It only took me a year and half to get around to compiling the video footage I had for this Europe trip. I wasn’t going to make a video initially due to lack of footage, but I had an editing urge and managed to scrape this together.
I’ll do the other countries from this trip soon too hopefully.
So I went to Melbourne for a few days with R, J & T to see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform with Joe Hasiashi, the music of Studio Ghibli films. Here’s what happened.
Started the trip with a delayed flight, causing our arrival in Melbourne to be around 8:30pm. We caught a bus into the city and walked the rest of the way to our apartment, where we met up with T who had already checked in.
A quick rest to settle in, before heading downstairs to grab some pizzas for dinner at Roza’s (tandoori chicken was legit).
Friday night was the concert, so we had the day to explore and have fun. We had a good sleep, and took our time in the morning. We had decided to see a movie that day, so booked the tickets online at the cinema in the Crown, and left around midday.
We saw the new Avenger’s Infinity War movie, and opted to see it in a Vmax theatre. Spacious, comfortable seating, huge screen, Dolby Atmos sound system – definitely should be the standard for cinema experiences. The movie itself was good, albeit a bit confusing because I’ve missed a lot of the previous Marvel movies. I don’t even want to know what the budget for that movie was…
After the movie, we walked around through the city, seeing the different shops and restaurants around, before deciding to stop to eat at Betty’s Burgers. They make a pretty delicious burger. And they have some crazy cool desserts too.
A bit more of a wander, before heading back to the apartment to get ready for the concert. Once we were suitably fancied-up, we walked to the venue and eagerly took our seats. Then this happened for two hours.
It was a very special night. Joe Hasiashi seems like such a sweet old man. Hearing the music of the films played live with a big orchestra (not as big as shown in the video mind you) was such a treat. Made me want to watch all those films again.
But the night was not over yet! From the venue, we walked to the Crown and went into the casino. I got to watch R&J lose some money, despite my best button-pressing efforts. T had to head back early, so I opted to go too while R&J stayed a bit longer to meet up with J (okay this started as laziness, but now it’s just confusing… too late to go back now).
If you haven’t noticed by this point, while I did bring my camera to Melbourne with me, I hadn’t taken it out yet as I don’t have my camera bag and would have to carry it everywhere with me. But luckily, we had our whole Saturday with no plans, so I decided to make up for lost photos then. Speaking of which…
Another late start this morning, as we had had a late night, and were in no rush to get anywhere. We had some breakfast at the apartment (the classic Nutella on toast), before heading out with some loose ideas of what we wanted to see. Camera in hand, we ventured across the river and started by ducking into a church for a quick look.
Then we crossed the street to go into one of the free galleries they had running, which was all about technology, past and present. They had exhibits related to film, animation, sound, the internet, video games, television and the like, a lot of it interactive. The games area was pretty dope.
After exploring the exhibition, and watching a bit of the experimental film they had running next-door, we headed off down Swanston Street, in search of the Overwatch mural. It was several blocks down before we found it, but we got there in the end. It was pretty cool.
From there, we walked in search of a few of the famous street art lanes, specifically Hosier and Union. Union wasn’t far, so we walked there and had a look, while stopping for J&T to get some lunch. R&J also bought Mario Kart for the Switch so we could have a tournament later. I decided not to eat lunch, so I could save room for what was coming later on…
We made it to Union lane and walked through. It’s cool, but quite a dank, dirty lane.
At this point, R&J decided to head back to the apartment to rest before our dinner venture. I walked with T to the next lane, Hosier, which I expected to be similar to Union. I was wrong.
Hosier was much bigger, more popular and just generally more interesting. There was a LOT more art to try to take in, with so many layers upon layers from different artists painting on top of each other. We spent a while there just looking around and taking photos, spotting new things when looking from different angles. I took a lot of photos…
It was definitely a highlight of the trip. After we left there, we came across the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria), which we had been looking for earlier, and so we stopped in to check out the free exhibits. They had three floors of Australian art, old and new. Paintings, sculptures, and everything in between. I didn’t take many photos inside, but boy was there some cool stuff.
And a couple more from upstairs:
Some subtle artworks.
Once finished there, we walked back to the apartment, feet sore, stomach empty. A bit of a rest (some photo-processing time for me), and it was out to dinner. We had booked to eat at Gami Chicken and Beer, on A’s fervent recommendation. He had been hyping this chicken for months (Korean fried), so we were eager to try it.
We found the sneaky restaurant and ordered bulk chicken, with the four different sauces, so we could try them all. Now, I will say, it wasn’t life changing as A had made it out to be. I’m not a different person now having tasted this chicken. But, it was pretty damn good chicken. We struggled to eat it all, ending up with some leftovers to take home, though we put in a solid effort. I ate waaay too much, but no regrets.
Somehow we managed to walk back home, and prepare ourselves for the Mario Kart tournament. J came over too so we could catch up and have some not-so-friendly, competitive games. Not that you asked, but yes I did win most rounds.
After many games, laughs and screams, we concluded our final night in Melbourne, took one last polaroid photo, and called it a night (except me, I’m writing this).
Tomorrow we have to wake early, get ready, pack up and clean the room before checking out by 10am. Then we’ll have a couple hours to roam around and get some lunch, before heading to the airport to catch our flight at 2:30pm.
Though we were only here a few days, we managed to do a lot which I’m happy about. Melbourne is a really interesting city and a lot of fun to explore. I’m looking forward to returning some day, hopefully sometime soon!
Our final day in Lebanon started fairly slow, with a bit of a sleep-in, then breakfast at the hotel. We heard that Fadi’s family had decided to drive to Beirut to see us one more time before we left which was a nice surprise.
We booked a nearby restaurant for a late lunch (on the hotel’s recommendation), and got ready and rested for their arrival. It was around 4pm when they arrived, and after some greetings, we all walked down to the restaurant, which was a seafood place down on the water (crossing busy streets with over 20 people is fun!).
It was good to have one final meal with everyone, though the restaurant wasn’t great. Probably the worst meal we had on our trip, so that was a nice way to end things! Afterwards we walked back and hung out in the hotel lobby, while chatting and ordering some sweets for dessert.
Once it reached 9pm, our taxi arrived to take us to the airport, so we had another extended goodbye, followed by the dreaded beginning to our long journey home.
Our first flight, from Beirut to Doha (4hrs) was at 1:30am, and I somehow managed to sleep through most of it (rare for me). Then we had a few hours wait until our Doha to Sydney flight (14hrs), which again I managed surprisingly well (slept for maybe 6 or 7 hours of it). I think it’s because on both flights there was an empty seat next to me, so there was a lot more space.
Lastly, we had a couple hours until our Sydney to Sunshine Coast flight (supposed to be a little over 1hr, but delays made it 2-3hrs). It’s good to finally be home though!
Overall, not a bad holiday. In fact, I would go as far as to say it was a good holiday.