It has been a whirlwind of a week or so! I went down to St.Kilda’s beach with some people, which was gorgeous. The water was shallow and not too cold, and it was the perfect way to spend a super hot day, as there would be a bit of a breeze now and again to cool off. As the sun set, we headed over to a rocky area to look at wild penguins, who come back at night after seeking food out at sea all day. We saw a couple, huddled up in the rock. Waiting for the tram with everyone else who had stayed at the beach until sunset posed quite a frustrating situation, as tram after tram went by already packed with people, but I finally made it home.
The next day was my birthday! I took a nice walk over to a cafe for breakfast and spent some time relaxing before meeting friends for lunch. It was an unbearably hot day, but I decided it would be smart to go to the botanical gardens! They are absolutely gorgeous, but seeing as I didn’t cover much ground in the 96 degree sun, I will have to go back on a day when I can spend some more time there.
After trying to decide for a while where to go in the evening, and waiting in line for a club for a while, I finished out the night at a pub with some friends. I drank beer and spent time with cool people. Even though I didn’t have some wild night, it was still quite nice.
The next couple of days were pretty chill, as I was feeling a little under the weather. I did some grocery shopping and took a walk to a nearby neighborhood with tons of good looking restaurants. I had orientation for my building, went to club fairs and free barbeques, and got loads of pamphlets and even two free hats! I had some lovely conversations with my roommates and got to know them better, found where my first couple classes were on campus and made dinner with my friend Helena. Campus is absolutely gorgeous, and I am excited to actually see the inside of some of the buildings.
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have a “free” trip to the Great Ocean Road with my study abroad program! It was already all planned, so I packed up and we took a train and a bus to Anglesea, west of Melbourne. There were even wild kangaroos right by our camp!
We paddle boarded, hiked, watched movies, and had a lovely beach day on Saturday. I learned about some of the local flora and fauna in the region, somehow didn’t get too burnt, and swam in some of the clearest water I’ve seen. I also helped remove a 1.5 inch long Huntsman spider from our cabin!
Yesterday, we headed out of Anglesea along the Great Ocean Road, which lies along the southern coast of Victoria. There were gorgeous views along the way, and we even stopped to see wild koalas. Our destination, the 12 apostles, were absolutely gorgeous-they are these limestone towers that eroded over time into impressive pillars. There were only 9 at first, and one eroded a couple years ago, so there are now just 8 apostles, but I’m not complaining.
After a shared fish and chips lunch with my friend Laura by the water, we headed back home on the longest bus ride ever. I got some nice reading in, and once home, unpacked and called it a night.
Today is my first day of classes, which seems crazy as it is March! I feel pretty settled, but I am a little bit nervous, just because the format will be so different than the small school I’m used to. Mostly, though, I am just so happy to be here and to make the most of this next week!
Australian vocabulary log #5: Rocket=arugula, Tomato sauce=ketchup, Suncream=sunscreen, Bathers=swimsuit, Carpark=parking lot