I’ve been on a five day road trip around Victoria together with Atle and Pål. The route we followed was roughly: Melbourne – Philip Island – Wilsons Promontory – Bairnsdale – The Great Alpine Rd to Bright, then down to Healesville through the Yarra Ranges national park.

We spent two nights in beautiful Bright, using a day in the Mt. Buffalo national park. Before coming back to Melbourne today, we went to the Healesville Sancturay, which is highly recommended. We saw platypuses and tasmanian devils, which I’ve never seen before, along with all the usual big aussie animals – like the Koala, Kangaroo and Wallabies, and lots of colorful birds.

Pål went home to the cold in Norway this afternoon, and it’s a bit strange to think that I should also be on my way back home at this moment, if it had not been for one bad exam at uni. Ah well – the weather is pretty good, and I don’t mind staying back for another semester really … as long as the money lasts …

We’ve finished moving out of the house – it was hard work cleaning out the seven bedroom house, but it was just like new after all the cleaning we’d done over the weekend.

At the moment Pål and I are staying at Atle and Kurt‘s place near Swinburne, sleeping in the living room. They’re really nice guys for letting us stay there a couple of days I think. We’ll soon be moving out, as soon as I arrange some practical matters with my continued studies here. We’re planning to rent a car and drive around a bit in Victoria.

After a long, hard day cleaning out the house and packing stuff into boxes and bags, we’re all set to move out of here in the morning. This place has been mine and the others’ home for the last year, and so much have happened during the time – it feels like we’ve lived here for ages, even though we only came down to Melbourne a little under a year ago.

It’s really a bit sad to move from here, but hopefully I’ll find a nice place to stay soon enough. In the meantime Pål and I will stay at Atle and Kurt’s place, before renting a car and driving around for a while. At least that’s the plan…

I’m now back in Melbourne to finish moving from our house. There’s plenty of stuff to do – cleaning the house, disassembling furniture and packing stuff into crates, so I expect the next three days will be pretty busy.

Today I’m at uni trying to find out my grade in Enterprise Java, the only one I have not received. The lecturer is on holiday until Monday, and is not answering the mail I’ve sent him, I just hope I won’t have to wait until then.

Pål and I have spent the last two days at Bondi Beach; soaking up sun, playing in the waves and doing the typical aussie pastime – perving at the girls 🙂

It’s a beautiful place, well worth spending a couple of days seeing. The water temperature was great, but it was a bit too salty for me, and I had too stay in shorter than I would have liked to because my throat got a bit sore.

We’ve also used the opportunity to catch some of the programme of the short film festival Flickerfest, held at the Bondi Pavillion, just off the Beach. It’s been a great way to spend the days – laying in the sun until you feel a bit too hot, then just head inside to cool down in the darkness of a movie theater a couple hours!

Tomorrow afternoon we’re heading to Melbourne, so I can get started with the cleaning of the house and other stuff that needs to be done before I move. I’m a bit sad about leaving Sydney though, but I hope I’ll be back here soon.

Our bridge climb yesterday was a wonderful experience – the view of Sydney was great, and it was fun being on top of such a huge old structure, 134 meters above sea level. It was just too bad about all the smoke from the forest fires on the horizon, which reduced visibility a lot; on a clear day we would have been able to see all the way to the Blue Mountains, now we could only see as far as the Olympic Stadium, a couple of miles away.

In the evening we went to King Cross to check out the nightlife – we had some food and beers, but the place is a bit too rowdy for my tastes, with strip joints, hookers and cars cruising the streets with music blaring. Maybe I’m just getting too old? Anyway, tonight we’re going to Oxford Street, which I hear is a lot more laid back.

After Pål arrived in Sydney yesterday, we went to the Opera House and had a guided tour of the building. We saw the inside of the huge concert hall, which was really spectacular. We’re thinking about getting tickets to a performance there one of these days.

Afterwards we took a ferry to Darling Harbour to visit the Sydney Aquarium. There are lots of fish and other interesting aquatic creatures to watch there, including huge sharks, which you can watch from transparent underwater tunnels. After spending about three hours there, we were really hungry, and went to get some sushi and beer at the Zenbu restaurant.

I’ve heard it said that Sydney has the most beautiful harbor in the world, and it really is spectacular!

I took the bus down to Circular Quay, and saw the Opera House for the first time. I walked around it and admired the great architecture, and had a few beers at an outdoor cafe. After that I walked all the way round to the south end of the bridge, admiring the massive pillars supporting the bridge, and strolling through the nice old neighborhood of The Rocks.

Walking around is always a good way to get to know a city, so I walked down through the city back to the hotel. This has been a long hot day, so I think I’ll just take a shower and read about some sights to see in the Lonely Planet guide the rest of the evening.