We were luck enough to catch up with Bobbi and her cousin Keiron at the Lord Mayor’s Welcome for International Students on Southbank. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, which was followed by the Essendon Vs Melbourne game at the MCG, which Bobbi and Keiron also joined us for.
It was a delight to chat to the beautiful Bobbi and she kindly shared with us some of her experiences in Australia…..
I traveled from Nova Scotia, Canada, to visit with family – that’s my cousin Keiron in the photo with us. My mum was Sydney born & bred, and so I have cousins there. It was my 2nd visit to Australia (the first was almost the same time last year!), and I spent time in Hobart (COLD!), Brisbane (way too humid for me, much to my other cousin’s dismay), and Melbourne (pretty much my favorite city).
The game that night was my first-ever Aussie Rules Football experience, and I loved it. Would definitely go back and clearly I am an Essendon supporter (I even have the scarf to prove it!).
Stuff I love about Australia – the ease and relative low cost of domestic air travel (the travel from Sydney-Hobart-Brisbane-Melbourne-Sydney cost me about $700, and equivalent travel in Canada would have been well over $2,000!)… the transit system in Melbourne… Hannah Gadsby… the National Gallery (I am still blown away that I could go to the NGV ANY DAY IT WAS OPEN and NEVER pay an admission, unless it was to a special traveling exhibit. It is not like that here)… the Top Arts and Top Design presentations at the NGV and the Melbourne Museum… Indigenous art & music… and omg, the COFFEE!! Seriously, is there a BAD cup of coffee in Melbourne? Because I’ve never had one, and I have had a LOT of coffee in your city!
Stuff I did this trip – besides the Footy, of course. Checked out Gold Coast with my cousin and got some awesome pics from the top of an 88-storey building… but didn’t swim there at all! I thought I would have more time for swimming. Went down the Great Ocean Road. Loved it. Didn’t swim enough. Chapel Street – that was a reprise from last year, but this year, I’m pretty darned sure that I saw Bruce Springsteen window-shopping there. International Comedy Festival (see: Hannah Gadsby, above!). Healesville Animal Sanctuary – SUCH an awesomely cool place. I love that they have breeding programs for endangered animals, rather than rescue and rehab alone. Cabernet Sauvignon – Australia knows how to make delicious wines! Meandering around the Dandenongs and stopping in neat little villages not far from the heart of the city to have still MORE excellent coffee.
Something I hate about Australia – the cost of ANYTHING printed on paper. Novels, textbooks, magazines, greeting cards… they are all outrageously expensive. I am definitely a bibliophile, and I’d have a hard time affording my fix in Australia. Why on earth are they so expensive?!
Australia’s a gorgeous country – despite the very different climates, it has much in common with Canada – some wildly varying scenery, depending on where you are. Glorious mountains and ocean. Friendly people. I miss it already, and I’m not even back in Halifax a week yet!