21.08.2012 - 21.08.2012 57 °F
Our last two cities (Hong Kong, Melbourne) have included an unexpected "extra" day at the end ... suspicious! Last night, our tour company (we were planning to drive the Great Ocean Road and see the Twelve Apostles) called us, but we figured they were just confirming for today. Unfortunately, after our 6am wake up call and coffee, we got another call saying the tour was cancelled due to lack of interest. SO ... we were up and at 'em, with no plans. But we made the most of it!
We each hit the road for a run (Albert Lake for me, Yarra River for Kev), showered, and slowly got ready for the day. We then headed out to see the Government House (home of Governor of Victoria) and explore the Shrine of Remembrance (apparently Melbourne's most recognized site, which honors the Victorians who served in WWI and their families). There was a neat display with 4,000 service medals, each of which represented 100 Victorians who have served in war, and 6 who have died.
We spent about 2 hours strolling through the Botanical Gardens, which were beautiful and very well-maintained. We had run around the edge of these, but we're very glad we went in to explore. Kevin's favorite picture of the trip is the last one below - he hates mushrooms and feels legitimized now! (Yes, "legitimized" is a word!)
We next strolled along the Yarra River, and found some lunch. Kevin got a fried chicken flatbread wrap, and I got a spinach/ pumpkin/ bean/ hummus/ lentil/ beet salad. Sooo good, can't believe we didn't take pictures! Also no pictures of the Crown Casino, which we explored next. It was huge! No gambling for us (well, I tried to put $2 into the slot machine, but discovered you needed to take it to the cashier, so I didn't).
At this point, we had covered lots of ground by foot - about 14 miles (me) or 15 miles (Kev) between our runs and walk. So, we headed back along the river to the hotel for a nap and some relaxation. In the evening, we walked (again!) down the river to an outdoor bar (with blankets and heat lamps!), where we had some drinks and a dip special - beetroot dip, tzatziki, and capsicum (red pepper) dip. It was great, and after a few hours here we decided to do a casual dinner. On the way, we spotted these amazing bikers who were hopping up onto the ledge - you can't see from pictures how cool it was! Anyway, Kev got a pizza (and ended up giving 1/4 of it to a homeless woman on the way home, who asked if it had mushrooms before accepting, which kind of made his day), and I got Indian - eggplant masala, chickpea masala, and roasted vegetables. We have a 5am wake up call tomorrow to head to our last () city of the trip, so we'll see you from Sydney!
-Megan and Kevin