Saturday, February 18, 2006 - Melbourne
and Macs Cove
First thing this morning Dean took Tom and
me for a ride on his learner motorbike with
home-made sidecar, then he turned over the
reins, so to speak, and let/made us each
drive. Without a doubt the most dangerous
thing we did on our trip. Great fun!
I'm an excellent driver
Look out, here I come
Later in the morning Dean and Catherine
took us into downtown Melbourne for a quick
look around the city proper. The Shrine of
Remembrance is the State of Victoria's
memorial to its brave veterans throughout
Australia's history. It is the site of the
annual ANZAC Day commemoration, a holiday in
honor of the Australian and New Zealand Army
Corps. This is a moving place to visit.
Australia is our greatest ally!
Shrine of Remembrance
Phillip Bay, Melbourne
Melbourne from the Shrine
We drove along Port Phillip Bay in St.
Kilda and stopped by Luna Park, the Coney
Island of Australia, featuring the oldest
wooden roller coaster in the world. The
laughing-face entrance is a Melbourne
Further along the bay at Port Melbourne
the Spirit of Tasmania was docked. Next time
we come to Australia, we'll be on it!
The city tour had to be cut short since
our visit in Australia was so brief and there
was so much to do. We were headed to the lake
for the night, and it's a couple hours'
drive. At Safeway Dean and Catherine got food
for the weekend, while Tom and I picked up a
"slab of stubbies." That would be a case of
beer in bottles in American. Australia and
the United States are two countries separated
by a common language, but at least we were
picking up the most important lingo.
As we were icing down the slab in the
"eskie" (cooler) back in Lilydale, a
WW2-vintage Hudson bomber flew low directly
over our heads, a rare and special moment,
especially when we'd just visited the Shrine
of Remembrance earlier in the day.
For lunch we had Four 'n Twenty brand meat
pies, a very Australia food. These are a
combination of beef and mutton, and the
Aussies eat them with "tomato sauce"
(catsup). Unexceptional. Catherine doesn't
like meat pies and had a vegemite sandwich
instead. Vegemite. Yikes.
This afternoon we traveled to Catherine's
father's holiday house, two hours to the
north on the shore of Lake Eildon, near
Mansfield, in Macs Cove, (which sounded like
"Mexico" to our American ears). I say "on the
shore," but Victoria is in such a drought
that the house really wasn't very near the
shore at all. All of Victoria is a tinderbox
that could burst into flames at any moment. I
hope they get some rain soon. The house is
wonderful and the area is beautiful. It just
doesn't get any better than this!
The lake house and the Jackaroo 4x4
At dusk we went on safari in the
four-wheel-drive truck and saw heaps of 'roos
in the bush. It's fantastic to see them in
the wild! Choco the Dog got overexcited and
leapt from the vehicle to make chase, and for
a moment we feared we'd seen the last of him.
A kangaroo can easily kick a dog to death.
But Dean called out his name, and after a few
tense moments he returned.
Dean made superb homemade pizza for "tea,"
then turned on the telly to Winter Olympics
highlights. He brought out an enormous
Australian flag from out of nowhere and made
us all join him in cheering on the Aussies.
"Stand up for Australia!!!"
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