Australia Day Twenty: Farewell To Tasmania And On To Melbourne
I woke up early my last day in Hobart to take one last walk along the harbour I had come to love. I was hoping to see a sunrise but was disappointed because of the clouds in the eastern sky. It still was a reflective walk on the piers and docks of this quiet town. I roamed about for a half hour and I was rewarded with some nice scenes of sunlit clouds on Mt. Wellington and the surrounding hills as I made my way back to the hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-twenty-tasmania-hobart-morning-walk-february-23-2016
I quickly packed, and didn’t have time for breakfast, so, after a short drive to the airport by shuttle, I had a cup of coffee and a pastry at the airport. I was early and had some time to take in the activity of the travelers at the gate. It was a short flight to Melbourne, about an hour of flying time, and I enjoyed watching the changing landscape of Tasmania from my window seat.
We didn’t fly over the unspoiled wilderness areas for which Tasmania is famous but they could be seen in the distance. We did fly over ranches and farms until we reached the shores of the ocean. Once over the Australian mainland, the ground was again the reddish brown I had come accustomed to on my travels the past three weeks. The suburbs and skyline of Melbourne came into view and we were shortly on the ground. Here is a link to some photographs from my flight to Melbourne. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-twenty-hobart-to-melbourne-flight-february-23-2016
I left the airport but I wasn’t going into Melbourne. I ran out of time while planning my trip and wasn’t able to plan much about my visit to Melbourne. I booked a hotel in the suburbs, just to make sure I’d have a room, and was going to change it when I was in Australia. .In Hobart I realized how far from the city it wa, and tried to book a room downtown. I tried almost every descent hotel in the city but found not a room available. I was told there was a convention in town. So I was staying at my original hotel, the Quality Hotel, in Taylor Lakes.
I saw from my taxi ride from the airport I was on the far outskirts of suburban Melbourne. It reminded my of a fast growing town in the United States. like Las Vegas, where the town follows the highways out of the city. First there is an exit on the new highway , then gas stations, then fast food restaurants and malls and finally cookie cutter residential developments.
I got to my hotel around noon and was greeted by a most friendly staff. I explained to them I was traveling form United States and wanted to stay nearer the city but was stuck out here. . They explained the train and bus schedule to me. I asked if there was anything to see or do in Taylor Lakes and they told me shopping at the mall. A typical suburb. I did not travel eleven thousand miles to shop, so, after stowing my camera gear and luggage, I decided to head into downtown Melbourne.
I was about 20 miles from the downtown Melbourne, and the folks at the hotel told me it may be best to take a cab to the train station at Watergardens and take the train to the city. I hired a cab to take me to the Watergardens train station but he persuaded me that it would be quicker to get to central Melbourne by taxi. He was not telling me the truth. We drove a major highway into the city and I wasn’t able to see much of city.
I had not researched the sights of Melbourn like I did the other cities I visited in Australia. I had no idea what the downtown looked like so I got out near the Southern Cross Train Station and found a visitor center. A nice woman at the center not only was helpful in advising me on the sights of the city but she explained the public transportation system to me, showed me how to take the trains and buses back to my hotel and told me I could get a two day pass to ride all the trains, buses and trams in Melbourne for ten dollars. I paid forty five dollars for my one way cab ride into the city. She also told me that, if at all possible, I should the penguin parade on Phillip Island. She said the bus left late in the afternoon and it was a two hour ride. Well, I thought, I was this close, why not.
I left the station and took a tram to Federation Square where I could purchase tickets for the penguin parade. I was once again surprised with the crowds and traffic in the city. The trams were easy to ride and I got off at my destination. After purchasing my tickets I had to get something to eat, It was almost 1:00p.m. now and I was hungry. The woman at the ticket booth suggested one of the many restaurants in the famous and unique Degraves Alley.
I made my way through the busy crowds of downtown Melbourne and found Degraves Alley. This narrow street was filled with all types of shops and restaurants selling every kind of food imaginable. And they all were just about filled to capacity.
I had a nice lunch outside and continued to explore this interesting alley. I found the walls on the buildings at the end of the alley were covered in graffiti art. Here is a link to some more photographs of my ride into the city and walk through the downtown. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-twenty-melbourne-hotel-to-downtown-february-23-2016
I still had a couple of hours to kill so I walked through the streets for a bit and found myself at the impressive St. Paul’s Cathedral. I took some time exploring this beautiful church. Here is a link to some more photographs of the Cathedral. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-twenty-melbourne-st-pauls-cathedral-february-23-2016
After I visited the Cathedral I continued my walk but storms clouds appeared in the sky so I decided to head to the National Gallery of Victoria located on Foundation Square near where I would meet my bus.
I only had about an hour to explore the many exhibits and it just wasn’t enough time. I photographed many of the wonderful works of art, and I would again like to thank both the art gallery and the artists for allowing me to share these wonderful exhibits. After my short visit to the Art gallery I found my bus waiting outside for my trip to Phillip Island and the penguin parade.Here is a link to some of the many beautiful works of art I saw at the Gallery. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-twenty-melbourne-art-gallery-february-23-2016
“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”
― Charlotte Eriksson,