21-23 February: Mooching around Marvellous Melbourne

Author: Mrs A

Location: Marysville and Melbourne, Victoria

Thursday morning saw us pack up and head off on our way south through Victoria. Beautiful scenery guided us along our way, and soon we were feeling peckish.

Anyone who has ever watched the Australian cult film ‘The Castle’ will have heard of Bonnie Doon, a village on the banks of Lake Eildon. ‘How’s the serenity?’ Mr A couldn’t resist asking as we pulled up for lunch.Soon we were off on the road again, heading towards Marysville. Marysville is literally a town which has risen from the ashes, and as we drove through spectacular woodland you could not believe the horrors of the fires that shot through here a decade ago. Over 90% of the town’s buildings were destroyed and 45 people killed. I can remember sobbing as I watched the news and saw the devastation to human and wildlife habitats and lives.

Today Marysville looks vibrant and modern, particularly the architect designed home of our hosts Terry and Sharen at Dalyrymples Guest Cottages, fellow Zone caravan owners who had invited us to park up at their property for a few days while we head into Melbourne. They welcomed us into their home for a cup of tea once we were parked up, and told us the story of how the community had stuck together and revitalised the town post the fires. We’re looking forward to exploring the area further when we return from Melbourne.

Our friend Owen drove up the two hours from Melbourne after he had finished work, and after a delicious meal in the local pub, loaded the three of us into his car, and drove us back to his apartment in St Kilda.

Friday saw Mr A and I negotiate the tram into the city, a fairly painless experience. There we did a little shopping before lunch, Mr A buying a new sling bag from his favourite luggage store, Crumpler, and I found some sandals that are both pretty and comfortable for strolling around all day in at The Walking Company.

We had a great afternoon exploring, then returned to St Kilda, and Miss Tassie, the most adaptable cat in the world. She was enjoying her new Melbourne pad, welcoming the sunshine and comfortable balcony.Owen returned from work early evening, and took us for a spin around the Albert Park Grand Prix track in his Mercedes AMG GT R (correct me if I’m wrong!) – a great ride…

Dinner that night was at a local Japanese Misuzu’s in Albert Park – absolutely delicious food and not a grain of rice to be seen. Highly recommended. Mr A and Owen continued the evening with cheese and wine at a local bar…I still am in need of my early nights post op and retired to the apartment.

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, and after the boys had consumed their recovery egg and bacon rolls we set off to explore the delights of St Kilda. First along the waterfront of Port Phillip Bay……and then up into the bustling Acland Street. What a great atmosphere – plenty of interesting boutique shops and an eclectic variety of eateries and bars. Simply people watching over a cup of tea or coffee would be a great way to spend an hour here.

I then left Mark and Owen to head to a pub to meet up with an old friend, Dirk, while I went back to the waterfront to meet up with three strangers who belong to the idiopathic subglottic stenosis support group I run. Allison, Jo and Leanne turned out to be lovely ladies and it was fabulous as always to compare experiences and meet rare people who have gone through similar things to me.

Saturday night, Owen had a pre-booked (six months in advance!) dinner with some friends at one of the world’s top restaurants, Attica, leaving Mark and I to our own devices. We had dinner at a local Indian restaurant, Babu Ji. The food was delicious (Pani Puri, Aloo Baingan and Fish Moilee) but it was a shame about the ambience of the restaurant. With concrete floors, walls and ceiling, the sound was deafening and we could hardly hear one another talk!

We returned to the apartment to watch the sun set from the rooftop pool before heading to bed. Melbourne is certainly putting on the fabulous weather for us!

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