Another day, another trip on the water. Viewers of my bog will by now know that I love being by or on the water, so today I took a river trip in Melbourne. We started by going out to breakfast in a lovely Italian restaurant near the City centre. Then Beth went to work and I toddled down to the riverside and booked a boat trip.
The river frontage in Melbourne is like many others in some ways, but each city is just a bit different. I started through the business section of the City.
We passed the inevitable PwC office. The current Lord Mayor of London works for this firm, and in every city I have been to I have seen their offices towering over me. A reminder to not forget what I have left behind in London.
As we moved down stream towards the docks the views got better and better.
There are some wonderful views to be had, even in a built up area. The sun was shining and this building showed a wonderful reflection.
The river then opens up to the working port and it is always amazing to see the juxtaposition of new high rise offices and the older working areas.
Along the way the south bank has been developed with a walkway and series of shops and restaurants, much like London’s south bank.
After the trip I went to get a coffee. I handed over my cash, only to have it rejected, as I had given the guy 10 NZ Dollars. I am sure I got rid of my NZ currency, so I think someone palmed it off on me in my change at some stage. I am still at the stage where I don’t notice. Indeed, if I go into a shop and try to pay for something I am that tourist who is peering manically at the back of coins and notes to try to work out which is which!
I then went to find a barber for a haircut. (I thought you would like to hear about my domestic trials as well as my sightseeing).
Looking for the authentic Ozzy experience I found a small barber in a lane near the centre of town. It turned out the guy who did my hair was from Middlesborough in England! We had a load of banter. He accused me of being a southerner, which is a bit rich from a bloke who lives in the Southern Hemisphere. You can take the man out of Middlesborough, but you can’t take Middlesborough (and north south prejudice) out of the man.
It turned out he has some good friends in NZ who he visits regularly, so having paid my dues I tipped him with some Aus Dollars and also with 10 NZ dollars! At least he will be able to make use of it. And he was perfectly happy and amused.
On the way back on the tram a guy got on who was clearly very troubled and was shouting and screaming about something that he was annoyed about. This reminded me that I have seen the same issues in every city I have visited. The homeless and the troubled are part of every city community. While I am gadding about enjoying myself as a tourist it is good to be reminded that poverty and troubled minds are part of every city community. It is right to keep things in perspective. I am having the time of my life, but for some the daily struggle is great.
I offered to cook dinner again tonight, but James tells me it is ‘take-away night’. Great. No work for me then.