First Day - Melbourne

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March 11th 2018
Published: March 11th 2018
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Flying horse
Blog 2

Melbourne, Aus. - March 10, 2018 – Weather: sunny with a high of 32°C

We woke up around 6:00 am feeling fairly refreshed. Before breakfast I took a short walk around the area then off to breakfast. The evening before we had arranged for a shuttle to drop us off at the airport where we caught the Skybus. This is a low-cost shuttle service that uses double decker busses to transport passengers to/from the airport for $19 each one way. Far less expensive than what it would cost to take a taxi to drive the 30 km to the center of the city. Another advantage of using this service is that they provide a free hotel shuttle from the station to drop-off locations near your hotel. Our shuttle driver provided directions and after a short walk we found the hotel entrance. Check-in went smoothly and we were presented with a package from the tour outlining the itinerary for the next week. Wi-Fi connections at this hotel are an additional cost unless you are a Member of their loyalty program. Thinking ahead I had actually signed up for their card and was granted free Wi-Fi for

Bronze men
our stay. Always good to investigate this type of thing before leaving home.

After locating our room and dropping our bags we joined the throngs of people in downtown Melbourne and took a leisurely stroll up Swanston St. in search of the National Opal Collection. Even though the street was filled with people the museum/store was nearly empty when we arrived and we had unobstructed viewing of a series of videos that outline how opals were created, how they are mined and transformed into jewelry. The sales staff were very friendly and informative.

Back on the street we followed the instructions provided by the Opal staff and located the free shuttle that runs in a large loop around the perimeter of the central core of downtown Melbourne. The city has set up a free trolley zone for all units that transect the center of the city. It provided us with an opportunity to discover where we might visit in the coming days whenever we have time to ourselves. The trolley system is well used and the unit we were on was crowded and hot.

On our way back to the hotel

Flinders Station
we stopped and picked up some bottled water at a much better price than what the hotel was offering. I opted again for an afternoon nap before heading off to a light dinner at the hotel’s Cocoon Bar where you got 20%!o(MISSING)ff basic spirits, beer and wine during Happy Hour – actually 5pm to 7pm.

Finished the evening with a walk to get my 10,000 steps in for the day. I found the streets at 9 p.m. to still be packed and it wasn’t until I returned to the hotel that I realized that Monday March 12th is when the Australians celebrate Labour Day, so this is a holiday weekend.

Additional photos below
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Crowd waiting for free trolley

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