Thursday, December 18, 2014

Melbourne: Day 6

It was the last day for me to tour in Melbourne. As planned, Beat brought me to the Central Business District that Friday. We were going to spend one whole day in the city! We drove to the city and parked our car at Crown.

PA240638

This is the City Circle which goes around the city and the best part is, it is free! Therefore, you can save quite a bunch with it. Alternatively, you can just walk around the city as it is walkable. Anyway, since we had not had anything in the morning, we decided to go get our brunch first before we started our tour. Beat gave me a list of cafes to choose from and in the end I chose Seven Seeds.

PA240663

My House Made Sparkling Ice Tea and believe me, it is good.

PA240668

And since I missed French Toast, I ordered their Brioche french toast with blood plum curd, white peaches and vanilla labne anddddd I did not like it. Too sweet for me.

PA240659

Beat ordered her favourite Chai Latte.

PA240669

And her medley mushrooms and rainbow chard on ciabatta with poached eggs and carmalised
onion purée. However, she regretted for not ordering their green eggs and ham on English muffins with hollandaise because it seems most of the people in the house were ordering it.

PA240645

After we filled our stomach, we went to Victoria Street Market for me to get some souvenirs back to Malaysia. You can get a lot of things there. I bought keychains, postcards, fridge magnet and plush toys at the market.

PA240688

After shopping spree, we went to Melbourne Central to have cupcakes at Cupcake Central. Melbourne Central has really cool architecture. I was really amazed by its interior. Wish I could have stayed longer so I could linger around there and indulged myself with its architecture.

PA240693

Anyway, back to Cupcake Central. Beat told me that they have really good cupcakes. We had red velvet and devil’s food chocolate. She was right, the cupcakes were really good! They are not as sweet as I thought they would be. That’s what cupcakes are. Really sweet.

PA240709

Next was the State Library. I love books and I keep them. However, since I move around, I could not buy a lot of books. That was why I bought Kindle. Anyhow, back to the State Library. The interior was amazing! It is located opposite of RMIT and therefore, there were many students. How I wish I was studying at MIT. This awesome library is just opposite it!

PA240753

One sad thing about Melbourne is that there was not much of Christmas decorations inside the malls. However, the ornaments sold here were pretty! You cannot find most of it in Malaysia! Malaysia’s malls have beautiful decorations but they do not sell beautiful ornaments.

PA240760

PA240761

PA240767

PA240780

Now, one thing I love about Melbourne is its streets! The streets were always so happening with live bands and some awareness or campaigns.

PA240794

Finally one of the places that I wanted to go in Melbourne – St. Patrick’s Cathedral! Trust me, its architecture is astounding! Its interior will blow your mind! Not literally, of course. Glad I made it here.

PA240860

Beat later brought me to check out the street arts by the local here. Really interesting. Very different from the ones you can find in Penang. These are more funky!

PA240899

We decided to head back to our car to put our stuff before heading for dinner. As we were crossing a bridge, I came across this. I was surprised to find this here though.

PA240903

As we were walking past many bars and restaurants, guess what? They were all crowded! It was only half past five in the evening and they were having happy hour already. What a good life in Melbourne, huh? After we put down our stuff inside the car, we rested for a bit before we headed out again.

PA240913

We had our dinner at Rare Steakhouse. Beat gave me two choices to have dinner though. I chose this as she told me that her fiance claimed that their steaks were the best he had so far. And it was true! Now I am missing it dearly, dang!

PA240917

As we stepped out of the restaurant, guess what? It was freezing! We did not have our sweaters with us! Okay, actually we had our sweaters the whole morning and afternoon but it was really hot that we did not use it at all. When we got back to our car to put our stuff, we left our sweaters there. I thought it would not be cold since it was really hot during daytime. Have you heard people saying that Melbourne’s weather is unpredictable? It is true! It can be really hot during day time and then really cold at night. Of course we headed back to our car, again, to get our sweaters.

PA240942

Crown is famous for its ‘fire show’ and therefore, we waited for the show before we called it a day. I managed to catch its 8pm show though but, I was at the same bank as the pillars and therefore, I could not watch the show as a whole. Therefore, we decided to wait for another hour to catch its next show. We walked along the bank before we crossed the bridge to the other side of the riverbank just so we could watch the fire show as a whole.  Beat was mentioning about running into a street performer that dressed up as a Super Mario and there he was, he appeared as we crossed the bridge! She told me that she had not seen him for a very long time. I guess I was lucky.

PA240960

It was only 8.30pm when we reached the other side of the river bank. We had to wait for another half an hour before the next fire show. It was ridiculous. Why? It was because the wind was so strong and we were freezing! Both of us were wearing shorts some more. So much for this fire show. And when the show finally started, it was done within two minutes! Two freaking minutes! Seriously?

PA240966

Anyhow, we walked back to the other side of the riverbank after the show was over. Before we walked back to our car, I indulged myself in another round of gelato. Hmmmm yummy! Yes, I had a lot of rounds of gelato and guess what? I am not guilty about it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Melbourne: Day 5

I joined another tour on my fifth day in Melbourne – Philip Island. The main purpose is to see the penguins, live! Been really excited for this day as well. Penguins are adorable, okay? Since the penguins will only be back nightfall, we had one whole day to visit other places.

PA230484

First of all, we went to a wharf to see some pelicans before we went to have our lunch. It seems these pelicans are protected by the community in the area.

PA230529

After lunch, we went to Chocolate Factory. We helped ourselves with some games to win ourselves some chocolates. I won myself one chocolate only. Well, I was not being greedy so I did not put a lot of effort to win each game.

PA230585

Next was Churchill Island Heritage Farm. There were a few shows to entertain us. There were cow milking (only children were allowed to milk the cow at the end of the demonstration), sheep shearing (again, only children were allowed to try it), whips (now the adults’ time and I tried to play with the whip to make that really cool sound but failed – it was not easy) and last but not least, my favourite show, working dog. Billy was the name, I think. He is an intelligent one. He reminds me of my monsters back in Sibu.

PA230598

Where to next? Amaze’n Things. I indulged myself with all the mind blogging games that blew my mind! I even took the challenge to fall from a cliff that was three-storey height. I had to let go my hands myself and frankly speaking, that step to remove my hands from the bar was not easy! I hesitated ‘cos it’s really high, alright? However, I am glad that I made it.

PA230606

Before we went to have our dinner, we visited Koala Conservation Centre. I did not enjoy myself much though. We could not get close to the koalas at all (unlike the trip I had in Brisbane). When we were done with our dinner, that’s when the highlight of the trip came – penguin parade!

We were seated at the VIP corner where the penguins will mostly appear at. The temperature was not low but the wind was strong. Therefore, it was really shivering.  Though I wore long sleeve top, it did not help. No wonder some of the tourists brought a blanket along. They knew it is going to be that cold! For those who are going to Philip Island for the penguins parade, remember to bring a blanket, alright?

PA230630

It was already late night by the time I was back in Glen Waverley. Since Beat was still working at that time (her shift ended at midnight), I went to The Pancake Parlour to try out their pancakes. Beat told me that their pancakes are really good. Since the place closed at 11pm, I had to change location to The China Bar (if I am not mistaken) to wait for Beat to come and pick me up. It was a long and tiring day but, I really had a great time.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Melbourne: Day 4

What did I do on the fourth day?

PA220329

I joined a local tour on a Great Ocean Road day tour! To be honest, a day tour is not enough. I would want to drive by myself and stayed longer for this tour. Sadly, I had limited time in Melbourne. Therefore, I am really blessed to be able to go for this tour.

I had to wake up really early for this trip. I woke up as early as 5.30am and Beat’s dad drove me to the pickup point. She would in turn picked me up after the tour ended. I joined a Chinese tour because it is so much cheaper compared to an English tour. The tour guide was a PRC of nationality but he is very knowledgeable on Australia. Believe me or not, I learned a lot from him and confirmed with Beat.

PA220333

During the first half journey to our main destination, The Twelve Apostles, our bus was driving along the highway by the ocean. The second half would be the woods. Since we spent most of our time inside the bus, the tour guide entertained us with the history of Australia as well as the setbacks of this country despite being a beautiful and peaceful place to live.

PA220371

Along the way to The Twelve Apostles, there were a few other attractions. The first sightseeing stop-off was Gibsons Steps – the staircase leading down to the stretch of beach.

PA220385

Second stop-off was Lorch Ard Gorge. This place was named after a ship that carried fifty four passengers from England to Melbourne. Two survived from the wreck.

PA220415

PA220398

Finally, The Twelve Apostles! Though only a few left due to nature erosion and stuff, the name remains significant to the Australians. There was a chopper ride provided to tourists who wish to have a bird-eye view but it was not worth the price. Therefore, I did not take it. Instead, I just enjoyed the view while walking.

The remaining afternoon was mostly the ride back to Melbourne. Instead of using the same highway, this time, we took the country road back to the city. By the time I reached back the pick-up point, the sky was already dark.

What did I have for dinner?

2014-10-25 09.44.46

Beat brought me to her favourite place to have phor and yeah, it was really good. We headed back after dinner because I had to wake up early for my next tour the next day.

Therefore, stay tuned for my next post on my fifth day in Melbourne!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Melbourne: Day 3

 

Day one and two were mostly on food and ice cream hunting. Therefore, day three was a little bit of food hunting and sightseeing. Beat had already planned to bring me to Mt Dandenong to have brunch at Miss Marple’s Tea Room. I was told that this place is famous for its tea and scones? English breakfast, I guess? However, there was a blackout and therefore, Miss Marple’s could not operate. Now that sucks.

PA210188

Before we left to the next place for our brunch, we stopped by Tea Leaves Sassafras which is just situated next to Miss Marple’s. It is a shop that sells tea leaves and beautiful and interesting tea cups and pots. Those who love tea cups or tea pots or both will definitely love this shop.

PA210197

So where did we have our brunch?

We went to have pies in the sky!

PA210204

I am serious! The name of the restaurant is Pie In The Sky. They serve English breakfast too and that’s what we ordered but added on with a few pies. Our initial plan was to have an English breakfast at Miss Marple’s and then pies at Pie In The Sky. Since Miss Marple’s was closed due to the blackout, we had everything at Pie In The Sky. They are famous for their delicious pies, obviously. However, Beat said their scones are so much better than Miss Marple’s. It was her very first time to have Pie In The Sky’s scones. Oh well, guess I killed two birds with one stone without knowing it.

I do not remember what she had but I know mine was Beef Burgundy which was a Gold Medal Winner for the annual Great Aussie Meat Pie Competitions. I ordered it not because it was a Gold Medal Winner but because under its description, I saw the words ‘red wine’ and wanted to taste it. The taste was alright but there was not enough fillings inside the pie. If only there were more meats…

PA210241

After we finally filled our stomachs, we went for a stroll. There are many other interesting shops nearby. My favourite is definitely The Real Thing Craft Centre. That’s where I bought my plush toy owl which I have yet to name. They sell many interesting stuff that I do not see in Malaysia. If it is not for the price, I guess it is the best place to get souvenirs for your friends.

2014-10-25 09.42.54

When we were leaving the place, I ran into this man who was walking his two standard terriers. They reminded me of Can Can a lot – and Can Can is so much smaller than them. Their fur was a bit rough but who cares, they were adorable. I asked their owner if he was fine with me taking pictures with them. See! I really love this – people taking their dogs out for a walk!

PA210268

Next and final destination was National Rhododendron Gardens, the saddest part in this trip. I dropped my phone along with my credit card and cash with the amount of AUD150. Big ouch there! Of course I was upset but seriously, thanks to this event, I focused more on the moment during my trip for the next few days in Melbourne. I did have a phone but it was Beat’s, not mine, and therefore, there was nothing much I could do with the phone apart from exchanging text messages with her. Anyway, God is good. Fortunately, I lost my phone at the beginning for my trip. I had the remaining days to make it up to it better than to have lost it at the end of my trip – with more pictures taken and saved.

Things do happened for reasons – life is a harsh teacher because tests first, answers later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Melbourne: Day 2

Finally I had one full day in Melbourne. Kicked start the day with brunch at Mocha Jo’s with the cousins – Beat and Livvie. I cannot remember when was the last time I met Livvie. I had MJ’s The Works and hot chocolate. Yes, I love Australian hot chocolate – yummy! It came with two marshmallows, awwww.. Sadly, I am not a fan of marshmallows.

PA200091

Beat brought me to Brighton Beach after we were done with our brunch. Livvie did not follow us though. She was not feeling well. However, she and her husband would be coming over to have dinner with us at Beat’s. I knew about Brighton Beach through Summer’s Facebook profile. She was in Melbourne a few weeks earlier than me. Brighton Beach has a row of bath houses that were painted with bright or pastel coloured paints – really colourful – a great place to take photos! One of the many things I love about Australia is you get to see dogs taking a stroll with their masters. Lovely! I was told by Beat that in Australia, if you did not bring your dogs out for a walk, you are committing animal abuse. Awesome, right?

PA200148

When we got back to our car, Santa Claus was early in Melbourne! We received a gift and no, I am not going to reveal it here. Hahahaha. That really made our day.

So where did we head to next?

PA200156

Gelato Messina! My first ice-cream stop in Melbourne. This place is well-known. People had to queue for it. Fortunately there was no queue when we were there. I had The Bad The Good The Nutty and it was good. Love it! And definitely missing it!

That night we had a home-cooked dinner prepared by Beat and our guests were Livvie and her husband. I had a great time with them and it felt so good to have dinner with a number of people. Well, I always have dinner alone in Penang.

When dinner was over, Beat was asking me if I wanted to have dessert.

I was like, why not?

And where were we heading to?

PA200160

We went to Lygon Street and had another round of ice cream at Helados JAUJA. Initially, I wanted to order PB Nutella but Beat told me that their The Durian is good. I was like, really? I did see it but I thought, this is Australia - their durian flavoured ice cream is probably not that great. However, she claimed that her fiance loves it and so as his father. She said the smell is strong – pointed out that The Durian is the only flavour that was covered inside the display. I was like, hmmm, maybe I should give it a try. No harm, what.

And I regretted having it! No, it was not that it is not good. It is so good that I am missing it right now! That texture is so smooth and the taste is very durian-y! Yes, I am making my own adjective for durian now! If you ever go to Helados JAUJA and you are a durian lover, go get it! Oh, and beware, the smell is really strong!

PA200167

Since Beat is not a big fan of gelato, we went to Yo-Chi to have her favourite froyo also known as frozen yoghurt. It is something like our Tutti Fruitti where we have a self-service station but from what she said, Yo-Chi’s froyo is far better than Tutti Fruitti’s. I have no idea. I only take Moo Cow’s froyo.

Did we call it a day after?

PA200175

Nope.

We went to Brunetti after. This bakery offers wide range of European sweets and desserts. The store is like a palace to me – really high class! Since we were both too full to have anything solid, we had drinks only – yes, as usual, I had hot chocolate. However, we did make a take-away. Beat told me that their Tiramisu is really good so I had that for take-away whereas she had New York Cheesecake? I think so. We also bought Almond Biscuits, thinking it was good but we judged a biscuit by its appearance. It is not what we expected it to be.

Anyway, that night, it was really stuffed that I had a hard time to walk, sit, stand and sleep!