First Post: Melbourne, Australia

Haven’t had much time yet to upload photos. I did do some shooting yesterday, though. So for this first post I think I will just share some first impressions of traveling to Australia.

The flight is loooong. 14 1/2 hours from San Francisco to Sydney, on a fairly full flight with no leg room makes it nearly impossible to sleep sitting up. I still shake my head when I think about we left at 10:50pm on Wed. and arrived at 6:30 am on Friday. Talk about losing a day. . . .

One always hears about how friendly, helpful and accommodating the Australians are and yes, indeed, it is true. In the Sydney airport while waiting for our delayed flight I decided to buy a power adapter for the Australian plug style. The cashier started asking me where I was from etc. I told her and mentioned we would be in Melbourne for about three weeks and would also be going up to Adelaide for a few days. . . . “I lived in Adelaide for 28 years. And if you go out wine tasting there forget the Barossa Valley. It’s over rated. You have to go to McLaren Vale, it’s much better. And my favorite winery is Coriole Vineyards.” I feel compelled to go there just to tell them that story.

Another great interaction with a local occurred our first day walking around downtown Melbourne. Downtown is famous for its Lanes. These are narrow streets, alleys or arcades. Some are covered. Some lined with cafes and stores. Some are just brick walls covered with the most amazing colorful graffiti art. Well, we had just walked through one of the latter and paused to get our bearings when a brand new Limo pulled up, opened its doors and a wedding party piled out and dashed into this particular lane to get pictures of them in their formal attire with the graffiti art as the background. The driver, Lindsay, started chatting us up and before you know it he had told us all about this Limo being brand new. That they had purchased the car here for the right side steering wheel then shipped it to Los Angeles to have it stretched and customized. And would the kids like to get inside so you can take their picture in it. . . .

I just realized I haven’t said anything about the house we are staying in. The MacGeorge House, a fabulous rustic craftsman style house bequeathed to the University of Melbourne by the artist Norman MacGeorge. I’ll save the details for another post.