RTW Day 44 - Melbourne

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March 31st 2018
Published: March 31st 2018
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A very early start today. We fly to Melbourne at 6 am, so need to get up at 3.30. To be honest, I’m too old to go without the requisite 8 hours sleep. But the flight is on time and and I get to watch The Greatest Showman (twice), so it could be worse.

Entering Australia is a special challenge for the short sighted. The first instruction, on entering the E-gate, is to remove your glasses. The second is written on a screen 20 metres away. I can’t even see there’s an instruction let alone read what it says. Despite my unbeaten run of failing to use an E-gate with assistance, we’re in Melbourne by 9. We head to our hotel, hoping we can leave our bags there, but they are able to check us in which is an unexpected bonus. So we go back to bed for a few hours.

One I am feeling vaguely human again, we set off to explore Melbourne. It’s a lovely day and a lovely city. My great great grandfather Paul Monte settled in Melbourne (more of that later) and I can see why he fell for the place.

We start in Queen Victoria Market (apparently the largest market in the Southern Hemisphere). It’s huge and you can buy practically anything, but make a beeline for the food court and have fish and chips for brunch.

The Yarra River bisects Melbourne. We spend the afternoon exploring north of the river; there’s some grand old Victorian buildings, some cool modern buildings and a sprinkling of nice parks. We visit the enormous State Library, the beautifully frescoed Royal Exhibition Building and finish up at Federation Square. It looks like a great place to spend some time. But we’ve had a long day so we catch the tram back to the hotel.

Our home for the next 3 nights is a one bed flat on the 25th floor of a tower block. It has all mod cons (I’m disproportionately excited when I discover the washing machine) and a great view across the city and river.

I sit on the balcony with a beer and some rather strange chicken and aioli crisps, watching the sun set over the harbour and wondering how my view compares with Paul’s a century ago.

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