We made it! After 35 hours of travel and waiting in airports and in airplanes we arrived here in Melbourne about 12:30 PM, Melbourne time. Every one of our United flights was delayed which worked in our favor, allowing us to not miss a connection! We flew Business Class and the spacious seats which converted into a flat sleeping bed were very comfortable, of course I still did not sleep well, but much better than I would have if I had been sitting up. Early this morning we were treated to a beautiful sunrise as the sun crept above the high level clouds. Instead of seeing beautiful sunrise colors on the underside of the clouds, we saw the spiky tops of the clouds illuminated!
Our flight from LA landed in Sydney where we connected to our Melbourne plane. The decent into Sydney was beautiful with the early morning sun spotlighting the convoluted shore line and many bays and coves.
Our biggest excitement today occurred at the baggage claim area in the Melbourne airport. Apparently the zipper on my large suitcase spontaneously combusted when the baggage handlers threw my bag onto the carousel conveyor belt because when Jim went
to pull the bag off the carousel, the bag pulled apart and my clothes went flying all over the floor and the carousel! Imagine my surprise when I saw my undies going for a ride with the other luggage. Fortunately, all my clothes were recovered and we were able to get the zipper to work again!
We took a taxi from the airport which is on the outskirts of the city, into the inner suburb called South Yarra. Our apartment is small, but will certainly meet our needs. We have a nice balcony and this apartment seems quite quiet. We’ll see if I still feel that way after trying to sleep tonight.
After unpacking our suitcases, we headed out to explore our new neighborhood. We live just off a very main street with lots of shops and restaurants on it. We found a Woolworth’s, which is a large store, similar to Walmart, including a grocery store. We bought some staple supplies and will buy some fresh produce at a Farmer’s Market tomorrow morning. We ate a late lunch at an Italian Restaurant and will just have a soup supper tonight.
Melbourne looks to be a wonderful city. During our walk we stopped to watch some men and women playing field hockey as well as a group of men getting ready to play Australian Rules Football. These games were being contested on the athletic fields at a nearby high school so we may be able to see some local sport action right outside our door. We walked a short stretch along the Yarra River which bisects the city of Melbourne and has a great looking bike path on both sides of the river. We are looking forward to getting our bikes from the air shipment. A recent e-mail indicates that the air shipment container is in Australia and we just need to wait until it completes the quarantine period.
We are really tired and are trying to stay up until 8 PM. Tomorrow we will take public transportation into the CBD (Central Business District) to visit the Melbourne Visitors Center and then shop at the huge Queen Victorian Market, a farmer’s market with about 1,000 vendors!
Here is one photo of our apartment. I am standing by the far wall, next to the door to the balcony and looking at the kitchen. There is a couch, coffee table and TV in front of the kitchen wall.