Monday, 12 November 2012

Antipodean Adventures

Sorry for the delay in a follow up post after the quick fire posts about Hong Kong and Macau. All that means is that we've been super busy in Melbourne and not had time to sit down and write anything about our adventures.

So, here's a quick summary of our 10 days in Melbourne staying with Caroline's old house mate Karen, who has been an amazing host, driving us around all the attractions and letting us stay in her spare room.


Sun 4th November
Our last day in Hong Kong saw us walking down to the harbour side to witness the noon day gun being fired. This very gun was immortalized in Noel Coward’s song, whose lyrics are:

“Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun”
“In Hong Kong, they strike a gong and fire off a noon day gun, to reprimand each in- mate, who’s in late.”
The "Noon-day Gun"
We then spent a while walking through the suburb of Kowloon, looking for 123 Boundary Street, where Caroline's father had spent some of his formative years. This was a pleasant distraction from the more manic centre and Kong Hong districts. We weren't certain we found the exact address as the street numbering wasn't consistent, but found a public school that looked like it might have previously been the British Army accommodation we were looking for?
This jaunt was followed by a visit to the very good Hong Kong cultural museum. We left it far to late leaving here to get back to the hotel, collect our bags and get back to the airport. As sod's law states, this was the point at which we then had a further delayed as Caroline was struck down by sun/heat stroke while on the crowded tube. My to my delight, dispite going a funny shade of green as the blood drained from her face she stayed on her feet and after recuperating on the platform of the next station we resumed our race to the airport and checked in with a measerly 45min to spare, thus adding Quantas to the growing list of flights I've nearly, but not quite missed.

Mon 5th November
Me, Caroline and Karen at the top of the 1000 steps trail
We arrived at Tullamarine airport at 8 am to find Karen and her father, Steve, had kindly crossed the city at the crack of dawn to collect us. Never a better sight after having been stuck with the least desirable seat in pleb class; that of the reduced legroom, heater under the seat in front near the back of the aircraft. We crashed out in Karen's new "unit" - Aussie for a compact bungalow - for a couple of hours before then going out to the Dandenong hills where we completed a maze at the lookout and then walked up 1000 steps path which is dedicated to the Australian troops who fought on the Kokoda trail in Papua New Guinea during WWII. 
Tue 6th November
The next day was a national holiday in Australia - Cup Day. We went to a local pub to eat lunch and watch the race. In the headline race, The Melbourne Cup, the horse Karen had placed bets on came in 2nd and she had another placed horse in the next race; drinks on Karen! Neither me nor Caroline won anything :-(
 

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