Goodbye, Sydney. We hardly knew thee
During our entire time in Sydney all of the locals told us that Melbourne is much better in basically every way, so we were quite excited to be on our way to the “better” city. We hopped on the train to the airport and flew through security. I was randomly chosen to participate in an Australian tradition known as a “random explosives test”, which I passed without trouble, so that’s cool as well.
After finding our gate, we backtracked a little bit to a nice (but of course expensive) restaurant currently serving breakfast.
Our meal took is right up to boarding time, so we paid for our meal in exact change and jogged back to the gate. Despite a clear “Zone 4” on my ticket, we all boarded at the same time, both to the front and the back of the plane – so efficient! An two hours later, we were in Melbourne!
We took the skybus to the city center and walked from there to our new hostel, United Backpackers. The receptionist helped us piece together our mess of a reservation – three days together, then two without Aaron, then one together again – and we went to go unpack. After doing so, we went to the biggest H&M ever to replace some jeans that ripped during hiking over the past few days.
We planned to meet up with some friends from home who studied abroad here for the semester, so in the mean time I got dinner on our way back and ate in the common room of the hostel. After that, we checked out the bar in the basement and each got a drink to sip while we waited
When the time came, we took the free trolley to the night market, a super cool open-air market open every Wednesday of the year. The place was absolutely packed with people, but the lines moved quickly. I have to wonder how much of that is caused by the simplicity of financial transactions in Australia, versus the extreme efficiency of the people manning the booths.
We walked around for a bit and ate some of the food, then left to see the rest of the city. The amazing thing about being lead around by locals is that you seem to hit all of the important parts of the city without backtracking too much. We saw a bunch of sites, and eventually ended up right back near our hostel.
So far, Melbourne looks awesome. I’m really looking forward to our next few days here!