The Quiet Traveller: Day 4 – Melbourne

I slept in a haze, trying to force my body clock to submit to the new location in time and space. Waking up unnaturally early, I checked the forecast on my phone – predictions of 36 degrees celsius at 3pm. Toasty to say the least.

Two points of interest were on my agenda today. Firstly, the Melbourne Museum, the main  historical and cultural destination in Melbourne. However, I first had to get there, which was a slight challenge because it was on the other side of the city centre, so naturally the tram I was on broke down en route. Apparently my cousin had never experienced such an issue despite being a resident for a number of years. Maybe this was just Melbourne’s way of making me feel at home. Delayed public transportation is an inherently British phenomenon after all.

Consulting my offline Google Map (very useful for navigation without using data), I abandoned the tram and set off on foot. Then suddenly, they were everywhere. Bobbling up and down like buoys in a urban ocean. Four in a row went past me. I looked over my shoulder. Just where were they coming from? Was this real life? Or was it just fantasy? Or some kind of man bun matrix? Yes, of course I am talking about the much ridiculed yet also much adored by women hair style of the moment. Melbourne, with its hipster vibes, was a natural habitat for these buns and the men who sport them.

I was currently sporting my own attempt at seductive follicular activity; in the form of a pathetic two week growth of mediocre beard. I ditched it two days later – I looked like I’d been dragged through a bush who had just lost his mates in a deliberate forest fire.

Upon reaching the museum, I took a few moments to savour the air conditioning, before checking out what the museum had to offer. It was very similar to the Natural History Museum in London, but with more local and Aboriginal history.  However my favourite exhibits were in the psychology section, in which I found an explanation of different personality types i.e. introvert, extrovert etc. The game below was also cool, and says a lot about the importance of facial expressions. Well, mostly eyes, but you get the idea. Try to guess what emotion the faces are showing – fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness and surprise.

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After lunch and another coffee to stave off any post food nap attempts, I made my way towards the Eureka Tower, the second POI on my itinerary for the day. The tower is the second tallest building in Australia, and for a not very reasonable fee you can visit the Skydeck on the 88th floor, which offers panoramic views of Melbourne and the surrounding area. It also contains the highest post box in Australia.

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Highest Postbox. Great band name.

From the viewing platform, you can also see the MCG, aka the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I’m no expert in wacky red ball, but I believe this is where England play Australia for a jar of burnt wood. Howzat.

I enjoyed my time on the Skydeck; it was good to people watch with the people looking like ants. However, the number of selfie sticks was too much. It probably didn’t help the shop up there sold them as well. I don’t have a problem with the idea of them; they do have a very useful purpose. But too many in a small space is simply a decapitation hazard. My travel insurance covered extreme sports and repatriation, but what about the hidden dangers of the selfie stick?

The journey home had 100% less broken down trams so was much more successful. In the evening, my cousin took me around the Grand Prix track, which was being set up for what is traditionally the first race of the F1 season in three weeks time. It takes three months to set up for the race, which seems like a long time, but I guess there are a lot of different aspects to prepare for.

Track of Day 4 – King City // Swim Deep

 

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