Melbourne and Anglesea
23.12.2013 - 30.12.2013
We were met at Melbourne Airport by Mum's half-brother Bryan, who we first met 17 years ago after he tracked down Gran Gran, his birth mother. In the time since we've seen lots of him and his wife Lynn and had long planned to visit him in Australia.
On Christmas Eve (not that it felt like it in the glorious sunshine) Bryan took us on a tour of the city, starting with the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower to orientate ourselves.
After a stroll along south bank we took the free old tram from Flinders Street Station and saw Federation Square (complete with hundreds of Christmas trees) and Parliament House before lunch at Docklands.
We drove around park of the Formula 1 track before heading to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where we found a slightly beleaguered England team practising in the nets.
Christmas Day was spent at Lynn's sister's house and we were made to feel so welcome by her family. It was great to finally meet Bryan's children, Phil and Elise, as well as Lynn's, Brooke and Adam.
We'd booked our tickets to the Boxing Day test in July, when it had seemed like an excellent idea... Despite Australia regaining the Ashes in Perth , it was still incredible to be at the MCG with 91091 others (a world record test match attendance) and the beer and sunshine certainly helped our mood.
Bryan has a lovely beach house west of Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road, the perfect place to relax (i.e. drink and barbecue, although only after it had been constructed by Dad, Phil and Bryan) for a few days before heading up the East Coast.