Craig’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 13 Oct 2007

Location: Melbourne, Australia

MapHi All,

Iíve had a busy few weeks down under and have actually got some travel done outside Melbourne!

Last week my Mum and Mark came to visit me in Melbourne after globe trotting through Dubai and Sydney on the way. As we only had 4 days together I think we made the most of it seeing some sights and hitting the nightlife of Melbourne at the Casino...unfortunately for Mark the 'system' that never fails doesn't quite work on this side of the globe! Our first day was spent touring the city which even amazed me at just how much there is to do. Following a shot of culture at the Guggenheim art exhibition we took a tram ride around the city which ferried us on the scenic route to the other end of the city where we went 'inside' the last Melbourne jail in the city which gave us a real insight into Melbourne history and crime that used to be rife...including the infamous Ned Kelly's final days. As Iíve not really done the tourist trail in Melbourne I got to see another side to the city, walking through the arcades with small boutique shops and winding side streets...Melbourne is a pretty cool city! We went up to a viewing deck on the highest sky-scraper in the city and looked onto the huge sprawling city and seeing how the land is flat as far as the eye can see...incomparable to the rolling hills of the UK. I also took them down to the huge MCG stadium which never fails to impress! The second day we took a car down the Mornington Peninsula which is basically a drive a hundred or so kms south of Melbourne. As I haven't driven for a good 9 months and never driven an automatic I had a few kangaroo moments! We made it down to a couple of wineries and a golf course on the coast. I hit my first golf ball with a driver and after some patent coaching from Mark and few excavations from myself I began to get the hang of it and was actually hitting pretty well near the end...defiantly need to practice on the direction though after nearly knocking someone out! The next day we spent travelling the Great Ocean road which runs all the way to Adelaide...we didn't quite make it that far but managed a full day of driving but it was well worth it for the scenery - as the weather changed from sunshine to wind and rain the coastline became an amazing contrast...just check out a couple of my pictures! Even got to checkout the lighthouse from 'round the twist' if anyone remembers that crazy kids tv show! The evenings were spent eating at some great places, drinking in the Melbourne bars and winning (well not Mark) in the casino. One of the nicest evenings for me was were we went out to a Malaysian place and had dinner with my Scottish mates...think my Mum was glad to see there are people over here keeping an eye out for me!

It was really good to see them strange at first having them in Melbourne. I know my Mum was thinking I may not leave Melbourne but especially after seeing family again and talking about things from back home made me miss it a bit...but until my visa expires next summer I'm going to make the most of it! We also had to have the airport goodbye again which I hate with a passion...airports must be the most emotional places with people coming in and leaving!

The weekend after my last blog I went to the Park Life festival which was right in the centre of the city on parkland. I went with one of my Scottish mates, Marlene who happened to smuggle a bottle of vodka in which we started swigging at noon...needless to say by 10pm when it finished we were pretty much out of it but some how met up with my housemates and kept on going till the early hours. It was an amazing day because the music was really good, lots of different djís with a lot of electro daft punk style music which I love.....the weather was perfect as well!

Other than this works been going ok...again the shine of 9 - 5 routine life has been taken away but as the contract I was brought in to work on is coming to an end I expect Iíll be working somewhere else in the next month which is cool...nice to meet some new people and change of scenery - well probably just a different monitor to be fair!

Boxing has been going well, just started sparing in the ring...had 7 shades of sh!t knocked out of me the first time in but its amazing how quickly you learn to keep your hands up! Went to a race meeting with the guys I box with last night and actually managed to win a couple of races but as always left with less than I went in with!

Having a belated house warming party tonight for Soph and I which should be fun...hopefully will have a full house and plenty of booze and Australians like a good party believe me!

Well thatís most of the interesting stuff I've been up to...hope everyone back home is good and not working too hard!

Oh nearly forgot to mention the rugby...thank you England I've had so much fun at work this week with that result and was possibly the most annoying pom in the country...well we've got to make the most of a win over the Aussies!

Take care all xxx