By Amani Bates, University of Western Australia, Australia
My journey to Melbourne was, in no uncertain terms, cursed. However, once I got there I had a great time. Here’s what happened.
As any traveler on a budget would, I booked the cheapest flight from Perth to Melbourne which was at 2 AM. I got to the airport at midnight, two hours before departure, with plenty of time in hand.
At 2 AM we were told the flight was delayed for bad weather. At 4 AM they told us it was cancelled entirely. We were then told 100 priority passengers would be moved onto the next flight which was at 6:30 AM. I was rightly, but annoyingly, not considered a priority passenger and so was offered the 10:30 AM flight. Predictably, at 10 AM we were told that that flight had also been delayed two hours. Now, at midday, having been in the airport for twelve hours, I boarded my flight.
My original arrival time was 7 that morning, where a friend was going to pick me up and drive me the remaining three hours, outside of Melbourne, to the cabin in the woods we were staying at. Understandably, as I was now arriving in Melbourne at 5 that evening, she had pressed on without me. My alternative option was to get a bus from the airport to the train station, where I could then get a three-hour train to the town closest to the cabin. So I bought a ticket at the station but would have to wait another hour until the train departed.
Now, this bit was my own fault, but given that I’d been awake for nearly 20 hours at this point I think I can be forgiven.
I got on the wrong train.
I realised three stops down the line, that I was in fact, on the wrong line entirely. This meant getting off, getting on the next train back to the original station, buying another ticket, and waiting YET ANOTHER 2 hours, until the final train that day!
At long last, I had made it to the town the cabin was in. But alas, I was not at the cabin itself…I still had an hour and a half drive to get there. I called a cab service but seeing as it was now 1 AM, in a small remote town, no one answered. I tried several others before getting through to someone who finally, finally! Got me to my friend’s cabin. A trip that should have taken me 8 hours of journeying time (5 hour flight + 3 hour drive) had taken me 25 hours! Thanks for nothing Jetstar, you’re the ones that sent this disastrous chain of events in motion.
Anyway, sob story over. Once I was there, the views from the cabin were serene. I spent four days barbecuing, chopping wood, bird-watching, and hanging out with some very cool people. At the end of our trip, I was driven back to the heart of Melbourne where I’d spent another week. During this time, I did all the touristy things Melbourne had to offer, including…
The old Astor Movie Theatre where I watched a double bill of Hitchcock films.
The MCG ground to watch an AFL game.
The famous Lune cafe, where I queued 45 minutes for allegedly the world’s best croissant (I mean it was fine).
An aboriginal immersive art exhibition.
The iconic but slightly terrifying gates of Luna Park.
Hosier Lane in Fitzroy to see the street art.
And finally the beautiful La Trobe reading room in the state Library.
Despite my horror show of a journey there, Melbourne delivered.