March 2012 Trip to Melbourne, My Stories (from my old website)
It’s been great so far here in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia! Took us a while to get out of the airport, thanks to some checks, including a guard check were guard dogs were sniffing us! Sorry buddy, I’m straightedge, no drugs here!
The hotel is not that bad, not the greatest one for sure, but at least it’s better than nothing. I don’t like the idea of paying neaely $100 just to use internet everyday, but hey, at least I can keep up with what’s going on the world and do these kind of stuff!
So far, just been exploring Melbourne, which is a bit tricky at times to locate where you’re going, but we got the hang of things quickly. Had lunch at where else…..McDonald’s! And birds actually flew in the damn Macs! Saw some interesting shops, Vodafone, Target, and my favourite, Modelmania, a place to get model cars, which is what I collect!
Got to do some exploring of the city yesterday, which was the plan. Melbourne really is a great city, it looks good with all the buildings and the surroundings, it’s got all kinds of thing for everyone really. The free tram ride was worth it, about 25-30 minutes but you get to see all kinds of stuff.
Also got to buy some of my model cars at a shop called Modelmania, that’s the biggest model car shop I’ve ever seen! I wish we had one like that in Singapore, would make my life a lot easier! And it’s got all sorts of cars too, I think I can probably reach 100 models if I were to stay here!
And I one thing I noticed about Melbourne, there are a lot of Asians around here, which is nice to see. Kinda reminds me of Canada, lots of different people! Chinatown was packed with chinese people, then again, it’s Chinatown! But it’s so weird to hear some of them with an Aussie accent!
Best part of the day has to be checking out the entire view of Melbourne from the top of the Eureka Skydeck 88! From the 88th floor, you can pretty much check out the whole of Melbourne, and I got some awesome pics from there!
After some Macs breakfast, it’s off to Albert Park for us, the site of the Australian Grand Prix, and wow that was some fun today. The queueing is not fun, either entering the circuit, trying to get to the Pit lane or waiting for driver’s autographs!
The pit-lane walk was quite interesting, went for the first one, and caught so much that I didn’t really need to go for a 2nd one! You get to see the cars (not entirely fitted), the parts, the people who work on them, and also got to see a few pit-stop demonstrations! Other than the F1 garages, also got to see the V8 garages. And the fans can actually go behind the garage to see the things going on there, so I got some pics of the drivers from there too!
Thanks to my buddy, I even got to meet Garth Tander! And with the autograph sessions, I also got to meet Mark Webber and Seb Vettel (no photographs though, sucks), Sergio Perez and Heinz-Harald Frentzen while my brother got to meet Bruno Senna, Pastor Maldonado and Kamui Kobayashi! And we saw a lot of drivers as well! The best one is the Mercedes one for sure, Michael Schumacher got most of the attention, while Nico Rosberg got very irritated having to sign some of Schumacher’s stuff and started singing to himself at one point because he was bored waiting!
I wish I had gone onto the McLaren line though, you can actually get a pic of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, and I’m a huge JB fan, so that’s a brain fart moment from me there! Oh I’m gonna regret this for a long time aren’t I?
Thanks to the Silver GP advantage passes, we got to see all kinds of stuff, and also watch the action from the paddock club, which was quite nice! Now to enjoy the three day action from the Schumacher stand!
2012 Australian Grand Prix
The Power of 1! Gotta love that slogan! 😀
It really was a great event, the whole four days were way worth the $300+ tickets to watch the action from the Schumacher stand! Sure, trying to get to the circuit can be tricky, even with the free trams, but once you get in, there’s so much to do!
The off-track action is quite good! All kinds of car displays, which is pretty awesome! Lots of car-related activites, which is alright for me! Better than the Singapore GP for sure, I’m not into the whole entertainment/musical activites.
Thursday was pretty fun. The pit-lane walk was quite eye-opening, seeing all the things that go around the garage and what these F1 guys do just before these race weekends! And that’s thanks to the GP Advantage, which allowed me to watch the action from the F1 paddock club for the day too, access to the GP Bar and a free item (a freaking cup). Also on thursday was the F1 driver’s autograph session. I got Vettel, Webber, Perez signatures while my brother got Senna, Maldonado and Kobayashi. I even got to meet Garth Tander and Heinz-Harald Frentzen! What a day and that was just Thursday!
Friday was mostly just watching the action, either from the Schumacher stand, overlooking Turns 15 and 16 (the last two turns) and also checking out the action in Turn 14 for a while too. If only I had known that Turn 13 was a good spot to check out the action too, I would. Problem was, it rained that day! It was on and off, so that didn’t really help much for me!
Saturday was another good day. Listening to those V8 engines of the F1 car, that’s music to my ears! I got some good action from my stand for the support races, so that was nice! I got to meet two of my good friends from my online game, and another two on Sunday as well, so it’s nice to meet them in person, and at a grand prix too, since we’re all fans of motoracing!
Sunday was a whole day of action! Like the previous day, it was petty hot, but still, the action to me on track was hotter! Before the F1 race started, I was watching the pre-race events from the GP Bar and got to see what the teams did while on the grid. After the race, everyone ran to the podium stage and just hung around in the start finish straight! The atmosphere there is superb, so much better than anything I’ve ever experienced!
The Formula Ford races was quite good! I only got to see one Red Bull race-off, but that was full of action, and there was plenty in the last two corners! Only watched one of the Porsche races, but that one was alright too! The V8 Supercar races were all superb, one of the best series in the world for sure! And of course, the F1 action was amazing the whole time! And Jenson Button won the race, and he’s my favourite driver, I can’t ask for more! How I wish I could make another visit here, I’ll make that my aim for the future!
For the last day, most of it was spent on a tour around the Great Ocean Road, which is really something. If you’re in Melbourne, you’ve got to check it out. From the kangaroo sighting to the koala sighting, trying out the Australian foods and also vegimite, to checking out all the historical sights and listening to the stories about early days in Australia and the highlight of the trip, seeing the 12 Apostles, which is something amazing with a great story too. We flew off the very same night, as just my luck, I got to meet Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna at the Melbourne Airport! Can’t wait to get back there!