Bridge leading over the river to Flinders street
We had to return the car by 11am so we had to get back on the road by 8.30am at the latest. The drive was supposed to be over two hours with no traffic. We woke and had breakfast, the usual toast, tea, coffee and cereal. Although you had to pay an extra 20cents for the coffee. The journey back to Melbourne
was a bit frustrating as the drivers have no concept of motorway etiquette. I am glad that Ruchi was driving otherwise I probably would have been very aggressive on the road. The drivers have no concept of speed, lane changes, indicating and space. All the things that are quite useful in order to drive safely.
Anyhow we managed to get back in one piece and in good time, we filled the tank and got the checks sorted. We had one document to sign and we had paid on the way out so no more charges. As the hostel was down the road we headed back to check in and drop our bags off. No check in until 2pm but we were allowed to leave our bags in the luggage store.
Federation Sq and back into the information centre. We grabbed a fringe festival events programme and picked out a couple of things we were interested in. We definately wanted to see a comedy performance but we did know any of the comedians. There was also a Diwali festival of lights performance in the main Federation sq from 1pm onwards. Indian food stalls lined main riverside, we had samosa chaat and lassi on the river side in the sunshine.
After lunch we caught the free tourist shuttle bus to captain cooks cottage, in Fitzroy
gardens. The entry fee $4.60 for adults, you get a laminated self guide card, which explains the features and history of the cottage. The cottage is tiny you can cover the house and the grounds of the garden in 5 mins. I took my time to read about the features of the house and the garden. This is the original cottage that Captain cook lived in. It was originally built in Yorkshire but was bought by a British born Australian and shipped over to Melbourne.
The house consisted of a kitchen on the ground floor, with a tiny bedroom next door for the cook, a large bedroom and a small bedroom upstairs.
Captain cooks cottage
The kitchen had a huge fireplace, a table placed in the middle of the room filled with meat and vegetable produce and a grandfather clock. Getting up the stairs was a bit of an issue. The stair case was narrow and busy with other tourist. The upper floor was not much bigger, there was a tiny bedroom with a tiny bed, this room was for the kids. The main bedroom next door was Captain cook's room, study and guest room. The huge double bed was for Captain Cook, his wife and the rest of the kids. A curtain dividing up the bed from the rest of the room. A desk and chair placed near the fireplace was Captain Cook's study. The room was also used to receive guests. You can imagine how cramped the place could get as there was many tourists trying to edge in all at the same time making me feel a little claustrophobic.
The garden was used to grow many of the vegetables that fed the family and also flowers. There was a statue at the front of the garden measuring 6ft 3''. Dotted around the garden was certain signs explaining the uses of herbs and certain flowers or veg and also some of the work that Captain Cook had achieved. There is a small gift shop located in what was formally the barn area. In here there was a video playing the history of Captain Cook's adventures. There was also a timeline/map on the wall that dotted all the places he had explored.
The weather was terrific that day, blue skies and sunshine. The free shuttle bus only runs to a certain time in the afternoon. I think we managed to catch the last one of the day, it took us back to Federation square.
Captain Cook's kitchen
From here we made a short walk to the tram stop to purchase tickets for a comedy event. When we get to the box office there is a teenager working behind the counter. We asked her to recommend a good comedy show and she didn't really have a clue. Luckily for us there was another girl that just happened to walk into the office and she recommended Josh Thomas, she told us that he is really popular in Australia and hilarious. I was sold seeing as I didn't know any better, tickets $23 at the Lithuanian theatre. The girl told us that we could catch the tram up to the theatre from this stop right behind us. Sorted.
We headed back to Federation square to watch the rest of the Diwali festival of lights show. The crowd was huge and full of atmosphere, they cheered the band on the stage, they danced and they got the groove on.
Captain Cook's clock
The band performed jali ho from slum dog millionaire and mudja mudja from jab we met, these were the only two songs that I recognised. Next a dance group turned up and performed a choreagraphed dance and attempted to teach the crowd the dance too. The crowd seemed to find it diificult to follow the moves and instead just continued their free style dancing. We watched for another 1/2 hr or so before we decided that we needed to get dinner, get back to the hostel and get ready for our evening out. We dined on the south bank at a greek restaurant. The moussaka was AmaZing.
At 8.03pm we caught the number 57 to Erol street, Lithuanian theatre. We arrived at about 8.30pm and the show was due to start at 8.45pm, we waited in the queue with the rest of the crowd, waiting for the previous show to end so that we could be seated and enjoy our show.
Captain Cook's room
The queue seemed to be massively enthusiastic about Josh Thomas. Young crowd. The place was packed out, every seat on the house taken. The teenage girls with braces, pigtails and mini skirts. The girls were practically in love with him. The lights went out just before his grand entrance and the crowd went wild, they cheered, they screamed and they clapped. He looked like a young teenage kid himself with his blond floppy hair. He came out and jumped straight into his act. They crowd loved him so he got the laughs that he was working for, they laughed and laughed so hard. I personally thought the crowd was easily pleased, I merely giggled a few times. He told a lot of jokes about sex. He really played hard on the down and out of luck with the ladies character.
The crowd lapped it up. He told quite a few inappropriate jokes and I thought the young kids were trying too hard to enjoy it but not actually really understanding the jokes. I thought that with such a young crowd his jokes were not funny at all. At the end he even had a fan throw her bra at him, a little over the top me thinks. The crowd dispersed quickly, the girls ran to form a queue to meet him. I didn't bother, we went straight to the tram stop and I felt like a grumpy old fart, completely disappointed with the show. We jumped on the number 57 again and everyone else had the same idea, the tram was packed but luckily for us we got a seat.
We got back into Federation square and the first place we saw was transport bar or hotel bar or whatever it was called.
It was packed out, free to get in and right in front of us. No better place to start I guess. We walked in and the DJ was spinning some cheesy tunes in there but we thought hey what the hell, lets have a few drinks and lets have some fun! Tequila, sambuca, tequila, sambuca, tequila, sambuca, lots of shots later and a few spirits to wash that down we were dancing up on the stage and go wild. I jumped up on the window ledge and danced my socks off until the security guy came around to get me off. Funny thing is that all the people outside can totally see you through these windows and that made it much more fun. Loads of other tourists in there but also locals who had gone to the races, they were all dressed up in their sunday best.
The music got better, the DJ started spinning some r'n'b tracks and more current commercial tunes.
Don't make the mistake of leaving while drunk because first of all there is no re-entry and second of all if you appear drunk you won't get in. Ruchi left to go to the cash point and couldn't get back in. It wasn't until about 30-40mins later that I realised that she was not back. I was obviously having a blast. The bouncers on the door wouldn't even let her back in to get her coat or anything or to use the loo. Luckily I grab our things and made my way out to find her. We jumped into a taxi to get back to the hostel as we were in no state to walk. The taxi was about $7, cheap.
In our drunken state I tried to make some international calls.
Firstly I tried using the payphone with 50cents, that didn't work and then with my credit card, thank god that didn't work and then Ruchi ran out to get some credit from the petrol station. It was this long receipt with loads of complicated instructions and numbers and stuff. It took us about 10 attempts before we connected to the UK. The $10 credit lasted us about 30mins or maybe a bit more actually, my friend said it was hilarious listening to two crazy drunks chatting rubbish. Yeah great what a waste of $10. Another great thing was the hostel had a 24hr Mcdonalds located opposite the road. PERFECT!