Chronicles of Oz (Part 1)

To begin our journey, we need a map.
Ta-da! We’re ready to go.

So I flew from KL to Singapore to Melbourne in the middle of June. I landed smack into winter.

Melbourne
In Melbourne, I shopped, ate a lot of Subway, and shopped some more. We visited parks, malls, the Melbourne Zoo, Monash Clayton campus, Smith St factory outlets, St Kilda, a couple of other things and as I mentioned before, a cemetery. After a week, we journeyed to the Great Ocean Road with some OCF-ers. I saw a waterfall, a sunset, a couple of famous Apostles, then headed back.

The (not quite) 12 Apostles

Sydney
From Melbourne, we flew to Sydney. It cost us AUD$69 (+$2 credit card surcharge) each.

Sydney was heaven for my tastebuds and hell for my liver. My uncle (our host), also turned water into wine. I love miracle-workers.

Uncle and Wern, Middlehead

Canberra
From Sydney, we headed to Canberra by Murrays coach, which took 3.5 hours. There, we met up with my ex-housemate Jane and were introduced to her RAF (Royal Airforce) boyfriend Scott. We visited my old uni, the University of Canberra, which looked more rundown than before, then took a walk to Lake Ginninderra, which looked so peaceful in winter. Next, we visited my other ex-housemate Jess. After some dreadfully missed jamming with Jess, who’s now got a totally cool DIY studio set up at her place, we headed to the Australian War Memorial. It was almost closing time. Wern almost cried. But after 30 minutes of speed-reading whatever exhibit she could cover, Wern said it was the best touristy place she’d been to in Australia, and that she could have spent the whole day there. At least we managed to catch ‘the lone pied piper’. Then we went up to the Mt Ainslie lookout, which almost froze our ears, noses and butts off. For dinner, we stuffed ourselves at Zeffirelli’s, then forced a ‘concrete’ (frozen custard) down. I am such a pig.

Red poppies beside the dead, Australian War Memorial

A Road Trip!
We have another map! How efficient!

Road trip around Southern Highlands

After dinner, Jane drove us back to her place in Mittagong, a small town in the Southern Highlands, somewhere in New South Wales. We spent the night in this lovely, lovely Australian countryhouse; absolutely gorgeous. It belongs to an ex-teacher whose husband has passed on, and whose children are all grown-up now, living someplace else. The lady, Virginia, decided to build a place ‘for herself’, with the first floor reserved for guests. Everything was colour-coordinated. We were more than impressed; we felt like royalty.

Ducks at home, Mittagong

Janey in her element, Mittagong

The next morning, we visited Berrima, a quaint town where we spent a small fortune on honey, tea and jams, and Bowral, famous for Sir Bradman’s Oval (named after an Australian cricketeer legend). Then Jane drove us to the Liverpool station in NSW. We took a train back to Sydney.

Spotted pig spotted in Berrima

I am tired now. My Brisbane adventures will have to wait.

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