November 27, 2011

Sooo sorry for the hiatus, it has been a busy week! Last Sunday I started my first day of work at a retail clothing store in a mall in the center of Melbourne. I worked all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and was EXHAUSTED! This whole working thing can be pretty tiring! I slept for 12 hours after getting home from work on Tuesday night. It was the best sleep I've had in Australia!

I had a few days off so Luke and I decided to take advantage. We found this really great website with free things to do in Melbourne which obviously is right up our alley! On Wednesday once I finally woke up we headed over to the Old Treasury Building where we had a tour of where they used to house all of the gold nuggets that were dug up in Victoria during the early 20th century. Our Irish tour guide didn't know much about the treasury, but he was really nice and gave us some travel advice!

Then we headed up Collins Street to two beautiful buildings - 333 Collins Street and the ANZ Gothic Bank. I'm sure those don't mean anything to you, they certainly didn't mean anything to us (except ANZ is our bank), but they were on the free website and they were nearby, so we went exploring. Both have some beautiful interior decoration. The ANZ Gothic Bank was my favorite. It is still a normally functioning bank and used to house the stock exchange, but it feels like you are walking into an old gothic style cathedral. The ceilings are very high, there are stained glass windows and wonderful wooden archways. We capped off the day by heading to the Queen Victoria Night Market. It is just as good (or possibly better) than the normal daytime market. It is basically only food and drink stalls and there was live music!

We had planned to go on a tour of the Parliament building on Wednesday as well, but they were in session so we didn't end up getting a tour until Friday (they only work 3 very "hard" days a week). The tour was interesting. Australia is similar to the US in the fact that there is state as well as national law, but it seems that the state government has much more power here than in the US. Each state has it's own house of parliament with an upper and lower house as well as a Premier, which seems to be akin to something like the state version of an Prime Minister. The party that is in power chooses the premier from within that party. We were able to get into and even sit in some of the MP's seats. It was a pretty fun tour!

We capped off the week by going to a Melbourne Victory match today vs the Gold Coast. It was a pretty good game with lots of goals scored so it kept us on the edge of our seats! Well that and the fact that a little boy was kicking the back of my seat the whole time. And the Victory were victorious! (sorry, had to).

There is so much more of Melbourne to see still and we plan on doing as many FREE things as possible!

The Gothic Bank Building

The hallway of the Old Treasury Building
This is where they kept all the gold!!

Outside of the Treasury Building

Luke sitting in the chair of Speaker of the House

Sitting in the Premier's Chair

Watching some football/soccer!

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