After the business of shopping and cooking for Christmas comes the eating, drinking and recovering. So for the recovery time we took a few days break in Melbourne to take in the Boxing Day Test cricket and the summer sales. We stayed right in the middle of Chinatown at The Mercure Welcome.
Just along Little Bourke Street we could easily access Myers and David Jones as well as the Emporium which had a wide range of clothing, book and food stores.
We chose to walk to the cricket each day through the Treasury and Fitzroy gardens. They are really beautiful and it is so peaceful walking through them.
The cricket was very busy the first couple of days. The crowd wore all array of outfits. Chanting and Mexican waves from the Aussies were matched by drumming and chanting from the so called ‘Swami Army’ of Indian supporters. Good starts were made by Chris Rodgers and Shane Watson but it was the Australian captain Steve Smith who really shone with 191. This score was almost matched by India’s Virat Kholi, 169 and Ajinkya Rahane, 147. Bad weather, lower scores and diminishing crowds due to work returns saw the match fizzle to a draw.
Each night we ate in Chinatown with different friends. The first night was at the Empress of China. Food was cheap and good. Service was a bit slow as it was very busy. We shared pork dumplings, fried rice, cuttlefish, beef and chicken dishes. The second night we ate at the Shark Fin Inn near the top of Chinatown. Again we shared the dishes – chicken and cashew nuts, fried rice, spicy beef with vegetables and scallops with vegetables. The highlight was when a young guy on the next table went down on blended knee and proposed. The ring had a big sapphire on it that a friend of his had mined. She said yes of course!
Even though Christmas was over the city square was still decorated with Christmas trees and other decorations and lights. So one night we did a bit of a walk around the CBD to check things out.
The Bourke Street Mall had rows of lights which rotated through a variety of colour patterns.
The Myers windows theme this year was Santa and the Three bears. It was pretty impressive as usual. We were lucky as the crowds were a lot thinner than I suspect they had been before Christmas.
After a few days we returned home to Dromana just in time for a couple of really hot days. In fact they were so hot it wasn’t worth going to the beach until late in the evening. As you can see the sunset was pretty spectacular. It was an excellent way to be welcomed back home.