I arrived in Melbourne about 10am Saturday morning after about 18 hours total flying time. Things sure have changed since the last time I was here: I had to rent a phone for the week to be able to affordably stay in contact with folks at home. Now, my Blackberry works: phone, email, browser and all. I was able to call Julie within 5 minutes of landing here as if it were a local call.
One key to recovering from jetlag when traveling to Australia (and arriving in the morning) is to stay awake the first day and switch to a local timetable. I made a mistake last time I was in Sydney and took a nap in the afternoon - this lead to repeated awakenings in the night and another day of recovery. So, my colleague and friend Mike and I set out to explore downtown north of the Yarra River. What follows is a short photo journal of our day.
Next we hiked west and rode to the top of Rialto Tower to check out the Melbourne observation deck. The views were stunning - clear, beautiful day with plenty of visibility. Here you can see (upper left) the Melbourne Cricket Ground and (middle right) the National Tennis Centre, home of the Australian Open.
Ahhh, a little slice of home.
So we're wandering down Swanston St when I happen to gaze across the street - lo and behold, a game store! Mind Games is a nice store - emphasis on family board games with a HUGE selection. I probably would have bought something if the prices had been more reasonable. I suspect they were 20% higher than retail in the US. I did buy 5 wooden d6.
While walking back to the hotel, we happened by a wedding at the Scots Church. Very cool bagpipes - how can you resist stopping and having a listen?