The First Day in Melbourne

Nov 26, 2007 / By Alex Gorbachev

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I’ve got up at 6:30 today (it becomes a bad habit) because my phone started to make annoying sounds at 5:45 — it’s way too clever about meeting reminders and timezone-aware. I wish sometime technology is not that smart. Even though I went to bed after 3AM, I couldn’t get back to sleep — either I worry too much (ring-ring, Marco) or it’s that street noise that get through the window — I’m on the first floor and the hotel is next to a busy train station. But good for you — I decided to update the blog with few photos of Melbourne to kill some time and distract me from thoughts about my coming presentations.

Melbourne is a beautiful city! Interesting view from the Yarra River on a part of CBD:

Melbourne CBD view

We bought Sunday tickets (just two bucks each) and walked to Bourke Street for lunch. Babette took Chinese and I stopped at Tai chicken dish that supposed to be spicy but for some reason wasn’t at all.

After that we took a tram to Federation Square. Even though we had daily passes, Babette was desperately trying to cheat the tram ticket machine

Ticket machine

… feeding it with a plastic hotel card. The poor machine was making strange sounds so after a minute I had to hint her to use paper-like card from another pocket because even locals behind her were changing in face.

We walked down the Yarra River and got to Fitzroy Gardens. Beautiful park and relatively densely treed.

Fitzroy Gardens

We stopped at St Patrick’s Cathedral with beautiful interior. However, what puzzled me (thanks to Babette for pointing that out) is the sign on top of the icons there. Interesting where it comes from.

$ on top of the icons

Next, we took a tram to another park following the suggestion from an old couple we chatted with at the cafe – Royal Botanic Gardens. Babette already provided some details about it so here are just couple photos (sorry for the quality — I had only small Olympus in my pocket).

Royal Botanic Gardens 1 Royal Botanic Gardens 2

Oh… I should mention that many trams are very nicely painted:

Melbourne tram

Interesting opening hours were posted on Tea Rooms in Royal Botanic Gardens. I guess it’s typical for Australia.

Australian opening hours

There was only one worrying bit that I saw in a university bathroom — that yellow box:

Worrying bit

That evening I had the most spicy dish in my live at the Chinese restaurant Spicy Fish in Chinatown. On the photo I haven’t tried it yet. I should say that I managed to consume it anyway but it took a while to get used to and I was still alive next morning.

Spicy Fish Restaurant

OK. Time to move now — the second day of AUSOUG 2007 in Melbourne is about to start…

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