Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Nunnery

These pictures are of the hostel we stayed at in Melbourne, I really enjoyed it there. For like $28 bucks a night we got a bed in a room of twelve, that's six bunk beds. This hostel, compared to Melbourne's Glebe Village, was clean and friendly and awesome. I liked the people who were staying here, and the staff kept it sparkling while still being my kind of weird people.

Early morning nostalgic shot, taken as we left for the train back to Wagga. We stayed in the room with the balcony on the second floor, hidden by that awesome tree.

These shots are on the balcony, after our aborted Royal Botanical Gardens day, while Sean and Clancy knocked back a few Old Toohey's (I think their favorite brew, after trying quite the variety together at the pubs). After this we went on the hunt for Bimbo's Pizza, which we thought was a Pizzeria, and turned out to be a bar. Thought my heart would stop when the bouncer wanted my ID and I realized I didn't have it - we headed back to the hostel and there it was on my bed. Yes, we went back for the $6 pizza and couldn't finish eating them.

Here you can see my Dragonfly earrings. They disappeared somewhere between girl's night in Wagga and Sydney. I am heartbroken. I bought those while on a road-trip with Esther and Mike. My favorite earrings. Gone, somewhere in Australia.

Here, you can see the warm, friendly, clean entrance hall for the hostel. The door you can see leads into a living room with tv and books. Note the doorknob in the middle of the door. This place was built early 20th century as a house for a doctor, turned into a real nunnery some twenty years later, and turned into a backpacker's hostel in the late 80's.

This is the landing for our floor, with an awesome not-fireplace. I didn't even see the third floor 'til we'd stayed four days, and there were other building too. From the courtyard there was a grate stair way up to the third level, and then along part of the roofline to the floor above our room with a great view - but I have to get the pictures from up there from Sean's camera.

This statue was tucked away in the bend of the staircase, and was underlit only at night.

This shot reveals the computer room, where we had our first introduction to Global Gossip, the provider they used for internet access. You buy a card with a PIN on it, and put as much money on as you like (rechargeable). Depletes your account by $1/15 min after you log on with your PIN. Cool system, but made me feel bad about the time it takes to download photos and post things, so we stuck mostly to email checking while we were in hostels.

Trees and more trees

I discovered, in Australia, that I have a thing for trees. They just look... so picturesque. So, bear with me, these trees actually have stories attached to them. Most of them.

This tree is outside The Greasy Spoon on Clancy's campus. We ate Potato Wedges with Sweet Chili sauce and Chicken Wraps nearly every day while in Wagga Wagga, and on our last day in Wagga before heading to Melbourne I thought it looked particularly enchanting.

These tress are in Carlton Garden outside the Exhibition Hall, which was all right across the street from our hostel, The Nunnery. The mottled color is characteristic of this tree (a type of Eucalyptus?) and I thought that from this angle the park looked a little more feral than the tame, pruned, heart of a 4 million people populated city. We walked through this park nearly every night, and had our adventures with Ringtail Possums here.

While we were wandering the Northern part of downtown Melbourne in search of the Victoria Market, I thought this tree was awesome. It reminds me a bit of how the Roman Pines looked in Italy, so tall and majestic in the middle of the street that they always looked like a mist curled around the

Found this tree on our aborted mission to see the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne - it was getting cold for Clancy and Sean, so they napped for a bit while I photographed the scenery. We were across the Yarra River, and the bridge in the background was Swan St. If you Google it, you'll see how close we were, but I didn't want the boys to freeze to death (the sun was setting and it would only get colder, and we still had to walk back).

This last shot is on the way up the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which is why it was taken near the trees' tops and not from the ground. By this point of our journey, Clancy and Sean were far less patient with me stopping to taking pictures (oo, pretty trees! oo, sunset! oo, buildings!) and I was more ornery about it ;)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Melbourne, Rushed

I'm in Sydney, but haven't finished posting Melbourne pictures! Also, I'm in the process of taking pictures here... but yes, I've touched the Opera House. I will post those before I get back to Portland, but I don't know that I'll get it done before I leave tomorrow (Monday) for CA. Anyway:

Honestly, I am pleased with this picture... This is Flinders Street Station again, previously pictured in last post at night.

Victoria State Library, currently home to a Medieval Illuminated Manuscript exhibit, displaying pieces both that belong to the VSL, but on loan from Europe. Liked a lot of the pieces, didn't like the exhibit. The lighting was too low (fellow visitors blocked lighting all the time), the layout was not informative or flowing, and basically I realized I am a total nerd because I was overanalyzing the entire exhibit. I wish my mom had been here with me. And my grandmother (Pat would have had an interesting story about everything).

Federation Square. I think the lights and giant plasma screen and even the weird building in the next picture were part of a centennial thing, haven't checked wikipedia yet. Anyway, the red lines you can see in the sky? Giant rope lights set on chase, so imagine those all flashing and the tv blasting out huge illuminating images of Australians and restaurant ads.

This is from the inside of one of the weirdest buildings I've ever seen... It's something like a museum crossed with a mall crossed with some crazy architects nightmare of triangles, but in the end I kinda liked it... The exit you see center bottom, the wall surrounding it is inflated. Yes, with air. It's like a bouncy castle.

Monday, June 9, 2008


The first two are from our first night in town, we spent a long time walking around getting a feel for the place before crashing at the hostel, and night pictures are really hard to take (with my camera). At any rate, here is Flinders Street Station, a huge awesome train station, and then some Cathedral (they have way too many here for me to keep track).

This, my friends, is a Ringtail Possum! So cute! We probably shouldn't be feeding them, but there are no signs and they're so friendly, I think others do it quite a bit... Sorry they're not platypi in the wild, M ;)

Off to Victoria Marketplace, "Greektown", and the Melbourne Museum dinosaur exhibit!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


We arrived night before last, but we've had some trouble getting online... I will post more later, after a late nap.

Let me say though, I <3 Melbourne. AWESOME architecture everywhere you turn, shops and food all over the place (even if it's expensive sometimes), and loads of free stuff to see, including an exhibit of medieval manuscripts! Yay!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Random update

Yesterday it rained for the first time since I arrived, and the weatherman keeps reminding us that it's winter now. Ha! Winter? This is cold, dark, and dreary?

Everybody (almost) uses the clothesline to dry their clothes since it's so dry and hot here. I think it's really amusing that there's drying racks attached to the side of every cottage and a huge set of them next to the laundry-house (pictured here). Much as I like the idea, I don't think it's always dry enough in the NW to have a permanent set-up.

A few days ago we hiked up a hill in the middle of Clancy's campus. It's one of the larger ones in the area, which is just pitiful. Still, it offered some pretty views (including the first picture in this post). Here I offer you a picture of Wagga Wagga from the Hill and an image from when I was tracking some kangaroos for pictures (they kept just up and around the corner the entire hike):

Tomorrow we're headed for Melbourne, where Sean and I may stay up to a week before heading to Sydney, where we'll stay until returning to CA on the 16th. I am still working on my goals to hold a Koala and eat Kangaroo meat.