Tuesday 23rd February 2016 - Melbourne

February 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The flight from Singapore to Melbourne took off and landed on time (a first for this trip) and passed very quickly. The meal was served at 3 am and was ok but the wine was excellent - Corbiere 2012; the (Muslim?) cabin crew chap looked very disapproving when I asked for another bottle. Slept a bit from about 4 and was awake again by 6. Breakfast, tidied up and landed - started doing meditation but had to stop.

We checked in our own passports on-line as we have e-passports, which is presumably quicker, collected baggage and went through customs very quickly. We then met up with Jenny, the tour guide for the rest of the holiday, she put us in a holding pen area, while she gathered up the 42 of us. Once assembled, we were put on a coach, with the luggage going off in a trailer.

Brief welcome meeting at the hotel, to explain about the trips etc before we all went off on a city tour as the hotel rooms would not be ready until 2:30. A company was holding a work conference in the adjacent room and one person poked his head round the door to our meeting and reported back to his colleagues that it was full of old people.

A quick tour of Melbourne while we were on our way to St Kilda's beach which is supposed to be a bit sleazy at night but fine at lunch time. Had our first lunch in Australia at a beach side cafe on a very hot day -it felt like an authentic Australian experience although the food wasn't great! It is so hot here and very windy and even the wind is hot – maximum today 43C apparently, unusual for Melbourne.

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Continued with the city tour, visiting the Anzac war memorial and botanical gardens, but too hot and exhausted to really appreciate them. Then back to the hotel, rooms were ready and we were given our keys. We also booked our trips for the next 3 or so days with Jenny and sorted out free Internet access for up to 3 devices from our room. Then a cup of tea and the much needed rest.

Showered and out again by 5, just wandering round Melbourne. Found a very nice restaurant by the Yarra River and had grilled prawns on a bed of some mixed grains (quinoa, chia. ..?), cooked Jospar style which is apparently a type of oven and shared a roasted veg pizza. Large glass of local Yarra pinot noir. Back in the hotel by 8:30, hoping for a good night's sleep as we have been up for 40 hours, but it is not to be. Having a cup of tea and writing this at midnight.


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