Along the Away

a traveler's tales

Archive for April, 2013

I love a weekend getaway to Melbourne and it usually works out I manage to go once a year, usually courtesy of some too-good-to-pass-up airfare sale. For this trip my sis and I scored $39 flights so we booked months ahead for some random distant weekend which eventually snuck up on us – yay!

We decided to do something a bit different than the usual city break and hired a car from Avalon airport to spend a day driving the Great Ocean Road. I’ve traveled it once before with my dear friend, Sverige from Sweden, but my sis hadn’t.

First stop of course, breakfast in Geelong (Melbourne weekend-aways are generally a string of cafe visits for me, everything else tends to happen in-between as a filler while I wait for my appetite to ebb and flow).

My darling  sister is patient with me as I make her pose for arty photos of the reflection in her sunglasses… which didn’t work out…

We wandered down to the waterfront to check out the view and lots of unique sculptures around the foreshore. I also found myself a boyfriend (we are already at the co-ordinating outfits stage).

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s treasures – nearly 250km of coastal hugging road to cruise along, twisting and turning along breathtaking views. The driver must make the sacrifice to keep their eyes on the road while the passengers hang out the window inhaling every stunning vista. Or if the driver does not feel like making such self sacrifices, frequent stops are taken every few hundred metres (which we did as I was the driver). For this reason alone it is best to do the trip over a few days or even a week, and in addition the cozy B&B’s, cafes, beaches and detours also make it worth a leisurely ride. But we only had a day so it was an efficient, but still lovely, road trip.

It’s fun to stop along the way. Those who grew up in Australia will recognise this lighthouse from ‘Round the Twist’ a daggy eighties kid’s after-school TV show. There’s a really sweet little cafe here where we stopped for tea and scones.

Another pretty view, time to stop the car for an instagram moment.

Refreshments are in order. Frequently.

Sister posing in the crazy wind :-)

An accidental photo taken of our legs when I dropped my camera –  I kinda like it!

Exhausted after an epic crawl effort to get up on the ledge. I’m not gifted in these things…

Just so so beautiful.

As we only had the one day for our Great Ocean Road adventure, our main mission was to head as far as the famous ‘Twelve Apostles’. These are huge limestone structures that jut out from the sea as high as 45 metres, carved into pretty sculptures by the powerful sea. There were originally twelve, but only eight remain visible now.

Giant sister heads trying to share photo space with eight remaining apostles.

We watched the sunset at the Apostles and then drove back to Melbourne in the dark. The next morning our first item on the agenda was breakfast. We found a lovely cafe (not difficult in Melbourne) called Argos Loves Company where I again imposed on my sister’s breakfast.

I try not to take too many photos of my food, but this was so yummy. Simple but delicious!

Co-incidentally my housemate was also in Melbourne for the weekend, to watch her friend who was performing in the Melbourne Comedy Festival, so we went along on Saturday night to check her set out as well. That night I also caught up with my former Indian housemate Alicia. By Indian I mean the Australian girl from Melbourne that did an internship in Bangalore the same time I did, who I lived with and shared many an Indian and Sri Lankan travel experience with. We had dinner out at St Kilda where we reminisced about our incredible India days. We tried to visit the St Kilda fairy penguins though unfortunately the area was barricaded off, so we watched the sunset from her secret St Kilda vantage point (sorry, it is top secret).

Another coincidence – I saw on Facebook when I was in Melbourne that my friend who lives on the mid-north coast in Port Macquarie was on her way to the airport to go to Melbourne for the weekend! We quickly arranged a rendezvous for lunch on Sunday, at a groovy place called Vegie Bar. Oh yummo! Highly recommended for flavour, ambiance and location (smack on Brunswick street, a perfect mid-shopping interruption). The coincidences keep on coming – we were all staying at the same hotel! What are the chances? I mean please. It would have been pretty weird if we had bumped into each other there without expecting the other to be in Melbourne.

On the last day we made one last breakfast mission, this time to a moody warehouse converted cafe called The Auction Rooms. It was recommended to us and it was well worth the tram trip to North Melbourne. I left my sister to enjoy her breakfast in peace this time and managed to refrain from taking photos of my food.. But I snapped this interesting skyscape at the tram stop nearby:

Last thing on the camera were sister photos as we waited for the tram to go to the Chapel Street Precinct for some shopping :-)

I’m afraid there is nothing else to see from then on, just a whole lot of shopping bags and spending money. Don’t need no photographic evidence of that, noooo way!

Such a nice weekend break away!