We camped for 2 whole nights before we arrived in Melbourne. We then parked the van outside of L's step cousin's house for the next 4 days. Robert and Joyce and their 2 sons, Callum and Gregor, live in a gorgeous home outside of Melbourne. And they spoiled us rotten.
They actually got us up at 6:30 am on a Saturday and they took us to the Victoria Market, the biggest market I've ever been to -- with hundreds of fresh fish stalls, meat stalls, deli stalls, bakeries and miles and miles of produce, and to top it all off, clothes and tacky souvenirs as well! We were in heaven and stocked up on a bit of everything. Could have stayed all day and spent our travel budget -- but they pulled us away after a few hours. So cool!
Though L might argue what was better than that was he got to "throw some shrimp on the barbie" that night. The boys grilled the shrimp, steak and kangaroo they had bought that morning -- and WOW -- it was the best meal we had had in weeks! Though probaly more tasty because it was homemade.
Callum took us to an Aussie Rules football match at the MCG in Melbourne. The stadium is round and holds 120,000 people. The sport is a combination of rugby and soccer with some crazy rules thrown in. Fortunately, we saw a game on tv the night before, so I followed a bit of what was going on. But for the most part, it was too fast for me but just fun to be there! L was even confused a bit -- he wasn't sure when to cheer or curse -- so he left that to Callum and stayed quiet, believe it or not. He would maintain he was concentrating on the game... And of course, we had to eat the token meat pie with horse sauce (ketchup) and washed them down with a beer. Another box ticked.
Robert and Joyce also took us on a tour of Melbourne. We stopped at the ANZAC shrine with a museum inside, grabbed a coffee in the park and then drove across the bridge so we could get the best picture of the skyline. That night we were included in celebrating Callum's 17th birthday at a Chinese restaurant along with Robert's mother and nephew and his girlfriend. Just wondering if Callum won the lottery or not because he promised to share his winnings from his birthday tickets with us if he did...
All in all, Melbourne is a fantastic city, though we weren't as impressed with it as we were with Sydney. We were most impressed by our hosts who let us make ourselves at home. We would have stayed longer. but lucky for them, we had the rest of the country to see so we had to move on.