Melbourne and Geelong Aust.
Trip Start Jan 28, 2008
42Trip End May 27, 2008
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Where I stayed
What a glorious city. Big. Bigger than I thought. Someone siad 3.8 million, I'll have to check. It's laid out on a grid and we were staying on the edge of the CBD so it wasn't hard to get around. They even have free shuttle buses and trolley cars around the CBD and nearby neighbourhoods which we took. Despite that I logged about 10 km yesterday alone.
Fri. morning we walked over to the Victoria Market a huge food and merchandise market with stalls selling everything from live ducklings to pearls. Pearls from $10 and up. We picked up a few souvenirs from there, "the cheapest place to get everything in Australia" we were told by an Aussie couple we got chatting with at dinner.
And dinner. Down a narrow alley filled with cafes like Europe we had a great meal..Cheryl a huge fillet, me kangaroo meat. Very lean, the sauce was great.
Sat. we split to cover more territory. I visited Capt. Cook's parents home reassembled after being brought from Britain, and the gardens. While there I happened upon a Fulong ong parade of sorts and about 200 catholics following a shrine of Mary and Jesus. After lunch (together) we headed down to the Yarra River and took in a Slow Food festival. Various tents were set up with tastings and buying of gourmet ciders, a pear type of cider, chutneys and jams, expresso (they love their coffees here too) and of course wines. In addation there were street performers and buskers all adding to the ambience. After another delightful dinner (it seems that's all we do, good thing we walk a lot too) at a Greek restaurant on the south side we walked over to a free concert in the park put on by the Melbourne Symphony Orchested and an Aussie soprano. We hurried back as rain was threatening (but didn't materialize) to our new hotel right downtown as our first hotel was fully booked.
Today we take the commuter train to a nearby city Geelong where we've booked a car for the rest of our Aussie stay.
Sunday Feb. 24th
Took the train to Geelong and avoided Melbourne traffic. $12.20 and well worth it. Not the greatest views as most trains around cities are but it did the job. A short walk to Hertz. As our luggage didn't fit the Corola hatchback we upgraded to a Holden Epica a very sharp looking sedan then drove a short way to the Best Western.
We walked down to the water and followed it to the downtown. Unfortunately we missed their Multicultural Day by a day and a World cup cycling race by a couple of hours. A nice town, pleasant people, and another good meal.
We booked here tomorrow night too so that we can follow the Great Ocean Road south and west to Lorne and beyond then return and take the ferry across The Rip, the entrance to the harbour that goes to Melbourne.
We navigated through the rush hour traffic in Geelong almost getting rear-ended by a car who thought I wasn't going to stop for a light turning red then took a leisurely drive down the Great Ocean Rd. with plenty of turn-offs to admire the views. Mostly in hugged the coast several hundred feet above the water. Rocks, sand and waves. Overcast most of the day. We had a picnic lunch in Lorne and were entertained by 10 or 12 Saffron Crested Cockatoos mooching a meal. We called home and complained about our weather, not even 20 C (above of course!). All is well there or at least what Kim would admit to.
At Apollo Bay we struck inland and followed (another twisty, turning) road through the Otway National Park and back to Geelong. Tonight we'll go downtown for dinner. Tomorrow we take the ferry to Phillips Island.