Aussie Experience number 5 – Melbourne and Lorne

When we came back from the dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef Erlend and Solvår had already left for Sydney where they were spending their last days in Australia. Karl Kristian, Eli, Veronica and me were heading to Melbourne where the Keely family was awaiting us. It was time for some home cooked food and genuine Australian hospitality!

Group picture from Lorne

Group picture of us at the pier in Lorne

Laura picked us up from the airport after I had called them earlier on the day almost forgetting that we had four surfboards with us. You would think that this is a elementary fact but it’s weird how you get used to travelling on your own and not relying on anybody else. I’m just glad that I remembered it before we arrived! Luckily the Keely’s had a SUV that had enough space on the roof rack, and Richard had been nice enough to get hold of some straps for the roof. It had been way too long and meeting Laura again was one of the things I had thought about from the start when we began planning this trip.

Laura and me

Laura and me at the Keely's house

To get you guys into the loop I will explain who the Keelys are quickly. The Keely’s are an Australian family that was in Germany in the same year as my family lived there. Laura, Daniel and Emily all went to the same school, International School of Stuttgart, as me and my sister Miriam. Laura was in my grade, Daniel was in the grade below while Emily was in my sister Miriams class. We all got along really well and it turned out that our parents did too ending up with the Keelys visiting us in Norway and the Haugens (my family) going to Australia as well. So coming to the Keelys in Melbourne was like coming home again with a proper bed to sleep in and three good meals per day, it was something we had been looking forward to.

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Jenny preparing dinner while I do what I'm best at, watch..

Dinner at the Keelys

Eli and Karl Kristian at the dinner table, delicious food!

Karl Kristian and I spent the first day there exploring the Mentone beach while the girls were sleeping and the Keelys were at work. Richard and Jenny bought a rund down house a few years ago with an excellent location close to the beach that they have beautifully restored. As we saw the before and after pictures of the house we realized how much effort that had been put into the house that we were now staying in. Since we came to a beautiful and more importantly finished house we didn’t mind the effort at all 🙂

Mentone Beach

Karl Kristian taking pictures of the Mentone beach

It was good to have no specific plans for a few days and just explore the city at our own leisure and chill out with Laura, Emily, Richard and Jenny. Since Dan was busy with footie practice and work he didn’t have much time to spare, but he popped in for some food now and then.Laura had planned a visit to Lorne which is a coastal city south of Melbourne that is a part of the Great Ocean Road. As I had driven down the Great Ocean Road the last time I was visiting I knew this was going to be a trip with plenty of photo opportunities as this part of coastal Australia is famous for it’s beauty.

We strapped the surfboards onto the car in the morning and headed out from Melbourne a bit later than planned as someone, I will not mention names, forgot something back at the house.. Laura drove the all the way to Lorne and we stopped at this beautiful lighthouse that was begging for a photoshoot! The Great Ocean Road should be a definite part of any travel itinerary around Melbourne. It’s dotted with beautiful beaches and small picturesque coastal towns. If you’re into sufring there’s also plenty of places to go surfing south of Melbourne and quite a few surfing brand outlets that deals mostly in clothes and accessories. As we were lugging all our boards along in the hope of finding a big enough surfbag we stopped at quite a few of them. Found a cheap one at a tiny surfshop in Anglesea where we also had a delicious lunch! I had my first taste of the Australian meatpie, and it was delicious! It’s still the best fast food type food I’ve had on this trip…mmm…

Lighthouse on the Great Ocean Road

Lorne was beautiful and the Keelys had been extremely generous and booked us into a luxurious seaside appartment complex where we had a perfect view of the setting sun. It was by far the best accomodation we had so far on the trip. The appartment sported three separate bedrooms, two bathrooms and a huge livingroom with a spacious kitchen. We spent the evening taking a stroll out on the Lorne pier where the pier to pub race is held every year. Too bad we weren’t there to participate in it!

Our appartment

Our appartment in Lorne, niiiiice!

The Lorne Pier

Lorne pier

We decided to use the kitchen and prepare some proper homemade dinner and ended up with pasta bolognese and a whole lot of beer and wine. Played some cards and just enjoyed the good company! As it was a late night I was surprised that Karl Kristian was up to catch the sunrise as I got up. Needless to say I have taken pictures of a lot more sunsets than sunrises.. It’s just too hard to get up!

Dinnertime

Laura taking a picture of us after dinner in Lorne

Sunrise in Lorne

Karl Kristian's picture of the Lorne pier at sunrise

We had to leave a bit early as we were driving Karl Kristian to the airport as he was done with his two months of travelling. We knew we were going to see him again once we got back to Trondheim, but it was still sad to see him leave as we had an amazing two months travelling together with him. Even though he realized that he had lost the tan man 2009 competition to me he was still in a good mood as always, way to go Karl Kristian!!

I’m not even going to write 10% of what happened next as me getting the surfingboards back to Norway is worthy of a book in itself. The real hero here is Laura that waited around and drove us everywhere when we were trying to get the surfboards on any form of transportation back to Norway. The real morale of this story is to rent boards if you really, REALLY want to get your board back to wherever you came from. It’s ridiculously expensive and takes a long time to sort out… So thank you again Laura, you were amazing 🙂

We spent the remaining days in Melbourne watching a lot of footie, which is coming up in the next post, and eating delicious food and a whole lot of ice cream! We pretty much had icecream for every meal, something that I definently didn’t oppose 🙂 We even went out the day that Dan was playing footie to this place called Cold Rock. It’s an amazing place that has turned the most brilliant idea into a business idea. You get to choose your type of ice cream and mix it with whatever extra you want before they mosh it all together in a delicious mix.. I had M&M’s and Bounty, but there was atleast 20 other treats that you could choose from making the combinations of good stuff almost unlimited.. ahh, loved it!

The girls and the skyline

Veronica, Laura and Eli out sightseeing in Melboure. Veronica with her trademark pose, eyes closed!

Before we went to Cold Rock, Laura, Jeff, Eli, Veronica and me went to Brighton beach. Brighton beach is a beach that has become famous for it’s colorful beach houses that are lined up on the beach. It”s a really photogenic place and I spent the next half hour snapping away pictures from every angle. It’s a picturesque and beautiful place that is definently worth a visit.

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Jeff and Laura took us to Brighton Beach

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The beachhouses at Brighton beach

Our stay in Melbourne was coming to an end, but we had an amazing time. It was so good to live in one place for a longer period of time with excellent hospitality and delicious home made food. Thank you so much Jenny, Richard, Emily and Laura for giving us a home away from home!

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