17 Dec. 2016 – Day 14: Melbourne

The last day of my time in Australia before I have to leave and return to work.

AHHHH…. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

It was a lovely Saturday for a trip to the Queen Victoria Market. Lots of bustle and lots to see. The day was exceptionally bright, such that all the colours seem to pop out on my photos. I finally got round to having that bowl of white wine mussels. Really tasty and fresh! We even had a plate of little Dutch Pancakes. So pretty.

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Took the tram down to the the Bourke Street mall area. Musicians playing in front of H&M store.

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Went to the Royal and Block Arcades to marvel at the architecture, and discovered Hopetoun Tearooms at the Block Arcade. A pity we were too full from our lunch at the market or else could had gone in to have tea.

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What else? Went for the Saturday Sunset Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Really lovely inside the grand building. Pretty flowers growing on the grounds of the cathedral.

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Apple blossoms?

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My last dinner in Melbourne was at Moo Moo Pho. Really tasted just as good as eating in Vietnam, only thing was that the beef was juicier than others.

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Well then, good night and good bye, Melbourne! Thanks for giving me great weather on my last day here!

Till the next time, stay well!

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16 Dec. 2016 – Day 13: Launceston to Melbourne

Our last day in Tasmania.

We took a last drive around Launceston, finally visiting the church we saw while driving a day or two ago. It’s the Church of the Apostles (RC), built in 1864, but its slender spire was not built till a century later (bad photo, can’t get the spire here).

Had a super short visit to Cateract Gorge, which is about 1km behind the church, up on a hill. It is a lovely place that requires more than just 15mins to appreciate. That was how long we stayed before leaving for the airport.


The drive to the airport was incredibly short, even to the petrol station nearest to the airport. We had to top up the tank to the brim before returning the car. We made good time and even had some time to browse at the shops before our departure.

Tasmania is a really beautiful island. It has the cleanest air, by far. If I have maybe another 3 days, I would had covered the Huon Valley, and that would complete my tour of the island.

Thank you, Tasmania, for being such a wonderful and beautiful island, and for giving me such an incredible experience of driving auto-gear up and down the slopes and sides of hills. I shall take the experience of such a drive when I tackle my next road trip.

๐Ÿ˜‰
~~ Back to Melbourne, where the temperature was steadily climbing.

Got our hotel shuttle via StarBus from the airport and checked into Hotel Sophia on King Street. Since we still had time, I brought the Aunt and Uncle using the free Circle Tram, near Southern Cross Station. The variety of food at the food court there was rather bleah. ๐Ÿ˜ž
We had a joy ride, before finally getting off at the stop near Parliament. They wanted to find out where we can go for Sunday Mass so I brought them to St. Patrick’s Cathedral โ˜˜๏ธ behind Parliament Gardens.

We called it a night after taking the tram back to Elizabeth Street/Bourke Street and changing to another tram, and a short walk later, bringing up back to the hotel.

Zzzzzz… ๐Ÿ˜ด

 

8 Dec. 2016 – Day 5: Melbourne

It was mightily clear the day before, but good things are not forever. 

It was raining and the sky was overcast ๐ŸŒงfor most part of the morning, finally somewhat clearing up at almost noon๐ŸŒฅ. 

It being a Thursday, we took a walk to the Queen Victoria Market to see what’s on offer. Locals and tourists go there for their fresh and really inexpensive fruits, vegs, and even general merchandise. Most stallkeepers are open to bargaining, so, try your luck ๐Ÿ€. 

We decided to take the free City Circle Tram (service 35) ๐Ÿš‹. If does a round of the free tram zone, ending at the dock lands and back. Look out for either of these old-world trams.


We went to the Myers store on Bourke Street as we heard that their Christmas window display is really touching. So, we went to see it. It was really touching, on the theme of Family. Very beautifully done and put together, telling a short story of Bella’s day out on Christmas Eve with Grandpa. I’m not telling you anymore; you got to be there to see it yourself.

As we were still early, we went walking around the area when I passed the Royal Arcade. Step in to this historic shopping arcade and look out for Gog and Magog at the end. I hope to go to the other arcade when I get back to Melbourne. I heard that it is just as pretty.


Thanks, Melbourne! See you again next week!

This is a cloudy Melbourne at the end of the day. So different from yesterday.

4 Dec. 2016 – Day 1: Melbourne, Vic.

A picture, or three, speaks a thousand words. Maybe three thousand instead. ๐Ÿ˜ Anyway, I’m super tired and sleepy right now. My flight was delayed by a further 40 minutes. It was supposed to fly at 00:40am, but the time changed to 2:40am. And then, with all of us on board, we finally took off at 3:20am. I was already drifting off to sleep at that time, barely registering the take-off. 

Weather in Melbourne is rather wonky. It felt humid and in the 30 degrees Celsius when I stepped out of the airport terminal. And then, after getting into Melbourne City, it started to drizzle. (Look at the gloomy skies in the photos.) Weather is forecasted to be gloomy in the coming week. ๐Ÿ˜‘

Anyway, I’m happy to be lying on a comfortable bed, in a spacious room, slowly lulling myself to sleep. If that’s even possible.

Hope to type more tomorrow!

6 Dec. 2016 – Day 3: RBG

Cloudy ๐ŸŒฅ in the morning, super sunny โ˜€๏ธin the afternoon.

๐ŸŒฟRoyal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne๐ŸŒผ. 

Took the free tram ๐Ÿš‹ down to Flinder’s Street Station and then it’s across the bridge and down St. Kilda Road, by foot. 

I just found out that there’s a 2-day Melbourne Tourist Bus ๐ŸšŒ Pass for $10/adult only, only after I had walked almost 2km. In the sun. 

Yes, I like the botanical gardens. 

๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒน

Saw some interesting sights along the way back, like a gull having a cool dip in the fountain outside the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), and almost thought had some sort of sudden appration moment when I thought I was in Beijing, all thanks to the round gate of the NGV.

I’m turning in now. Super tired after a full day of walking around. Till tomorrow, good night!

5 Dec. 2016 – Day 2: Williamstown & Melbourne

Met up with an old family friend who brought us out to lunch in Williamstown which isn’t that far from Melbourne city, via West Gate bridge.

Lovely little town near the waters, with many sailing boats moored. We are at the Anchorage Restaurant. One of the waiters, George, really friendly and helpful, and have a great sense of humour, informed us that they now have a new executive chef, hence a new menu. He highly recommended the Fried broccoli. I say, don’t be deceived by its name. It’s battered lightly and air-fried, acompanying it is a slightly spicy tangy sauce. Really lovely! We also had a smoked and cured salmon canapรฉs, and a dish of scallop and chicken dumplings. All of these were just the sharing platters. 


For the mains, we had Seafood Pasta and a vegetarian pasta (I ordered it but can’t remember the name). Both were delicious! 

Lovely little dining spot right next to the water, and with such good weather, we could even see Melbourne in a distance. 

After that, our friend dropped us off at Queen Victoria Market (QVM) as he had to return home for another function in the evening. Even though the QVM was closed (they close on Mondays and Wednesdays), we took the free city tram and got off just a stop later at Melbourne Central, spending the 4-5 hours getting acquainted with the area. We took the tram back the way we came, finally getting in at 7:30pm.
The sun finally sets at around 8pm. 

I’m so tired now… Goodnight!