We’ve had 2 busy days here, and if it gets to be too late, I am too tired to write. So here goes.
Yesterday I walked to the Central Business District along the beautiful Yarra River. The steady stream of bicyclists on the bike trails on both sides of the river was most impressive. Once I was downtown, I caught the free shuttle bus which does a 90 minute tour around Melbourne. Riders can get on and off the bus as they wish, but most of us stayed on the whole time. I wanted to get a general overview of the city and hear some descriptions of some of the sights and that goal was achieved. I saw some things that I wanted to go back to see at another time and I was able to get a better lay of the land.
After the bus tour, I stayed in the CDB and walked along the busy streets. Melbourne is famous for their Laneways, which are alleys with artwork, little shops and restaurants. I stopped at one of these restaurants for lunch. To get home I decided to try the highly acclaimed public transportation system. So I walked to the Flinder’s Street Station where I picked up the #8 Tram which travels from downtown to Toorak Road. We live just off Toorak so this is very convenient. The public transportation system uses a very modern pass system for payment of fees, similar to the smart card system in Washington, DC. We bought our Myki cards on our first day here and they worked just fine when we used them on the trams.
Yesterday afternoon was spent walking to various stores to buy some food, get a laundry basket and night light, etc. After dinner we went for a long walk since Jim was low on steps. We walked along the Yarra River trail in a direction we hadn’t been yet.
Today Jim went to work real early, which still isn’t a problem since we are waking up very early! It was a rainy morning but I didn’t let that stop me from walking to the closest farmer’s market, Prahram Market, about a mile away. Wow! It is going to be fun to do my regular shopping here. Vendors were selling free-range eggs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, all the usual market stuff. The most impressive part was the row of butcher shops with impressive displays of meat. I even saw kangaroo fillets for sale, either plain or marinated, but that will have to wait for another day.
After lunch I walked to a yarn store about 2.5 miles away. They advertised that they had an open to the public knitting group on Thursday afternoon and that sounded good to me. The shop was well-stocked and there were about 9 of us sitting around chatting and knitting. They answered some questions I had and were very welcoming! One lady even offered to drive me home if I didn’t want to walk! I will go back again!
Jim decided he wanted to go out for an Italian dinner tonight, maybe because I mentioned to him that the Little Italy neighborhood was pointed out on my bus tour and it looked like there were lots of restaurants there! So we boarded the #8 tram again and it took us within one block of Lygon Street, where all the Italian restaurants were. We picked one and had a great meal. And since Jim once again was very low on steps we walked back to our apartment. So that makes over 10 miles of walking for me today!
We got word that our air shipment has passed its quarantine period and will be delivered tomorrow. Not sure where we are going to put all the stuff! We know that we can put our bikes on the balcony, but we are hoping to find some bed risers so we can store stuff under the bed.
Tomorrow night we are going out to dinner with some of Jim’s Rochester colleagues who are in town for a few days. We will spend Saturday with them and then say good bye as they will leave for Rochester on Sunday morning.
G’Day from Down Under!