in Australia, Trips
Jennifer and I did a quick visit of Melbourne before the conference. When we arrived, we just had a quick look at downtown, and Jennifer invited me to see Monty Python's Spam A Lot musical, which was quite entertaining.
The next day, to make things interesting, the next day we rented a car, and drove to the Healesville Sanctuary, where I was hoping we'd find some roaming animals, and have the chance to interact a bit with some of the animals (like feed/pet wallabies and emus), but the place felt more like a zoo.
Speaking of driving, I didn't find it overly hard, except for the following:
shifting with the left hand, I had a sometimes a hard time getting the right stick throw and would get 2nd instead of 4th gear or 3rd instead of 5th.
The turn signals are moved to the other side of the steering wheel. That was the worst thing: each time I tried to turn, I set off the windshield wipers
Also, I would tend to drive a bit too far on the left of the road due to my seat being on the wrong side.
All in all, it wasn't that bad though, and thanks to my Garmin GPS with Australian routable maps, we got where we needed without problems.
We then went to the nearby Yarra Wine Country and visited 3 different wineries, which made Jennifer very happy :), and we finished the evening by driving up Mount Dandenon. It was only 2000ft high, but the poor little stick shift 60 horsepower rental I got, really had a hard time climbing us up, and I had to stick to 2nd gear :)
Then, during one of the evenings, we went to Melbourne Museum , as invited by the conference, and amount other things, we saw the last first generation computer left on earth, on par with ENIAC. That was cool to see:
In hindsight, we didn't have enough time to see as much as we could have, but better than nothing for this time. We'll fix that in 2016 when we're be back.