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Travel Days

Taking the rail to Melbourne we passed many sights. I will post a few photos of what we saw. The countryside varied from flat grasslands with very large ranches to rolling hills. We passed through the foothills of the Snowy Mountains which was very scenic and it had a number of tunnels we went through.

This photo captures a small valley with a couple of ranches next to each other.

Travels Days

Most of the towns and villages we passed through were very quaint. This is a typical train station that we would stop and pick up or drop off one or two people as we made our way toward Melbourne. This is the station at Yass Junction

Travel Days

While I did not take this photo, we did see this tree house from the train. Someone put a lot of time and effort into building it.

Year 5 Days 39 And 40 Travel Days
03/11/2012, Melbourne, AU

Yesterday and today were travel days. Yesterday we packed our bags, loaded up the car and said goodbye to the Blue Mountains. We enjoyed our three days in Katoomba, even though it poured during our first two days there. The sights that we took in yesterday more than made up for the rain. Plus, Mary Margaret got to enjoy her well deserved day at the spa.

We had booked a room for the night at the Travel Lodge Hotel in Sydney since it was so close to the railway station where we caught the train to Melbourne. For dinner we went across the street to the Swartz Brewery and Hotel. It turned out to be a gem in the rough since the hotel and building was very old and a bit seedy. However, the restaurant was great. I had a porterhouse steak with a side of curly noodles covered in a rich bolognas sauce. Both were to die for. Mary Margaret had a delicious chicken Caesar salad. The added bonus to this great meal was that it was the most reasonable price we have seen in Australia. The steak and pasta cost just $14 AU! What a deal!

This morning we left the hotel at 0600. Given that this part of Australia is on daylight savings time, it was still very dark out. We pulled our luggage the 5 or so blocks to the train station. While we were waiting for the train to arrive, I walked around a bit and, to my surprise, spied a Crispy Cream donut shop. This blew me away since I did not realize that Crispy Cream has gone international. I bought a couple of creamed filled donuts, one to share with Mary Margaret. In the US, these donuts are about the best you can eat. They are really very, very good. However, these were a bit of a disappointment. They were good but only on par with an ordinary donut - not the melt in your mouth delights that we were used to. Oh well, you can't have everything...

The train ride to Melbourne was, once again, very scenic and very long. Do to the extensive and heavy rains and flooding this part of the country is going through, the train went through a number of speed restricted areas of track. The soil under the rails must have been soggy and traveling at its normal speed may have damage the base. We saw a number of places where the river was still overflowing its banks and where the countryside was covered in water. Due to the speed restrictions we arrived in Melbourne about an hour late. The trip took about 13 hours.

Our hotel in Melbourne is another icon: The Grand Hotel. It was just two blocks from the train depot so it was an easy walk. Our room is very nice with two levels. The lower level is a full kitchen with a table and the upper level is a very spacious and elegant room and bath. It is very comfortable and we will enjoy our stay here for the next five days.

Leura Cascades

Here are the cascades that fell down another branch of the stream.

Leura Cascades

Another view of the cascades.

Leura Cascades

The Leura Cascades are a series of small falls that cascade down two branches of a stream. This series of falls were picturesquely located under an arch bridge.

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Who: Mary Margaret and Dave Leu
Port: Dana Point, CA
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