Archive | August, 2012

A Weekend in Sydney

25 Aug

One big disappointment I have in living in Melbourne is that the small Philippine consulate office here does not process passport renewals!

My passport is expiring in six months, and so I need to have it renewed immediately in case I would need to travel out of Australia.

I was given the option of either going to the embassy in Canberra or the consulate in Sydney. I opted for Sydney since there’s nothing to see in Canberra and I wanted to catch up with relatives and friends in Sydney.

So we went on a short trip to Sydney just for my passport renewal. Yes, we were able to squeeze in other things in this trip, but imagine how much we had to spend on top of the $108 renewal fee.. Airfare, hotel, train fares.. all sum up to a significant amount.

The good thing that came up from this trip, though, is that we were able to take a break from the chilly Melbourne temperature and experience the nice, less cold weather of Sydney. As of this writing, a good, not-so-cold climate has gone up the preference list for me and Law.. As it turns out, the cold, gloomy weather can really get depressing sometimes.. So the fact that we did not have to layer up so much and wear heavy coats when we were in Sydney was definitely an eye-opener for us!

Sydney Opera House

Aborigine playing a didgeridoo

Clock tower in Central Station

Chanced upon a boat show along the Darling Harbour

Law and myself, at Bondi Beach

Manly Wharf

Manly

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Street Entertainment in the CBD

21 Aug

In our early months here in Melbourne, Law and I would frequently hang around the CBD streets just to discover new shops and places to eat, and observe the surroundings abuzz with people from all walks of life.

What I found fascinating all these times was how there are so many street entertainers in this city. It seems like anyone can just pick a corner and do his own thing to have a shot of getting spare change from passers by.

One particularly memorable incident was when a group of Japanese teenage girls, whom I initially thought were just huddled and hanging around, suddenly turned to the crowd and broke into a dance!

So it looks like anything goes in this city when it comes to entertainment. And if you have nothing to do for the weekend and you don’t plan on spending a lot, you may not  need to really.. A visit to the city would most likely make an interesting affair for your day 🙂

Sightseeing in Mount Buller

18 Aug

It still is winter here in Melbourne. It doesn’t snow in this part of the world, but it’s always extremely cold.

Since Law and I are still on tourist mode, we decided to give Mount Buller a try.

We went on an Evergreen sightseeing day tour one Saturday. Pick-up point in Box Hill is at 6:20 AM, so we had to wake up at 5 AM!

It costs an extra $150 for the lessons and ski gear (paid $69 for the tour, which includes return bus fare, ski resort entrance and chair lift). It was quite a big amount to spend for just a few hours, so Law though of just making the decision to ski or not when we arrive at the place.

We reached Mount Buller at around 10 AM and went strolling first to check out the place. Sadly, by the time Law decided to give skiing a try, it was too late for the 11:30 lesson. The next one was at 1:30 PM. And since the lesson goes on for about 2 hours, he might not make it to the 4 PM meeting time to depart back to Melbourne. And he won’t have any time to ski on his own and maximize the money he spent. So it was a big lesson for us – you need to be decided to go skiing once you reach the place so you can rent out your ski gear immediately and go for the first batch of lessons for the day.. And then spend the rest of your day skiing on your own 🙂

We had an enjoyable day nonetheless, taking in the relaxing sights, watching rosy-cheeked children enjoying the snow and tobogganing, and being awed by kids and adults alike dangerously maneuvering their way through the snow 🙂