what was supposed to be a helicopter ride around the city turned into something much tamer. my folks didn’t wanna risk their lives to the frivolities of melbourne’s winds, which can sometimes be tenacious. strong winds are normal here. people still go through their daily routine without batting an eye.
back in the philippines, winds as strong as that already warrant a lockdown on all government and private schools and offices, with students refreshing their facebook feeds for any official news of no classes. that is, if the posts holding the power lines haven’t toppled down yet.
the first time i witnessed the raging winds here, i was like, “omigod, this is already a typhoon in the philippines!” i don’t mean that as an exaggeration. sometimes you can literally hear the winds screaming.
it was something my mom and dad experienced, too, on their first night here. which is why when i called them in sydney to inform them that we’re going on a helicopter ride when they come back, my dad automatically said NO. yep, the all-caps kind of no with no room for persuasion.
so jeff and i took them to eureka skydeck instead.
but before that, we had dinner at jeff’s favorite indian restaurant at bourke street, where i made the mistake of ordering something completely unknown to me, for the sake of adventure. (okay, fine, they didn’t have my vegetable korma.) i forgot what the traditional punjabi food was called but let’s just say i went on a skydive. with a parachute malfunction.
anyhow, my mom ordered goat curry (which the server said was pretty mild but could actually burn your mouth all the way to your esophagus) and I LOVED IT! that was pretty much all i ate on that night. i am so getting it again next time.
it was either eureka skydeck or melbourne star. i read the reviews days before and aside from the fact that melbourne star is more expensive, there’s really nothing much to see, as it sits on the far end of docklands. eureka tower, on the other hand, confidently stands like a beautiful skinny model in the middle of the city, collecting $19.50 from every adult who wants to get on top. (wait, why doesn’t that sound right?)
good thing the line wasn’t that long when we were there, considering that it was a weekend. i kept my folks occupied during the short wait, reading to them some interesting facts about the building off the brochure.
while my dad kept interrupting me to ask me to ask him what time it is because he just got a new watch, given to him by my cousin in sydney.
i still have the brochure with me so might as well share the geekiness with you.
skydeck 88 is the highest public vantage point in the southern hemisphere. that sentence alone is enough to amaze you. but you know what’s even more amazing that it almost borders on stupid?
it suddenly just occurred to me that the reason why they call it skydeck 88 is because it’s on the 88th floor. (took me almost 3 weeks to figure that out. the whole time i kept wondering, “what’s with number 88?” good thing i didn’t ask jeff. he loves keeping a file of all my blonde moments on index cards in his head, which he pulls out every now and then for his amusement.)
anyway, it takes less than 40 seconds to arrive at level 88. traveling at more than 9 meters per second, the elevator is that fast your ears won’t even have enough time to react to the pressure. even your eyes feel like they’re losing focus just trying (and failing) to keep track of the numbers on the elevator. i should know, i kept my eyes glued on the screen, as if i’m deciphering a magic trick. (speaking of magic tricks, one blog post on that coming soon!)
eureka tower is 300 meters in height. the top of the tower can flex up to 600mm in high winds. two 300,000 liter water tanks on level 90 and 91 prevent any excess swaying.
there are 3,680 stairs, 92 storeys, and 52,000 square meters of windows. (that’s a lot of windows to clean!)
the glass on eureka’s top 10 levels is 24 carat gold plated.
i could go on and say that eureka weighs 200,000 tons but at this point, everything becomes just a number i will forget as soon as i hit ‘publish.’
i’d rather do the counting in one go and lump it all up in a single phrase:
the billion fireflies that light up melbourne at night.
and there goes another one of my lame attempts at poetry.
10 thoughts on “the billion fireflies that light up melbourne at night”
Amazing views at night of Melbourne up there at the 88th floor! I’ve only been there in the day, and your photos make me want to visit it at night 😀 Haha, I hope your parents enjoyed it and that they didn’t feel the tower swaying.
Helicopter ride in Melbourne sounds very adventurous. You should have insisted to your parents t o give it a go. Maybe next time round… 😉 No idea that the typhoons and wind were that bad back in your home country. It sounds like you can get blown away if you stand outside at the wrong time.
The helicopter ride truly does sound exciting. I did try to convince my dad, though, but him and my mom are old. I don’t think adventures like that are safe for their hearts. But jeff and i plan to go ahead and do it someday so…
Yeah, typhoons in the philippines are pretty much as strong as the winds here in melbourne. Except that they bring in a lot of rain. I guess one of the reasons why it’s more disastrous back home is because of the quality of the housing materials. Wood and tin roofs are not as sturdy as the bricks that are usually used here in australia.
Going to eureka skydeck during daytime is nice too, i reckon. At least you get to see and recognize the surrounding buildings. At night, it’s more on the lights. But it was still a nice experience, nonetheless. My folks definitely enjoyed it more than they could have on a helicopter ride. Haha.
I’ve been to the Eureka Skydeck twice, both in the day. On the first time it was sunny but I had a cheap camera with me and the photos didn’t turn out too well. On the second time a few months back it was a cloudy grey sky day. Both times it was fun and I spent a couple of hours up there. But I would love to see the lights like you did!
yep, you should! although i should warn you that it’s also kind of dark indoors. most of the photos jeff took were blurry, even with a good camera. or maybe it was just the lens. i’m not sure.
i took some photos from my phone too and they came out okay. we just had to make sure we were getting enough light from the ceiling. otherwise, it’s gonna be really dark.
have you been on the melbourne star?
I have certainly been thinking about going on the Melbourne Star, but have yet too. As you mentioned in the post, it’s at Docklands and there’s nothing much to do there. Also, I find it hard to get to that end of town. But I hope to at some point. You should write about it if you go!
take the city circle tram and where it ends is where you stop! lol. my sister and i rode on one of those, thinking that it would go in full circle around the city. when we reached docklands and the tram fully stopped for about 2 minutes, we were like, “why is the driver transferring to the other end?” lol. it was the same route all over again, but in reverse.
i’ve only been to docklands once. there are hardly any people in the shops there, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. =p
I find the City Circle tram takes forever to come! When I’m working I buy a monthly Myki pass for public transport, and take Tram 86 when I want to go to Docklands. Still a bit of a journey, and then the walk to the Star takes a while…lol it sounds like I’m lazy!
you’re right. the city circle tram does take forever. it’s runs pretty slow too, for some reason. i think it’s good for tourists who have the luxury of time.
but don’t you just love them old trams? they’re very photogenic and they remind you of the old melbourne. (sorry, i’m a sucker for historical stuff. hehe.)
I love the old trams too! Then there’s the restaurant tram, which is classy. Never been on it, though.
me neither. but i wanna try!
there’s still a lot of “things to do in melbourne” list we still have to check, hey?