Yesterday my partner Kyle and I made a one-day whirlwind trip to Melbourne to hand in my application for a Student Visa at the Spanish Consulate. This involved getting up at 4.00am in order to be at the airport in time for our 6.20am flight, landing in Melbourne at about 8.30am and spending all day there before flying back at 9.00pm that same night.
Most importantly, the day in Melbourne was about handing in my visa application. What a troublesome (and time-consuming) process it has been acquiring all of the right documents to satisfy the Spanish government that I am safe to be allowed into their country. Needless to say I was therefore very pleased to be finally finished with it and to be handing it all over. Sadly this was somewhat premature. Upon going through the documents with the staff member at the Consulate I was informed that a plane ticket leaving Spain on the day after my visa expires was not sufficient proof of my leaving the country; instead I would have to provide a full return fare to Australia. Fantastic. More paperwork to organise, more decisions to make and more stress! Once I explained that I was only in Melbourne for the day the staff member told me that I could just email her with a copy of the flight itinerary rather than physically bring it to the Consulate and that she would still process the application as I had provided it in the interim. I then found out that once the visa was processed (in about a month) I would have to come and collect it from the Consulate in person. So another trip to Melbourne is apparently unavoidable!
After finishing at the Consulate by about 11.30am, we had many hours to fill before our flight back to Adelaide. Normally spending a day in Melbourne is easily filled with shopping, shopping and more shopping but, sadly, when you are broke from paying for three airfares in three days and when you are preparing to pack up and move your whole life to the other side of the world (with the aid of only a single suitcase), the accumulation of more of the beautiful material things that Melbourne has to offer is a less practical way to spend your day. So we browsed our favourite ‘regular’ shops for a good long while (in my opinion a very painful experience when one cannot purchase a thing) before seeing a travel accessory shop, a bookshop having a sale on travel guides and a few camera shops, all tying in with our travel obsession! So we perused guidebooks and tried on backpacks and compared prices on cameras very happily. After lunch, and a quick visit to St Paul’s Cathedral, we went to Federation Square and visited the Australian Centre for the Moving Image‘s permanent and free exhibition on all things film related in Australia. It is a great interactive exhibit and we easily passed most of the afternoon there, for anyone visiting Melbourne it is a great place to go. After that we were well and truly ready to head home and actually fell asleep on the bus back to the airport. We made it home by 10.30pm, safe and sound but truly knackered!
So, I’ll be heading back to Melbourne soon (all things being well) to pick up my visa and I hope to have my new camera by then so I can practise with all the settings before hitting Paris and Oviedo in January. Oh the excitement! Only 55 days to go…!