The Big Bird finally reached Melbourne, landing in pleasant weather and 22 degrees even though it was almost three in the morning. We immediately got ourselves some Aussie dollars for the first day or so, collected our cases which magically appeared on the great luggage snake as soon as I went over, sailed through passport and border control with not a TV camera in sight and exited the arrivals area to find the Skybus right in front of us. We were on a roll!

First steps in Oz

First steps in Oz

The bus took us quickly into Melbourne as we personally got more and more excited at the prospect of seeing Scott again. We alighted at the bus station, turned right up a ramp and there, coming down, was the wee man himself looking tanned and fit. We hugged till it hurt then flagged down a taxi which took us to Scott’s flat in 5 minutes. 14 floors later we were inside having a cup of tea and catching up frantically on what each of us has been doing.

Mary and I shared Scott’s bed for a couple of hours while he curled up on the sofa but we were all up and raring to go by ten o’clock. After breakfast Scott took us on a tour of central Melbourne which was easy as he actually lives right in the heart of CBD (Central Business District). The city immediately got our attention and struck us as laid-back and friendly, inhabited by joggers, skateboarders, cool people in summer clothes and a thousand schoolkids in uniforms straight out of an episode of “Neighbours”! The people seemed tall and fit, polite and smiling and very different from the inhabitants of the European countries we are presently in the middle of touring.

Reunited!

Reunited!

Lunch was taken in a mall on the banks of the river Yarra and, in a pub a few metres further along, I had my first taste of Cooper’s Pale Ale which Jeremy had recommended I try. He was right! The beer was tasty and refreshing. This was when I first encountered the price of things here in Melbourne as I was charged 21 dollars for a pint, a bottle of beer and a Pepsi Max! That’s 15 quid to you and me! Scott then informed me we were in one of the cheaper places to have a drink so  I signed the pledge on the spot!

G'Day!

G’Day!

Scott then took us to see the Anzac war memorial just outside the CBD and we did a short tour of Chinatown before collecting our cases and taking the tram to our Hostel a couple of miles away. Once settled in, we avoided the temptation to lie down, knowing we would fall asleep and miss our date with Scott for dinner at his favourite Chinese restaurant. So back we went on the tram, met up with Scott again and he treated us all to a great meal as a kind of belated birthday gift to me. Bless him, he also gave me a wonderful present of a framed collage of various photos of all the boys and me individually in front of “Kelso” street signs and he’d added 2 more from streets he’d found here in Melbourne. Thanks, son!

Chinatown

Chinatown

Fatigue soon caught up with us all so we called it a night at about nine and went our separate ways. It had been a great first day in Melbourne with our son Scott and we’d even managed to book rooms at the inn Jeremy had recommended in Manly, Sydney for 5 nights next week. We’ll book the flights tomorrow. Mary fell asleep on the tram home and I had to waken her to get off, as I’d had a few more hours sleep than she’d managed to grab on this eventful first day. Nevermind, we’ve promised to take it easy tomorrow and try to wear off the effects of those long flights.

Goodnight (or is it Good Morning?).

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