When we reached Melbourne it was already dark outside. Since this was the end of the Sydney-Melbourne trip, many people had made other accommodation arrangements but several of us checked into Base St. Kilda.
Base looked pretty hip compared to the other hostels at which we stayed. It had several tables set up with internet terminals, a tour booking desk and a bar in the lobby. Unfortunately, we had to hike up several flights of stairs with our backpacks because of a broken elevator.
My roommates from the tour were Alba, a teacher on holiday from Spain, and Ramona from Italy. We booked into a 10-bed mixed dorm room but none of our roommates were in. After a quick look around, we went back downstairs and met up with Chris from our tour, who was on a working holiday from Canada. After a quick feast at Subway, where I had a six-inch steak and cheese sub with a drink for AU$6.95, the four of us headed out to explore St. Kilda. Alba and I only had tonight to check it out because we were off on another tour at 6:45 am. Ramona and Chris would be sticking around for a couple of days.
We wandered down some streets with an interesting café and bar scene. One street boasted at least three dessert shops in a row. I guess if the first shop didn’t get you, your willpower would wane by the third. We walked along the coast hoping to see some fairy penguins, but I think we were way too late and missed their trek from the sea to their burrows. We passed what looked like a permanent circus tent and walked to the end of a pier. From here we could see the city lights of downtown Melbourne.
With nothing else to do, we headed back to Base to meet up with Toby from Germany. He was studying in Melbourne and had taken the tour over a holiday break. I decided to head back to the room for a quick shower and was happy to find the room empty. Ah, finally some peace and quiet. I took my time in the shower until I realized that there was absolutely no water pressure. Then, the speed at which I completed my shower was entirely not up to me.
Somehow I managed to wash my hair with the pathetic dribble of water they called a shower and went back downstairs to meet the gang. They were, of course, in the bar and I just bought a Coke for AU$4. We chit-chatted about nothing in particular and watched Australian-rules football on TV. Toby and Chris tried to explain the rules to me, but it was simply hopeless because even they didn’t know what was going on. Even though I could only understand that there were two teams and sometimes you kick the ball between what looks like a goal post, I could certainly appreciate the athletic ability needed to compete without pads and the nice fit of their uniforms (which consisted of tank tops and short shorts).
After the drink at Base, we moved to a proper pub down the road. I wasn’t really dressed for this as I only brought 10 kg of things with me and didn’t factor a night out into all the hiking and outback adventures. So, wearing a simple long-sleeved shirt, one of the two trousers I had, slippers and no makeup, off I went to this hip bar.
When we go there, most of the music they played surprised me by being American. It’s as if I never left home. Weren’t there any Aussie pop singers with record deals in Oz? I asked Chris about this as he’d been living over here for several months. He said most of their stuff (television shows, music, movies) comes from the US or UK. I just thought that was weird.
Even though we’d had early nights on tour, we stayed at the bar till after midnight. We walked Toby to an intersection and he went off toward his apartment and the rest of us headed back to Base. When we got to our room, it was Ramona and Alba’s turn to struggle with the shower. I’m not sure if they managed to get one or if they skipped it in favor of sleep. Overall, not a bad night in St. Kilda. I wish I would’ve stayed longer to explore the rest of Melbourne, but this just gives me an excuse to come back in the future.
|Slide Album: St. Kilda|