We’re hosting two of our offshore developers from the Philippines at work at the moment, and given that they’re both well into their sports, the powers that be decided it would be prudent to take them down to Melbourne to show them a game of AFL at the MCG. Both of my bosses pulled out of the trip for various reasons, leaving their tickets wide open, so Andy and I snapped them up!
A 7 AM flight ex-Brisbane on Saturday morning meant a very early start (to the tune of 4:30 AM), but we made it to the airport in plenty of time. Good thing too; Andy had “somehow” forgotten that he had a 6 inch camping knife in his knapsack, and suffice to say he did not have any luck sneaking that one through security! Similarly, Carlo had somehow managed to wedge a drillbit into his wallet, and that too was disallowed; Giovanni and I could only watch on with some amusement as all the contents of both Andy and Carlo’s bags were tipped onto the table for closer analysis. Thankfully, security let them both off with a stern look, and we proceeded to the flight otherwise unencumbered.
An uneventful flight and a fast Uber pickup had us in Melbourne city with a few hours to spare before the game, so we walked to Fitzroy Gardens, toured Captain Cook’s house, and grabbed a bite to eat before making our way across to the MCG.
That’s the first time I’ve been to the grounds and I was well impressed by the sheer size. At some point through the game, Andy asked me how many people I thought were there; I guessed the stadium was about half-full and hence it would be about 25,000. Well, I was right on one hand – it was about half-full, but that meant it was closer to 50,000 in attendance! For a round two game! I have to say Melbourne, you certainly know how to turn on the crowds.
Though our seats were rather hot (we were sitting directly in the sun), I thoroughly enjoyed watching the game (Richmond Tigers vs Western Bulldogs) – especially the final quarter which had much more intensity than the previous three. It also helped that in the final quarter, the Bulldogs (who won 85 – 66) were kicking towards our end, which meant much of the action was right in front of us.
Our flight back to Brisbane wasn’t until Sunday evening, which left us the remainder of Saturday and most of Sunday to fill for ourselves. We managed to cover quite a lot, including the view from the Eureka Tower, St Kilda markets, Acland Street, Little Creatures Brewery, Queen Victoria Markets, and a few rides on the tram. We also found ourselves walking a lot of kilometres, and by the time we got on the plane on Sunday night, my legs were well tired.
Unsurprisingly, we also ate and drank extremely well in Melbourne. Brother Jason was on hand to pass on a few great recommendations, and I thoroughly enjoyed coffee from Brother Baba Budan, and my bacon bap from Cumulus Inc. Oh, and the donuts from Walkers Donuts!
It was a long, exhausting weekend, but I really enjoyed our little junket to Melbourne!