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Return To Melbourne

Another of the iconic hotels in Melbourne is The Windsor Hotel.

Return To Melbourne

This is the huge pipe organ of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Return To Melbourne

The picture I posted to today's blog below is of the St. Patrick's Cathedral. This is what it looks like on the inside.

Year 5 Days 51 and 52 Return To Melbourne
Dave/Mostly Cloudy and Cool
03/23/2012, Melbourne, AU

Yesterday we spent the day preparing and then flying back to Melbourne. From the time we left our cottage in Hobart to the time we checked into the Grand Hotel in Melbourne, five years had elapse. Our plane was delayed for 45 minutes due to, and gets this, the catering service. This is a bit comical since the catering on the plane is not much to begin with since the flight is just a little over an hour long. Even when the plane did leave, it still was lacking a hot beverage service.

We were rewarded by our return to the Grand Hotel by having the young lady who checked us in, by upgrading us to a beautiful three level suite. The first floor is a full kitchen and dining room. The next level is a very large and comfortable living room with a comfy sofa and wing chair, a bureau with a large plasma TV and a large writing desk and chair. The third level is a huge bedroom with a lovely full bath. Ahhhh, living in the lap of luxury with the added bonus of not having to pay for it. It doesn't get better than this!

This morning we just could not refuse our desire to return to the Vic and stocking up on a number of yummies for lunch, dinner and tomorrow's breakfast. The Vic (the Victoria Market) is the large market that we went to last week and fell in love with. Some of goodies we bought included a whole smoked trout, Hungarian sausage, aged ham, and loin of lamb, some more of the delicious tapas dips, another bottle of cabernet, fresh strawberries and some vegetables. We will not be able to eat all of that while in Melbourne so we will just pack up what is left and take it will us to Perth tomorrow. We were assured that only fruit is quarantined so the strawberries will be devoured before then.

We traveled to and from the Vic by taking the free trolley car that circles the CBD. We passed a number of beautiful old buildings that I will post photos of above this blog. We love the wonderful mix of old Victorian style buildings with the ultra modern skyscrapers that dominant the Melbourne skyline.

Tomorrow we bid Melbourne a sad farewell and fly off to explore Perth. Perth will be our last major city that we will be exploring during this trip. Our trip will have taken us through the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. When we start our cruising season next month, we will be sailing up to Darwin and the Northern Territory. We will have missed the State of South Australia but that leaves us something to return to Australia for.

We also have some great news to share. We have been emailing with our cruising friends, Portia and Steve of S/V Dream Caper. We had first met while anchored in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador two and half years ago and then kept bumping into each other as we both crossed the Pacific. They have successfully sold their lovely catamaran here in Australia and have retired to the home they built in the mountains of Mexico, near Guadalajara. They will be joining us for part of our sailing through Indonesia this year. They will be joining us in Bali and will sail with us for two weeks to such islands as Karimun Java, Kalimantan, Belitung, Bintan and Batam. We are so excited to be able to see them again and we have the added pleasure of being able to sail and explore exotic places together. We love sharing our adventure with people and this will just make this cruising season so much more pleasurable!

Year 5 Day 50 Return to Hobart
Dave/Heavy Rain
03/21/2012, Hobart, Tasmania, AU

The rain that was threatening yesterday finally arrived in the early morning and continued all day. Thus, the drive back to Hobart was a wet one. While it slowed our driving around the many tight curves that dominate the drive to Hobart from Queenstown, we actually made the trip in about 30 less minutes. Since it was so wet outside, we did not stop along the way to take pictures or sightsee at the various vistas. This saved us considerable time and resulted in making the drive in just 3.5 hours.

The photo to this blog gives you an inkling to how hard it was raining. The photo shows a little waterfall along the side of the road as we drove up the mountain from Queenstown. When we arrived to Queenstown a few days ago, this waterfall was not there. Also, the waterfall is partially obscured by fat raindrops hitting the windshield. I had the wipers on and Mary Margaret took this picture by timing the passing of the wipers. Thus, in just a fraction of a second, the windshield was mostly covered again by the raindrops and thus, obscuring the photo.

We are staying again in the convict cottage in Hobart where we stayed before. It will be for just one night as we leave by plane for Melbourne tomorrow afternoon. We will be returning to the Grand Hotel in Melbourne and will be staying for two days. This will give us one more chance to take in the sights before we fly to Perth on Saturday, the 24th.

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