Australia – Part 3

Sunday 28th August

While Saturdays highlight was for Jim driving on the race track, I had one today too, Briony booked a slot for us all on a street art walking tour in her home town of Frankston, we wandered the streets, led by our guide Steve, to discover more than 50 mammoth murals around the city centre from renown street art artists such as Smug, PichiAvo, DVATE, Vesod, Peata Ead, Phat1 and Lady Diva, it was good to hear all of the stories behind the pieces. It is refreshing to see a community embracing street art the way Frankston has, the tourist information website is full of information about it.

After the tour we all went to General Public, a funky restaurant and venue in Frankston for lunch, there was something for all ages under one place, ten pin bowling lanes, digital arcade games, table tennis, and pool tables. Pat was happy to go back there as he was the manager when the building was a timber merchants.

After lunch Jim and I went with Pat and Kay for a drive down the Mornington Peninsular, stopping off at Arthur’s Seat Eagle. This chair lift had us soaring from 315 metres above sea level to take in the spectacular views across Port Phillip Bay, towards the Melbourne city skyline and beyond.

The Eagle Cable Car at Arthurs Seat

On our return home we ran up the coast road to see just how much Australians love living near the beach, this was another special day for us.

Monday 29th August

As heavy rain and thunderstorms had been predicted, we decided to have a day indoors to rest and recharge our batteries. Jim made the most of this by sitting and watching the Belgian Grand Prix on TV for most of the morning. This continued into the afternoon where we caught up with a coiple of episodes of a series we have been watching. It was indeed a great way to chill out for a bit and to recharge. The turned out to be not as bad as predicted and we also had a nice relaxing lounge about in the yard with Joffrey.

Tuesday 30th August

We were picked up by Pat & Kay this morning and after a stop in their local town of Beaumaris to see the new community mural, before heading to the Bayside Men’s Shed to meet Pat’s mates and have a nice brew and blether, this turned out to be a great place to visit and very interesting.

After lunch in Pat and Kay’s house we paid a visit to Shannon’s, a classic car auction house to see some pretty spectacular vehicles, stopping off at the town of Black Rock to see more new murals. We finished off the day at the Naked Racer Cafe, a cross between a bar and a motorcycle museum, again this was a really great way to spend some time chatting over a couple of beers, we then returned home stopping off at Half Moon Bay to see the wreck of the HMAS Cerberus on the way. Again this was another great day giving us the chance to see parts of Melbourne that most tourists would never see.

Wednesday 31st August

Today we went into the city to follow the city street art walking tour, this self guided tour took us to a number of good locations where quality street art could be found, I had seen many of them when I visited in 2018, but it was good to see all the new additions. After we had finished the tour we found the HER rooftop bar where we had a nice lunch, with really good views across the city

After receiving a text from Dan stating that Gertrude Street in Fitzroy was voted the 2nd coolest Street in the world, Glasgow’s Great Western Road was 3rd, we decided to see how good it really was, we did think that it had a bit of a cool vibe with loads of independent stores, coffee houses and bars. As Fitzroy was near Collingwood we took the opertunity to go and see the tallest mural in the southern hemisphere painted by Matt Adnate, plus one by the American Keith Haring, it certainly was worth the visit.

Once back in the city we went back up to the Night Market to meet Graeme for a bite to eat before returning to Mordialloc, Graeme then took us to his favourite local pub, Mates, where we met Briony for a beer before returning home.

Thursday 1st September

Today we spend most of our time in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, this was a great place to spend some time, we enjoyed seeing the exotic plants, giant trees and unusual looking birds. Our visit was made more exciting by following an Augmented Reality exhibition called “Seeing the Invisible“, 3 art installations by national and international artists, it made the walk in the park more fun and interactive. We enjoyed our time in the park so much we stopped to have lunch there.

After leaving the park we walked along the St Kilda Road to try and find the elusive tram 35, the city tour one, to no avail. After a pint we decided to wander along Flinders Street to find some very good street art around the Southern Cross Station, some I had seen before but there was plenty of new ones on display.

We returned to the city centre via the south bank, where we had a bit of fun trying to see the Crown Hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant, I don’t think we were wearing the right clothes to enter. We decided then to go back to a new/old favourite, The Duke for our dinner, however a message from Graeme directed us towards Curtin House and their rooftop bar, this was a good choice as the food and beverages met our needs and the city with the skyscrapers all lit up look really spectacular. The train journey back to Mordialloc gave us a chance to rest our weary legs after so much walking. Another great day.

Friday 2nd September

For our last full day in Melbourne we stayed local to Graeme’s taking a walk into and around Mordialloc stopping off for lunch on Main Street. A bracing walk on the beach and a pint in the Bridge Hotel topped off a nice day.

In the evening we went for dinner in True South in Black Rock, the venue where Graeme and Briony had their Australian wedding 11 years ago, Graeme and Briony looked so happy to see us all there again, thankfully this time we weren’t wearing our kilts. It was a great way to say goodbye to them and Pat and Kay, we then returned home in time to watch Melbourne play Sydney in the AFL, a game Jim has come to enjoy.

Saturday 3rd September

An early start this morning to get ready for our departure to Sydney, after breakfast and a check around the house to see if we had left anything, we drove to Melbourne Airport and quickly checked in and went through security before settling down to wait for our flight.

On arrival we were met by Russell our driver and taken to the Adina Hotel, in Darling Harbour, the hotel and room is perfectly adequate for our needs and is well within walking distance of all the sights.

After checking in we went for a wander heading for the Circular Quay and the Opera House, we stopped at the Munich Brauhaus in an area known as The Rocks for some dinner in a German styled beer hall, the food and ambiance was very good. The harbour area looks very good at night with the area sparkling with lights, we even had a fireworks display in Darling Harbour on our return to the hotel. This was a nice way to end our second week in Australia.

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