On Saturday morning Connie, Doug, and I walked down to Brighton Beach. It was relatively close, maybe a 10-minute walk. And then there it was! The ocean! I actually missed being so close to it. In SLO it’s less than a 5-minute drive to the beach. And now I hadn’t seen the ocean since I arrived to Australia. We stopped in at The Baths and grabbed coffees. What was neat is that they had a rectangle pier that surrounded a part of the beach, and bars at the bottom, so it created this secure swimming area for people. (AKA no sharks can get in!) After we had our coffees, we walked down the beach and Connie showed me the bathing boxes. Which are these little sheds that are on the beach, and the owners can leave their towels, surfboards, chair etc. Apparently it’s really costly to own a bathing box. They were all so cute and colorful! There was one box that had the Australia flag, and of course everyone was taking pictures in front of it. Even me. When we were walking back, you can see the skyline of the city! It was a great view.
We walked back to the house and had breakfast. Today wasn’t a legal holiday, so more shops would be open in the city. We took the train to the city and Connie took me to the Queen Victoria Market. I really had no idea what to expect. But basically it’s this huge market place! There’s a meat market, and then you walk in another building and it’s a grocery market with cheeses, bread, coffee, spices, candy and so much more! And then there’s a fresh produce market in another part of the street. I bought a fresh olive loaf of bread, some marinated feta cheese, and a spicy salami roll. And in the produce market I got a bag of apples for $1. And then there’s a random goods market! There was so much to look at! In the random goods…well it was all random goods like leather jackets, uggs, painted boomerangs, sunglasses, and plenty of typical Australian souvenirs. All my friends might get a koala keychain.
After the market, Connie walked me through more of the city. We walked through narrow alley ways that all had restaurants and coffee shops squeezed in on both sides of the alley. And everything smelled so good. She said that we were walking towards the arcades…and in my head I thought oh, I’m not really a fan of arcade games, but that’s not what they were at all! They might have been old arcades at one point, but they were these long fancy buildings with more shops inside. There were art galleries, chocolatiers, clothing, and so much more. And they all had beautiful architecture.
As the day was winding down, we walked back to Flinders Station and walked across the street to grab a late lunch. I had a simple caprese sandwich that was really tasty. I thanked Connie for taking the time to show me around the city and for her hospitality, she was a great tour guide! And then we said our goodbyes and I caught the train to Lilydale. Simon picked me up from the station and headed home. It was a great weekend to finally get out of Yarra Glen and a chance to relax without work!