The worldwide Augustana College experience

Trams, Crepes & the 12 Apostles

Trams, Crepes, the 12 Apostles and Federation Square, a weekend in Melbourne was not enough! Comparing Melbourne and Sydney is difficult because the two cities are so different; each is unique and has its own atmosphere but it was very easy to see why many Australians recommend a trip to Melbourne. Last weekend we got the opportunity to visit Melbourne and stay with an older couple who is friends with a friend from back home. The flight was short and quick despite leaving the Meriton for the airport at 4:30 am for a 6:45 am flight, which was soon found out was plenty of time to be at the airport before a domestic flight. Airport security was laughable compared to the United States, no offense to Australia of course but it did kind of make me nervous how easily it was to get our ticket with no identification from the kiosk and then walk through security with full water bottle (not realizing it was full till we got to our gate) and they didn’t even weigh our carry on which everyone from home told us they would. Once we got to Melbourne we got a taxi to the address we had been given and set off on our weekend adventure. It was just my roommates and I, so the small group of 4 made for easy travel the whole weekend. After meeting the family we were staying with and getting the grand tour, we cleaned up a bit and headed to the train station to master yet another part of Australia’s transportation system. While I was nervous and intimated by all the trains and buses in Australia six weeks ago, I’ve realized now how easy it is to get around Sydney, and it’s almost embarrassing to admit that I will never know how to get around Chicago that easy. Melbourne was even easier to get around than Sydney was because the trams and trains go around the city in a square and the city itself is much smaller than Sydney.
Once we got through the train station we explored Federation Square and at the tourist center we booked our Saturday excursion along the Great Ocean Road. We were all very much impressed with the tourist center and how helpful they were everything. The rest of the day was spent shopping, sightseeing through the lane-ways and indulging in a home made meal when we got back. While I don’t have many complaints about the food in Australia, my diet has solely consisted of sushi, pizza and pasta for the past six weeks so it was refreshing to walk into a house and smell some good food.
Saturday was again an early morning for us as we had to be outside Federation Square at 7 am to meet our bus for the Great Ocean Road tour. If anyone ever visits Australia I highly recommend taking a trip to Melbourne to see the Great Ocean Road because this was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. The trip was an all day excursion so we didn’t get home until early in the evening but throughout the day we stopped at a few beaches and saw the 12 Apostles (there aren’t really 12) and the London Bridge (google the story of it falling down in 1990, you’ll laugh) among other formations. We also stopped at a cafe that had gum trees all around and wild koalas were eating the eucalyptus as well as a rainforest area where we went on a short hike down and saw amazing trees and plants that were taller than you could imagine. By the time we got home we were all exhausted from the day and fell asleep very quickly.
Sunday morning we were woken up by the sound of kookaburras and the woman we were staying with helped us feed the kookaburras that flew up to her veranda. Their house sits on a hill that leads to a river and the entire property is beautiful. After some breakfast we took the train into town again and then took a tram to St. Kilda for the festival and markets. We were sad to leave Melbourne later Sunday night but glad to be “temporarily” back “home.”

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