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July 19th 2014
Published: July 21st 2014
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Melbourne Airport ArtMelbourne Airport ArtMelbourne Airport Art

I love the decorative structures in airports.
Thank goodness, I had no trouble in the airport upon arrival in Melbourne Australia. My visa was waiting for me…I applied for it on line about a month ago. But I didn’t find accommodations before I arrived and everything was closed down by ten p.m. There seem to be no mid-price hotels. There were conventions this weekend and all the prices are inflated. I did some photo editing for most of the night and the next morning I talked to a nice young man at the Travelers Assist desk and I got a hostel in the heart of the city. It is huge, over 750 beds. I am in a four bed mixed dorm room, which costs $30 Australian. This hostel is huge, clean and impersonal. (There is nice music on in the common room here.) The hostel is a block from Queen Victoria's Market, think Pike Street Market. I love being so close to the market; there is great bread, mixed olives, gourmet cheeses and fresh fruits and vegetables (meat and fish, too).

I am planning to stay here for three days, then take a night bus to Canberra, stay a day and move on to Sydney.
Sculpture at Queen Victoria MarketSculpture at Queen Victoria MarketSculpture at Queen Victoria Market

Reminds me of Pike Street Market in Seattle.
I want at least two weeks in Cairns for diving the Great Barrier Reef. I am hoping to take a live aboard…more diving, one price for everything. And no buses or long walks carrying dive gear.

Melbourne looks and feels like Seattle. It is like deja vu, the city feels so familiar, as does the weather. It is cold and wet…such a change from the warm muggy weather of Borneo. I am going to go buy a pullover later. I saw some yesterday, but I didn’t want to carry anything else, so I didn’t buy one. It is so cold, however and the sweaters are cheap; they look comfortable and I am sick of the things I have been wearing for two and a half months already.

I decided to take a photo of a metal sculpture outside the market and a lady offered to take my photo with it, then asked me to have some tea with her and her daughter. The daughter is a student at a prestigious performing art college here so we went to see her school. The daughter, Willow, just brightens up like the sun when
New FriendsNew FriendsNew Friends

Tea with Alison and daughter, Willow
talking about performing. I got a transit card and we went to an art museum to look at polar bears, then had a little tea party. Willow told me about the lottery for tickets to Wicked. I had already made plans to go...firm. Alison, had to go home by train and she took me to the train station with her. I got off at the first stop and went to the theater, entered and won a discounted ticket to the show ($35 instead of $99). The seat was in the third row on the aisle. I thought the story was a little slow at first, but Wow! It was wonderful. I had such a good time. The people who had been in the lottery were like friends, and so happy that I won a ticket. I had such a good day full of wonderful surprises.

Even having slept so long I am tired today. I went to the ATM and then had a very healing massage. The massage therapist and I speak the same language and had a long talk about life and death, reality, and our responsibilities to each other. He is
You can't see me.You can't see me.You can't see me.

I love these whimsical, colorful polar bears covered in bright feathers.
downloading some books for me. I will pick them up and have another massage Monday before I catch the night train to Canberra.

Tomorrow I am taking the coast tour to see the Apostles (big rocks) at sunset. Alison explained that this coast road doesn’t really go anywhere. It was built after the war to give men jobs, kind of like the rock guard rails at Deception Pass, I guess. I'll know more after the tour tomorrow.

Monday a.m. I am going to take a train to Lilydale, about an hour and a half outside of Melbourne, to see Alison. She said if the weather permitted she would drive a little to the outback and maybe see some kangaroos. Her husband is visiting his folks and the kids may or may not be there. She is coming into the city in the late afternoon so it all works out. Such nice people.

You know I always think of myself as rural, a small town girl, but I love being in the city, too. I may have to rethink who I am.

Light on my toes.

I did a lot of walking tonight. I like the city at night. It was interesting to watch the people celebrating Saturday night. I found a steak house and had a good steak, sweet potato fries and corn on the cob with Chipotle sauce. It was so good. No doggie bags allowed here, and no coffee or tea with dinner. So I had some homemade ice cream for dessert, then stopped at a Starbucks for tea.

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