There has been lots of advertising around Melbourne for the special fare for public transportation on the weekends. For the price of a zone-one fare ($3.50), you can ride the buses, trams and trains all day! Quite a deal!
We decided to take the train to the town of Lilydale in the Yarra River Valley. Lilydale is an hour train ride from the city and the terminus of that line. We became aware of Lilydale very early in our stay here because local restaurants proudly announced that they used free-range Lilydale chickens in some of their offerings. We also have driven through the town several times on our trips to the Yarra Valley.
The train ride was very pleasant and we arrived in Lilydale around 11:30 AM. Our plan was to walk around the town for a bit and then find a cafe for lunch. It quickly became apparent that Lilydale is a very quiet town on Sunday’s! Most shops were closed and we had very few choices for lunch!
We discovered a sign indicating that the Lilydale Lake was just 0.6k away so we decided to check it out.
Unfortunately there were no further trail markings and we ended up in the back of a Woolworth’s parking lot at the end of a nice trail! So we decided to go to the one cafe we saw open, The Blue Turtle, and see what they had for lunch. The small cafe was doing a good business and we were happy with our choices (Jim-grilled egg and bacon sandwich and a chocolate milkshake, me-a filo filled with spinach and cheese, and a salad).
The restaurant had a nice map of Lilydale and we saw where the actual trail to the lake went so we tried again and this time were successful in finding it! The lake is a dammed up creek and had a nice gravel trail all around it. The most distinguishing thing about this area was the huge number of white cockatoos in the nearby trees.
There was a museum that might have been interesting, but it was on the other side of town and the skies had darkened and we thought we might get rained on, so we headed back to the train station.
I got some knitting done on the return train, watching the clouds disappear the closer we got to Melbourne. We took the train all the way into the CBD because we wanted to go to a bookstore. Jim had received a gift certificate for a small book store on Bourke Street and we thought that today was a good day to browse a book store. This place was tiny, with books from ceiling to floor! If someone wanted to move past you to get to another section of the shop, you had to plaster yourself against the shelves of books so they could get by! Jim got a book about Matthew Flinders, the 1800’s explorer who very accurately mapped the whole coastline of Australia. You may recognize that name because I mentioned it in yesterday’s blog about the You Yangs.
We took the tram home, arriving in time to see some footy on the TV before dinner.
If we had paid full fares today our excursions would have cost $17.50, but we only paid $3.50!
There have been lots of signs of spring down here. The daffodils are blooming as is the wattle. We’ve noticed what we think are fruit trees in full bloom. This morning when I was out for a quick walk before our train trip, one home along my route had two beautiful magnolia trees in full bloom! It made me miss my magnolia trees!
There may not be a blog tomorrow (Monday), so I will be back on Tuesday.