Melbourne on Thursday

For our last full day in Melbourne, it was actually fairly uneventful.  We began with breakfast across the road, where I ordered what looked like a small meal (omelette with cheese, mushroom and spinach), but turned out enormous – they must have used about 10 eggs in the thing!  It was lovely, even if I could only get through half of it.
Having become excited by the markets the other day, we had promised Marcus we would come to his house and cook dinner for him and his two flatmates using only market produce.  We began by searching for a specialty spice store, where I proceeded to buy spices in 100g lots –smoked paprika, turmeric, fennel seeds, whole star anise, cinnamon quills, whole cloves and whole black peppercorns.  All of this came to only $11!  One of those, with about 25g in it, would have cost close to that in Fitzroy Crossing alone.
With the spices covered (I was making Pork loins with a Chinese Five Spice and paprika rub), we wandered around the city before falling upon the Eureka Sky Deck.  It proclaimed to be the highest public viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere (which we actually thought the Auckland one had proclaimed as well when we were there… we must have been mistaken).  Upon reaching the top, having parted with $30 for the privilege to travel up the 88 floors at over 9 metres per second, we found a stunning view of Melbourne, Geelong and most of Port Phillip Bay.  We were a long way up – I was convinced it was no higher than Auckland, but a great view nonetheless (later research showed the Melbourne version is a mere 60m higher).  There was also an outdoor section, where you could wistfully pine through the wire mesh across the city.
Although we weren’t prepared to fork out the extra $12 each to go on THE EDGE – an extra platform that has a glass bottom (even with our savings on the spices!), we were satisfied that the Sky Deck is worth visiting, even just to get that “big picture” of the city.  The Edge claimed to be for the hard-core people, but for us, the hard-core people were the ones at Auckland Skytower who actually paid to BUNGEE JUMP from the top.  Scary stuff.
From here, we ate at a non-descript little café that served up a stunning little chicken and mushroom filo for no price at all, before venturing to the markets again to see what values we could find.
Getting there with only half-an-hour till closing time was a buzz – the butchers were screaming, and throwing ridiculous specials around – like a 10kg platter of scotch fillet steaks for $25.  I wandered around six butchers before settling on 5 pork loins from local stock for nearly nothing.  Wandering out to the fruit and vege place, we picked up some spuds perfect for mashing, sweet potato and green leaves (weeds, I’m sure) for a simple salad.
Marcus is living on a serious budget.  He’s studying Social Work at Melbourne Uni, and does relief teaching when he gets the chance – but in a couple of weeks he begins a fulltime, unpaid 15-week prac.  I suggest he shops at the markets, because the grand total for our meal for five was less than $16, and less than $27 if you count the spices which would last for months anyway.
Dinner went smoothly, and Marcus provided a lovely dessert (as he always did in Fitzroy Crossing).  We passed the evening away chatting, and making promises to catch up again soon.
See – told you it was a lazy day today!  Bring on Sydney tomorrow!