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Awestruck in Aus.

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 24 April 2014 | Views [68] | Scholarship Entry

I stepped off the plane in Australia last January. I had saved up for the best part of 5 years to take this trip and even now, as my best friend snapped a photo of me next to a sign saying 'Welcome to Melbourne', i still couldn't quite believe it. I mean, this was Australia! The land down under. And i was here! Even the fact that my bag hadn't made it onto the plane with me in Qatar couldn't dampen my spirits right now. I would probably be walking around naked until my bag arrived, but, hey, no worries mate! At least it wasn't Iceland... As we hailed a taxi and jumped in to head to our home for the next few days, my face was glued to the window for the whole journey, like a small child. It was late evening when we arrived at our hotel and deposited our bags. The jetlag was already kicking in, so we went for a walk to get our bearings and see what Melbourne had to offer. And we weren't disappointed. Just a few minutes into our walk of the, still bustling, city centre, we found ourselves walking over a bridge and looking out over the Yarra River, twinkling in the moonlight. My breath caught in my throat at the sheer beauty of the sight in front of me and i felt my eyes well up for a second (must have been hayfever, i wasn't crying, honest...) The fact that, just a few minutes before, we had been in the middle of a busy city and now we were here, watching the boats drift slowly by, seeing people having a quiet drink in one of the quaint little cafe's and restaurants along the riverside and listening the sound of nothing but the gentle current of the water was completely mind blowing. There was a real sense of peace, tranquility. The beautiful clear night gave way to the stars, reflecting in the stillness of the water. This was nature, at it's very best. And i was there to witness it. Such a blessing. A short walk later took us to the Botanical Gardens. A mass of beautiful plants met us, their bright colours still visible in the rapidly darkening evening light, their sweet, summery smell tantalizing my nostrils (and making me sneeze. Hayfever, remember?) and reminding me of how wonderful life truly is when you are experiencing everything it has to offer. Even the little things. We found a quiet spot by a stunning water fountain and sat down for a minute, taking the time to process that we were actually in a busy city. It certainly didn't feel like it. Listening to the quiet trickle of the water, we realized where we actually were. Paradise.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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