Sunday, 13 November 2016
13.11.2016 - 13.11.2016
The waves and the wind had abated as we entered Port Philip Bay on our way into the Port of Melbourne. The sky looked threatening and we fully expected rain but decided to brave the weather and go into the city. We disembarked the ship into a well organised terminal building where all the essential services were on hand. Over all much better than I had dreaded for an early Sunday morning.
We purchased a 'myki' visitor's pack for just $7 each (discount for concession holders). The pack contains a rechargeable access card for all Public Transport services loaded with sufficient funds to provide travel for the day. We used it to board the express 109 bus from the dock to the city centre. Within an hour we were in the heart of Melbourne.
The trams which crisscross the city are free within a rectangular zone which includes many of the popular destinations. We rode the tram to the Queen Victoria Markets where we spent a happy hour admiring the range, quality and prices of the produce. In particular the price of meat was at least 25% cheaper than in Canberra. In spite of the inclement weather there was a good crowd of customers in the various pavilions.
I had not previously visited Federation Square although it is the venue for many significant events and celebrations. When we arrived there we were surprised at the size of the crowd there. The attraction today was the Polish Festival which has been staged there for the past 12 years. Last year's event attracted over 50,000 participants. I was quite amazed at the obvious enthusiasm of the many stall holders and the patient customers who formed almost impenetrable queues.
To round off our outing we boarded the free No 35 City Circuit tram which travelled the border of the Free Tram zone and provided an informative commentary along the way. The tram was packed with people which made it difficult to see many of the attractions referred to. Not the best experience but a fantastic concept that would be more enjoyable on a week day when less crowded.
After finding our way to the 109 bus we were whisked back to the port arriving just after 14:00. The rain which had held off all morning passed over the ship as a light drizzle as we had lunch. Jenny managed to catch up with her sister on the phone as we had network coverage again.
Changed for dinner and enjoyed our penultimate meal in the company of our waiters. We have managed to occupy the same table and have the same team for every night. That's is unusual when one signs up for 'Any Time' dinning. We declined the evening's entertainment and spent the time watching world events on the TV and concocting this description.
We have a final sea day tomorrow as we sail towards our final port of Sydney. The day will be occupied with the task of packing our possessions and sorting through a pile of paperwork and brochures that are unlikely to be relevant once we're ashore.
The iconic facade of Flinders Street Station forms the feature image for today you can view my photo by following this link to the image.
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.