Monday technically began my first day of working in Melbourne, even though I didn’t have to report in until 1pm. That means I had a nice long morning to fill.
I’d been up since 1am, so I was good and well awake when my friend asked if I wanted to Skype at 5:15am my time. That was nice. Skype makes international travel much friendlier. After that I went to a YMCA which is located across the street to see if they’d let me use my US membership to get in a workout. Funny thing, that one: it’s a private YMCA just for residents and workers in that building, which probably explains why I couldn’t find any signage and I had to ask the doorman where to go. But at 6:30am there was only one other gentleman using the facility (it was a tiny little gym), and the man running the desk was so kind and funny. He said “It’s not every day someone flies from the US to Melbourne just to use my gym. You go ahead.”
After that I stopped at Kenny’s for coffee and the Post to pick up some stamps for postcards. Then off to the Telstra to figure out why I was still getting an error message when I tried to use my shiny new SIM card. That was a fraught story in and of itself, but in the end I do now have an Australian phone and phone number so I can communicate more easily with my Austalian colleagues, as well as with my American friends and family on-the-go via Facebook.
The phone thing ate up the rest of the morning, and then I went into work. We were done around 6pm and my coworker and I headed next door to Bottega Restaurant for dinner. Side note: There are a ton of Italian restaurants in Melbourne. My coworker had grilled octopus and I had Tasmanian moo-cow. Tasted like American moo-cow.
On Tuesday I woke up at 4am – progress! – and bummed around my hotel room until about 7am: checked the social medias, did some work for work, drank some hideous hotel-provided instant coffee. As the rest of Melbourne was starting to yawn I put on my walking shoes and headed northeast through the CBD, heading towards a farmer’s market called Queen Victoria Market.
Tram cables over an intersection in Melbourne’s CBD.
At the intersection of Swanston and Lonsdale.
Along the way I passed some of Melbourne’s less touristy laneways (alleys) and found some very cool art.
Fancy a bit of laneway Heraclitus?
I…don’t really know what’s going on here.
There is a bar down at the end of this laneway called Sister Bella’s. It was blaring music at 8:30am. I might have to go back here at night sometime.
A leafy embrace.
Most of the shops that I passed were closed, either because of the early hour or because it was Cup Day here in Melbourne. The market was also closed, but the walk was nice and now I’ll know where to head if I want to visit this weekend.
A couple in their Cup Day finery. And four humans.
The empty, covered stalls at Queen Victoria Market.
After traipsing about that end of town I started down Elizabeth Street, had breakfast at a little restaurant named Cafe Victoria, and continued walking up Elizabeth Street all the way to the opposite side of the CBD to Flinder’s Station. Along the way I accidentally found Degraves Street/Campbell Arcade and Centre Place.
Two women adjust their Cup Day finery away from the rush of the main laneway.
I found Centre Place! This is one of the laneways that I had wanted to visit. Much of Melbourne was closed on Tuesday, but this well-known attraction had many open shops and restaurants to serve tourists and Cup Day revelers.
Centre Place as seen from the opposite end of the laneway.
I was pretty tired at this point. The Hubby was kind enough to send me off to a foreign country with a moderately debilitating head cold that chose to present on Monday evening, and by mid morning on Tuesday I was starting to feel it. I made my way back to the hotel and spent most of the rest of the day in bed. I did venture out later in the afternoon to get some lunch and ended up finding amazing Greek food at a 24hour restaurant called Stalactites. Then back to bed with cough drops and nose spray to rest up for my first big day with clients in Albury-Wadonga.