Let’s skip the formalities here because I have to get Melbourne AND Tasmania into one postcard. I started the week in Melbourne, went to Tassie for a few days, and back up to Melbourne before heading off to New Zealand.
Melbourne is cool. Like, actually cool. There’s been long debate of Melbourne vs. Sydney and they each have their own merits, but my vote is Melbourne. It just has its own style. It’s happening, without the borderline-stressful hustle of Sydney.
In Melbourne I met Caitlin, one of my new travel friends I know through the Global Degree group. She and her family live outside of the city and she, her mom, and her sister came in and we all went to a “footy” (an Australian Rules Football match). But first, we walked the city checking out all of the street art and had lunch in a laneway café. Then, I needed to learn about AFL. We got general admission seats, but I saw a guy handing out giant heads of players and other signs, so clearly I went over and asked how to get in on that. He said if I was a Melbourne fan, I could move over to that section with my friends. I happened to be wearing the right colors, so we were in. This helped because it meant we were in the fan section. With the fans. Who explained the game, and the expected defeat (Melbourne lost by over 100). This game is sweet. Soccer meets rugby. And they sell meat pies.
Australians don’t visit Tasmania, but they are keen to tell you that it and the people are weird, while admitting at the same time they’ve never been. Either they’re trying to pull one over or are just dead wrong.
f*%$ing cold beautiful. The hostel I stayed at had a country cabin vibe and the crackling fires in the fireplaces were more than welcome. I knew I would like it when I checked in and they said, “get ready, we’re having pajama bingo tonight.” Tasmania is packed with museums, so the arts council offers free bike rentals to check them out, so I did a long bike ride and went to the famous MONA (kind of overrated IMO). The next day I did a day hike with a group from the hostel (also free) down Mount Wellington. We all seemed to think that this would be a nice leisurely hike, but it was 6 hours, the first through whipping wind and snow. But the hike ended at the scenic Cascade Brewery, so I’ll call it worth it (especially since the guy at the brewery gave me a free refill on my stout ice cream – I must have looked cooked from the hike, but hey, free ice cream).
I wrapped up Tassie the next day romping around town with my new friends who work at the hostel. We went back up Mount Wellington, but enjoyed the more temperate day, and that it was in the car. Then back to Melbourne and off to the next stop – New Zealand!
See ya later Oz! (seriously, I’m coming back)