well, we got lost. We had to take a tram to a suburb called St. Kilda where the hotel was. We caught the right tram, just in the wrong direction. It took us a whole half hour in the tram to realize that this isn’t where we wanted to be.

It took a while but at around 1 in the afternoon, we reached the hotel and checked in. The dude at the reception was super helpful and gave us maps of what’s interesting and how to get around. I also found out that public transport in Melbourne is super cheap. For a little more than $6, one can travel unlimited number of times on trains, trams and busses. At Sydney, $6 won’t even get me to Uni and back. So with maps in the bag and tram tickets in hand, we set off. First stop, Carlton Gardens. We took our time there and got some crazy pictures. It was my first time actually messing around with the camera so I did the usual photo-n00b stuff.. depth of field, panoramas, park benches, you know… the usual. After walking around for a bit and seeing the outside of the Melbourne Museum (Which was right next to the Carlton Gardens), we were back to not knowing what to do, so we took the free city circle tram and decided to get off at whatever looked interesting. That took us to a place called the Docklands.

The Docklands, and the Harbourside shopping center is by far the best place that I’ve been to in a long long time. It’s got agreat view, nice new buildings and when we were there, it was dead empty. It was only around 5 30 but it was a wednesday night and it was pretty dark, so it was the time between shops closing and restaurants opening so it was super quite and looked so awesome. We took our time again with the photos, but all that walking around made us tired and that just added to that 5 am wake up. So we headed back and called it a night.

Melbourne Day 02

Sunset at Melbourne It was an early start on Day 2. We headed down for breakfast at the hotel, and had some great pancakes and syrup. After we finished that, we headed out to explore St. Kilda. It was a great day for just walking around. The sun hidden by the clouds, and the wind blowing ever so slightly. We made our way towards the beach but ended up stopping at the Pier. It was still quite early and there were only a few guys fishing. So we went in for more photos. After an hour or so taking pictures, we walked out of there just as the crowd began to build up.

Since we loved the public transport so much, we took another tram that was heading towards the city. After spotting something that looked like an ancient roman structure, we got off and decided to go check it out. Turns out the “Shrine of remembrance” was a memorial to the victorian soldiers. I’ve got to say, that was a great place too. It looked awesome, it was super clean and just looked beautiful. My camera was jumping with joy, and thanks to that, the little battery indicator began flashing like crazy. So we decided to stop for a coffee, recharge my battery and my legs. ‘Script.’ was the name of the coffee shop. It was attached to a pretty awesome looking theatre. We went in, I gave my battery to the guy there, and he gave me coffee. A mocha and a cupcake later, we left again. Xai’s friends said they’d meet us for lunch and show us around after that, so we had some time to kill. The Australian Centre for Moving Imagery (ACMI) was pretty close by so we took a little walk and went in. Again, That place is a MUST SEE if you’re ever in Melbourne. They’ve got some amazing stuff in there, but unfortunately, we had only half an hour until closing time. I still managed to get a pretty good look at everything and was pretty satisfied except for the fact that we were a day too early for the Tim Burton exhibit. :( But that’s how it was so we met up with his friends and went to Chinatown for lunch. We had some great chinese food and left again to roam around some more. Next stop, the Royal Botanical Gardens. I wasn’t expecting much here. I mean it was just a bunch of trees and plants right? Well, it was waaay more than that. And being isolated from the city and surrounded  by greenery does something to you. It was really relaxing. We walked around for about an hour and walked out into the street just in time to watch the sun set over the city. After that, We started walking some more and ended up at the National Victorian Gallery. We went in, and there was an exhibit called the “European Masters”. We only made it as far as the lobby and the shop and decided that it wasn’t worth going in. So we left again, and just walked and walked until we reached the Southgate Mall, where we had dinner. Not a great dinner today, but it got the job done. It looked super dark outside but it was only 8-ish. So we walked a bit to the front of the crown Casino where 8 large pillars spread out at the waterfront were set to spew fire into the air every one hour. This I had to see. At this time however, my camera’s battery figured it would be great if it ran out of juice just before the fires started. So a bit disappointed and a little taken aback as to how bright and hot those fires got, we enjoyed the orangey glow and then took another tram to the Docklands again, where we saw a bit of the Pier and some of the quieter (and apparently super expensive) areas in the city. We walked and walked some more until we got really tired and then headed back to the city (yup… trams again). At Melbourne Central, we found a nice shop which sold Ice Cream Crepes. After Dessert, we called it a night and headed back to the hotel, only to find out that we couldn’t book the bus to the airport anymore, because it was too late. We decided to take a taxi to Southern Cross and then a bus, and then went to bed at around 12 pm.

Day 3: Good bye Melbourne/ Public Transport Hell

Bye bye melbourne

It was time to get up before we knew it. With little to no sleep, we got up, checked out and got a taxi. After a bit of bargaining with the Taxi Driver (hey, I’m still Indian :P) we decided to take the taxi to the airport directly. So we ended up there a little early, and just whiled away time, walking around, reading books off the shelves, drinking some terrible airport coffee, and even a quick nap. It took a while but we finally walked across a freezing tarmac and boarder the plane. An hour and 20 minutes later, we were back in Sydney. I went down to find a train only to find out that trains were suspended for the time being. So I had to take two busses into the city and then a train back home. It took me a whole 3 and a half hours to get back home, where it should have been half an hour, but I finally made it back home and sat down to write this. Overall, it was a pretty fun trip, and I’m glad I took it. Check out the albums below.

VividSydney Album: Out in the city