Cruise South-East Asia and On to Australia / New Zeland travel blog

Huge Market in Melbourne

Melbourne Skyline in the Rain

Melbourne Architecture

More Architecture

An Individual at the Market

Fresh Fruit Display

We arrived in Melbourne in light showers and found the downtown location to pick up our apartment keys for our three day stay. Our Garmin GPS is working well after finding it used on EBay loaded with Aussie, Kiwi, N. America plus Europe maps!! Our one bedroom apartment was in St. Kilda, an upscale area three blocks from the ocean. It had a fully equipped kitchen and washer/dryer allowing us to catch up. Friends we had met on the cruise booked in an adjacent building and we got together for dinner and a long walk to scout out the neighbourhood. They took us through a hopping pub that was serving a three foot hamburger for $50 for those who could! The beach walk, park, and long pier out into the water were near to our accommodation and a wonderful part of the total Melbourne atmosphere.

Melbourne is a mixture of architecture with nicely refurbished late 19th century homes intermixed with tasteful apartment buildings. Obviously preservation of history is important here. As with any city on the ocean, there were significant walkways / bike paths along the water.

The next day was mixed with strong showers spoiling a walk or two. We toured an outdoor arts and crafts market in rain showers before finding the world's largest indoor market that was surprisingly not overrun by Asian people as it was in Sydney. The above ground trolley transportation system worked well with prepaid cards for the day at $24 for two. Riding an old style tram around the major sights of the inner city and harbour was interesting. It was city transit but was narrated, providing an ongoing commentary of the passing buildings and areas.

Melbourne has a lot of European persons either visiting or through immigration. Apparently there are more Greeks in Melbourne than any other place except for Athens.

The next morning we were of to the airport early and had allowed some extra time fo traffic, etc. but we ran into gridlock based on sheer volume and road works. That combined with traffic lights with twice the duration of what we are used to was more than frustrating. After dropping Kathy off at the terminal I went looking for the rental car drop off only to find it was away from the airport. Fortunately I stopped at a Hertz booth and they agreed to take the car as they were affiliated. I just about kissed the young lady helping out.

The airport experience was more than interesting with Aussie security going overboard (in our opinion). We showed our boarding cards and passports in a couple of places, then had them scanned and photos taken for immigration, then had to hand an Aussie exit card in with two sides of information. This was all in addition to baggage and personal screening. Not impressed!!

It was off to the north island of New Zealand and the city of Wellington via back of the plane on Quantas airlines. They did feed us on a three hour flight though........

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