A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne

Arriving in Melbourne we checked into the Tolarno Hotel very late!
See www.tolarno.com.au it is a great place! Art all over the place and mixed matched walls (our small bedroom has 6 different wall colors - from Mauve to Perwinkle Blue to Champagne and Olive Green) and on top a twin bed sized oil painting of a Flamenco Group over our queen sized bed! St Kilda (the area where our hotel is) is like the West Village before it got Starbucks & Co.! A bit grungy and upscale and very interesting!
Yesterday, Monika had a really bad Migrane attack and went to bed as soon as we checked in. Jakob then went downstairs and had the choice of three bars (within the hotel) and ordered a beer. Before the beer arrived he was entangled in a conversation with Michael and Richard - two family fathers who were "out on the town" for the night. They gave Jakob tons of details for going out in Melbourne, where to stop on our Great Ocean Road drive and general great tips on how to "spoil" Monika (as if Jakob needs any more hints ;-)).
On top, Michael gave Jakob short insight in the diversity of Aussie Beers while drinking wine himself.
Today, we spent our time walking around downtown and meeting Gabrielle for Lunch at a great Japanese Restaurant. Jakob met Gabrielle about 10 hours before he flew to Sydney in Hamburg, Germany - small world!!! Otherwise, just strolling, people watching and now internet cafe (with its unforgettable charm of formica table tops, chipped paint, bad reception TV in the background and yes, the neon lighting makes sitting here SSSOOOOOO romantic).
'til Sydney Mates,

Monika & Jakob

Posted by mkmk42 01:31 Comments (0)

Brisbane 2

Sushi & Pics

So, a brief stop over in Brisbane allowed us to meet up with Martin and Emily for Train-Stop Sushi! Imagine traveling all this way to be served Sushi off of the Spremberger Stadtbahn (Ole, we have pics for you to see). It was a self-service Sushi Bar with a toy locomotive with flat-beds for the Sushi plates.

We had time for a very quick walk and then we had to return to the airport for our connecting flight to Melbourne!

Cheers -
Monika & Jakob

Posted by mkmk42 01:26 Comments (0)

Whitsunday Islands

Elvis Lives!

Oh, our three day sailing trip was wonderful!
1st the Bad news - no wind = no sailing
2nd the Good news - we didn't miss sailing!

We found Waltzing Matilda, a small 14 person Yacht (11 Guests + 2 Crew) with a nice bunch of UKers (Canada, London, Scotland, etc...) and us two.

We snorkled and Jakob was so great! Not only did he try to snorkel for the first time but actually loved it - sometimes getting in the water before me! We saw so many beautifully Coral Reefs (we were on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef) with all its friendly and colorful inhabitants. It was like swimming in an aquarium!

We spotted and petted Elvis! Yes, Elvis!
Ok, so a Maori Wrasse Alpha Male is called Elvis - (but, had you going didn't I?) He was at least an arms width long, one arm tall and about one forearm wide. Very friendly and inquisitive. The others of his family are "normal" sized - so we really didn"t take notice of them.

One giant clam we spotted was the size of a small sofa - with dark purple fringes.

We didn't swim with the turtles or dolphins but did spot them as well as a Sea Eagle (a smaller version of a Bald Eagle with white under feathers)

The weather (even without wind) was heavenly. Clear skies most of the time, lovely cloud enhanced sunsets and starry, starry nights. Finding the Southern Cross, Orions Belt, Venus and Mars was easy. The thumbnail wide moon cresent - was a bit more difficult. The temps were around 30 C (I guess, 85 F) and little humidity. We took to bathing in Sunblocker and only on our return to harbor did Jakob get a light sunburn on his neck. This is serious sunburn territory - we saw more walking lobsters on the beaches than in most Lobster Houses ;-)) We consider ourselves very successful in this area - (as both of us could enter the "Reddest Lobster Contest" and come in within the top ten :-))

Sailing (or puttering about) was very relaxing and a great way to just shut out the rest of the world. No Cell Phone connection for 3 days (and imagine, Janne, we survived and loved it).

Though Airlie Beach is beginning to show signs of over-developed, using it as a starting point for a cruise is worth it!

Well, need to pack for our brief stop over in Brisbane and further on to Melbourne!

Monika & Jakob

Posted by mkmk42 01:06 Comments (0)

Brisbane

Down Under Krupski's

Well, it is definitely wonderful finding more to my tiny family!
Elizabeth was married to Waldemar (my Dad's Brother) for 30 years before he passed away in 2004. Together they had a son, Martin (now 27 - born May 23, 1977)
Visiting the two was as natural as could be. There were thousands of questions as well as thousands of answers for all sides. Their home is beautifully situated high on a "hill" in the Brisbane suburbs. at least a 45% angle - no joke! Elizabeth said she only walked up the hill twice since moving in.
Martin, however lives directly Downtown in what could only be described as one of the best "Bachelor flats" (Emily, you know what I mean) with a small man-made lagoon in the center court sandy beach and clean water!
Elizabeth and Martin took us to Surfers Paradise and it was beautiful - a bit like Miami but looking to the ocean it was spectacular!
We are hoping to meet up again soon -
Monika

PS yes Jakob was there too! ;-)

Posted by mkmk42 00:51 Comments (0)

McLaren Vale

Myth 6

Oh how to start - a visit to McLaren Vale is a higher must but then again so is Barossa, as is Hunter....

Myth 6 - WINE HAS TO BE SERIOUS

d'Arenberg Winery with the strong personality of Chester Osborne and the very unique naming of his very serious wines is a must for all that enjoy the finer things in life with a smile! Here wines are named for birds, for accidents, for fun but the wines behind the names are well crafted. Dining in his restaurant is world class with delicate Lobster Ravioli and his Monkey Spider Roussanne as one of the absolute highlights of the trip. Views from the top of the tanks to the shoreline sound amazing (I didn't go up myself but do believe the reports from those who did).

Hardy's Tintara was our last official winery visit and there the lovely reminder was a 100 year old Moreton Fig Tree - great climbing and hiding for children of all ages (not me - found a spider on my first step under the canopy).

Well, that was Monika's official part of the trip. Friday evening was for finishing off FuW Matters and packing. Saturday, Jakob arrived and the trip continues...

Monika

Posted by mkmk42 03:08 Comments (0)

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