In the sleepy farming town of Canutillo, Durango, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Durango City, Durango, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Impressions of Melbourne?

We only allowed for the one day to see some of the sights of Melbourne. We would honestly rather be in the countryside doing some hiking and exploring, but figured we had better see some city life while we're in the area.

So we left Bundy and Joyce at around 9:00am and headed in to the big city of Melbourne (pop 4.5 million).

We were originally going to take the train from Yarraville to downtown Melbourne. But in true Kevin and Ruth style, we decided to walk the 7 kms (4.5 miles) into the city.

After all, we needed the exercise. Or at least that's what we tell ourselves when we make these decisions!

We were planning on making our first stop the huge Victoria market.

We made it in to the rectangular shaped CBD (Central Business District) where we had been told that trams are free that operates within that zone.

Yep, apparently we're in the free tram zone.

But we made an easy mistake, and we got on the tram going the wrong way. Which really doesn't make any difference because the tram goes around that rectangular route both clockwise and counter clockwise. So eventually you will make it to your stop no matter which way you go.

Interesting architecture.

Isn't that building a little crooked?

Once we got on the tram, we never took any photos. Oh wait, we did...

A selfie on the tram!

Made it to the Victoria market and did some wandering around. The first section we were in was the organic fruit section. Yikes... we can't afford to eat that organic stuff. We'll stick the regular fruits and veggies!



Lots of expensive cheese.




The Egg-Porium!

The regular fruits and veggies.

You had to really watch the prices. We saw broccoli at $3.50/kg and we saw it at $5.00/kg. Same with many other products. You couldn't buy everything at the same stall if you wanted the best deal. You had to shop around.

We figured the market would be the best place to get some lunch. We found a Sri Lankan Curry Street Food place where we watched the portions being served. They had a small plate for $9.50, and a large plate for $11.50. We decided that a large plate would do us both!

Sri Lankan curry for lunch!

It was delicious. Yes, Melbourne is expensive, but we can find ways to make it work!

Truffles.

There was some kind of truffle exhibition going on. Was it ever busy! By the way, truffles are very expensive!

Scenery along the way.

Ruth, checking out an empty alleyway,

Smile bread!

The Royal Arcade.

Gog, and Magog.

These statues were hilarious.


Flinders Street Train Station.


The Melbourne Winter Village.

Big sign outside says "Free Event". Yeah, but that's just to get in. Once you're inside, there is nothing free about it.

$26 AUD ($24 CAD, $18 USD) for an adult for a 45 minute ice skating session on a tiny rink. 
Kids were cheaper.
Lots of people taking advantage of that though!

You could also book your own igloo. 
We didn't check prices. 

Ruth, at the entrance to the Icebar.
We didn't go in.

More scenery.

We decided we wanted to go to see the penguins when they return to St. Kilda. They built a breakwater for the Olympic Games back in 1956. In the 1970's a fairy penguin colony moved in, and they've been there ever since. You can see them return from their daily fishing trips ever evening after the sun goes down.

We had to buy a transit pass. And we had to load enough credit on it to get us back to Yarraville in the evening. 

Melbourne doesn't have such a thing as a transit tourist pass. And, you have no choice but to buy a Myki Card, which is the standard Melbourne City transit card. But they cost $6 each, plus the credit you have to put on them. 

As a result, it cost $12.40 AUD ($11.50 CAD, $8.75 USD) each for our public transportation for the day!



The Shrine of Remembrance, in honor of Australian First World War Sacrifices.  

We walked through part of the Botanical Gardens. 

First time I've ever seen a McLaren!
They sell for about $250,000.
Too bad he can't afford new tires. They are just about done!

St. Kilda Beach.

Looking back at the Melbourne skyline.

The St. Kilda Pier.

The penguins don't arrive back until after sunset. Sunset is just after 5:00pm right now, and they say the best time to see the penguins is between 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

We made our way down to the pier at just before 5:00pm to try and get a good viewing spot.

The other thing is, even once the sun goes down you are not allowed to use a flash. So there's all these hordes of people trying to take photos with their cell phones, and my guess is that virtually none of them turn out half decent.

I managed two shots before it got too dark...

Yep, we came all this way to see this little fellow.

He sure is cute!

And, we actually ended up seeing about 6 or 8 different penguins. I'm sure we could have seen more if we hung around, but it was getting cold. Plus, it was just a little too crowded.

The hordes of people waiting for the penguins to return.

Overall, it was a good day. We probably walked 15 kms (9 miles). Actually, it might have been more than that. I turned off my GPS tracker when we hit 10 kms because it was using up the battery too much.

Impressions of Melbourne? I was "meh"... it was okay, but I don't have any itch to return, Ruth says she enjoyed it and could have spent another day. Might have enjoyed it more if my hands weren't cold all day! The sun kept trying to come out, but it wasn't very successful. At least it didn't rain!

Monday, we head out of the city to the Yarra Valley to visit some more people who have invited us to stay with them for a couple of days. Looks like the rain is going to hold off for a few days!

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And in Canada...








16 comments:

  1. meh melbourne lol. i with you Kevin.. love being outsode the city xploring..hiking.. Gods.country is awskme.. escape the crowds of people..enjoy the flora and fauna.. try and find some local fruit and vege stands on the side of the rand your adventures oad? migjt be off season tho.. im.loving all the pictures and your adventures..makes great reading with my morning coffee :)

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    1. We are happy to hear that you are enjoying our blog with your morning coffee. :-)

      Today we were back to nature.

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  2. The penguin shots were worth it! Where else are you going to see wild penguins? lol

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    1. We agree, just seeing those few penguins was great! We actually saw penguins when we were in South Africa back in January 2014. www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2014/01/penguins-are-so-funny-to-watch.html

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  3. We continue to enjoy our trip with you - to a place we've never been before. Thanks again for all the photos !

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    1. We are so glad that you are enjoying our posts and following along on our adventures. :-)

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  4. Great photos, thanks for sharing. Next time you come visit, stay in Vancouver a little longer, lots of McLaren's here :)

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    1. Thanks Karen! We should really give Vancouver a good visit. We have been in the city a couple of times before but we really have never properly explored it. I am sure we would also see some more exotic cars too, not just McLarens!

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  5. Well, I know everywhere you were and everything you saw. While we have seen the penguins at St Kilda Pier before, I had no idea it would be so crowded. Pity about the fog. We were in Geelong for part of the day and it was nice and sunny there and four degrees warmer. People at times put a cigarette in the mouths of those three statues.

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    1. I bet you have been! ;-)

      We actually weren't surprised at the amount of people out on the rocks at St. Kilda but I bet there were less people there than there would have been at Phillip Island, plus the fact that to see the penguin parade there it would cost $26.60 each just to see the same thing we saw for free.

      It was a shame about the fog but we were just happy that it didn't rain and it wasn't windy.

      One of the statues that we saw of a lady conductor had a cigarette stuck in her mouth.

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  6. We did the same thing when we were in Melbourne but it was 45°C! The tram was not a good experience in that temperature.

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    1. I think we are quite happy walking around and hiking with the temperatures we having compared to the temperatures you had to deal with, that definitely won't have been nearly as enjoyable.

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  7. Hi, I haven't checked in on your blog for awhile and very surprised to see you were in Australia, just wondering why you have only allowed 10 weeks for your visit. It can take years to travel around Australia, are you doing all states this visit,apologise if you have mentioned your plans am slowly going back over your blog.

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    1. To start with we are only allowed 3 months on a normal visa limit, if we wanted to stay longer we would then have to apply for longer visa and that would also cost more money. Another reason was that we have other family commitments back in Canada.

      We realize that it can take years to travel around Australia, it is the same in Canada, the US and in Mexico. We are totally prepared to come back and see more of Australia on another visit or perhaps even another one after that.

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  8. Many transit lines (myki included) have smartphone apps that eliminate having to purchase cards, check it out in your next big city!

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    1. Thanks Doug! I think someone else mentioned that to us after the fact as well. We will know better the next time we hit a big city. The only issue with that may be that we would need two smartphones and we only have the one, but it is possible that there is something on there that would allow two people to travel on the one app, again something to look into.

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