Tuesday, September 14, 2010

places we visited in melbourne

for three of them in this group of nine, this was their first visit to melbourne and out of these three, one of them is an australian permanent resident. one thing that was borne out during this trip was that when you are older, enjoying the company of your travelling companions was more important than taking in all the sights. at swanston street, the men were content to just sit outside a cafe enjoying a cup of long black while the women went shopping at davy jones. melbourne in early spring still retains the chill of winter, with temperature hovering around 13 degrees celcius.

from our service apartments at william street, we walked the 800m to queen victoria market. market days are 5 days a week, except for mondays and wednesdays. on most days, the market opens at 6.00 a.m. however, on sundays, it starts a bit later, at 9.00 a.m. although i have been to 'vic mart' several times, every visit is filled with a sense of anticipation: expectation of something new or something interesting. nevertheless, i will always look out for the iconic doughtnut van, which has been around for more than 50 years. the doughnut which cost 80cts during my last visit, now costs a dollar each.

a few of my friends, not members of this group, who have been to melbourne had complained about the long and winding trip to view the 12 apostles along the great ocean road. actually, if you want to see features like arches, stacks and stumps, you do not have to travel so far away from melbourne. at the sea, off portsea, in the mornington peninsula you can see these wonders of nature.

"The scenery at London Bridge was fantastic. White-foam waves throwing at the coastlines to form coastal features like outcrop of rocks along the coast. It was chilly cold at London Bridge....." as reported by the secretary for the trip

sorrento is about one and a half hours away from melbourne city. i have always enjoyed sorrento because of its italian name and our wonderful stay at hotel sorrento on our first visit to the peninsula. sorrento is described as a largely upper class seaside resort area but it is also a quiet seaside township in the off-peak months of the year. sorrento is the place where you can take the vehicular ferry to queenscliff. we had dinner at an italian restaurant in sorrento.

the t'gallant winery was also on our itinerary. the group did not show much interest in the vineyard as there was nothing much to see because the grapes had all been harvested. we, however, enjoyed the lunch of wood-fired pizzas at the winery. we had a bottle of wine to go with the food and only one person in the group bought a bottle of wine. from the winery, we moved on to the sunnyridge strawberry farm which is more popular during the strawberry picking season, between november and april.

i had told my group that we would miss out on strawberry and cherry pickings. we also would miss the tulip festival which does not start till 16 september.

we also drove to murray's lookout point at arthurs seat which afforded visitors panoramic breathtaking views of the mornington peninsula and beyond. on a clear day, you could even see the city skyline from the various lookout points at arthurs seat.

at the dandies, where we had lunch at miss marples, the ladies in the group bought souvenirs and cards. one of the men bought a wooden mandarin duck.


nah said...

The panorama towards Portsea from London Bridge was breathtaking. The scenic coastal features of the long stretch of sand, cliffs, reef platforms, large waves, turbulent seas, beachcombers...were great for photo taking.
At Murray's Lookout Point, at Arthurs Seat, the panoramic views of Mornington Peninsula were equally mesmerising.
Though we visited a strawberry farm, the custard apple farms were out of sight. There used to be unmanned stalls outside these farms where visitors picked the required number of custard apples and pay by putting the money into a box. The price of custard apples has shot up from AUD$2.50/kg in 2001 to AUD$6.99/kg now.

Uncle Phil said...

Hi yg,
Are all the 12 apostles along the great ocean road still standing. I heard that the London Bridge has fallen down. When I visited the great ocean road in 1985, the London Bridge was still intact.

Uncle Lee said...

Hello YG, thats one country I have yet to visit. Maybe one day.
Glad read you having fun.
Love to do some fishing there.
Looks abit like Toronto.
Have fun and keep well, Lee.

yg said...

phil, the stacks are subject to erosion all the time. i am sure some will collapse in due course. according to a friend who visited recently, nine are still standing.

yg said...

lee, i went out to the countryside, to a place called benalla. i spoke to a man fishing by the lake. today, when i met him he had caught four fish. the day before, he landed twenty. his biggest catch was a 25 pounder.