Melbourne on Monday

For a change of scenery, Emma and I decided to shoot across to the other side of the country for some “touristy” things in Melbourne and Sydney. We arrived in Melbourne last night and leave for Sydney on Friday. First thing… it’s cold! Really cold! The maximum was 19 degrees, with the minimum around 10 degrees. We’re not used to this!

We started the morning at the Bayview on the Park, about 15 minutes tram-ride from the city (Just a quick question – why doesn’t Perth have trams? They seem to make so much sense and are quicker and more comfortable than buses!). After two hours of wandering aimlessly around the city, in and out of department stores and shops we decided it was time to do something more interesting. We began with Federation Square, and the Game On exhibition within. It was a real trip back in time, with 125 video games set up in a visual timeline of arcade from the 1960’s through to now. Most of the games were loaded up with credits and for $15 entry, you could read and play your way through the whole thing. I couldn’t help myself with the old favourite Dig Dug (remember the battles on that one Derek?). There were text-line games, reminding me of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” style games we used to write in good ol’ Basic back in the 80’s. They even had an Apple IIe on display! It was great. Unfortunately, like most exhibitions, I couldn’t take any photos.

With our tourist minds starting to hone, we tackled Flinders Street Station next for a trip down the line to the MCG. It is huge… really, really big. We started with a guided tour through the members, onto the ground, even through the Carlton changerooms and the MCG Long Room. Emma and I had the chance to sit on the couches reserved for senior members with the best view in the house – a little better than the WACA’s rooms, alas! It was a wonderful tour, with a Restricted Member running the tour – she had to wait on the waiting list for over 20 years to get her restricted membership, which allows her access to all games except the Grand Final, allows her four members entry (except finals – and with a fee), and no voting or committee rights. She has had this for 12 years, and is waiting to be added to the full members list. I think if you bend over outside the WACA to do up your shoelace, you get signed up straight away.

Underneath the new Northern Stand is the MCG Museum and National Sports Museum. We spent well over 2 hours in here wandering through thoroughly interested. From Olympic memorabilia, Baggy Greens, Cricket World Cups and Authentic scorecards from the first test in 1877, to AFL Premiership Cups, Brownlow medals, Norm Smith Medals… the list goes on.

After all of this, we were stuffed. It took great effort to crawl back to the tram on St Kilda Road, and into our hotel room for a nap. Tonight, we’ll find a nice little restaurant with any luck! We’re looking forward to catching up with both Marcus and Azba and Brad this week as well. We’ll try to keep you posted!