Hello readers, few and far between! I'm excited to report that I've been given the opportunity to travel to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, for a six week business trip. This means a few things:
Thing one is that I get to check off another continent on my tally! All I've got left is Africa and Antarctica.
Thing two, which may be obvious by this post, is that I'll be updating my travel blog again! Huzzah! The format is probably going to be a bit different this time around. I won't have a lot of time during the week to actually see anything; I'll be working. Most of my explorations are going to be during the weekends. I'll also have time to edit photos during the trip, so I'll try to keep my galleries more current and not have a giant image dump at the end that I can't keep up with.
Here's what I know so far about Melbourne, where I'll be spending a majority of the trip:
It's the second largest city in Australia. The "cultural capital of Australia", Melbourne is a city drenched in art: film, impressionism, TV production, street art, and Australian rules football...which we'll call an art form for the sake of this list.
It is a busy sea port and the closest ferry point to Tasmania (which I haven't decided whether or not is worth the 11 hour boat trip to get to just yet.) It also has a pretty excellent public transportation network.
It is hot in the Summer (heat waves bring it up around 100*F) which is when I will be going, though technically it is part of the Australian temperate zone. Summer in Australia technically runs from December to February with Fall coming in March to May.
Australian food culture is a bit of a cultural fry-up. Of course there is the ubiquitous "Vegemite" (whose British cousin "Marmite" I am currently having a torrid love affair with), and Australians are indeed known for grilling things (I'm trying to avoid being aggressively stereotypical here.) But Melbourne is quite eclectic in its food culture. While it inherits a lot of dishes from the British Empire (meat pies are national treasure, as well as fish and chips), it also receives a great deal of influence from immigrant cultures, specifically Middle Eastern and western European cuisine -- particularly to that category, Italian and French.
That's enough summing up Melbourne for the time being as there will be plenty of time for that during the trip. A few details for those that care. I'll be flying out on Virgin Airways from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles this Thursday. After a brutal 7 and a half hour layover in LAX, I and several of my coworkers will travel from Los Angeles to Melbourne, a nearly 18 hour flight. During said flight, we will cross the magical IDL, and be teleported forward in time 24 hours. So we leave on Thursday evening and arrive on Saturday afternoon.
For my east coast friends, the time difference (without taking the day change into account) is -8 hours. Or if you want use real math, its +16 hours total. So if it's noon on Friday in Orlando, it's 4am on Saturday in Melbourne. So...be careful when you call me, please.
I have a thing when I do these trips, where I post a map of my travel plans. In this case, it's pretty straight forward...
Only 3 days to go! Stay Tuned!