Day 48–Sun., Nov. 13, 2011- Melbourne, Australia

     The second largest city in Australia and the capital of Victoria, Melbourne sometimes has trouble escaping Sydney’s shadow.  But life can be good in the shade; Melbourne reigns over Australia culturally and has been dubbed the planet’s most livable city.  Distinctive neighborhoods, leafy streets and the clean, efficient transport system mean that Melbourne rarely feels like a city of 3.5 million people.

     After breakfast we went to Wii and played speed skee-ball.  We did not do so good.  About 10:10 we were cleared to go ashore.  The temperature was 66ºF with humidity at 61%.   It was cloudy.

     When we got into the terminal we got a map and bought a Sunday Savor card for AU$3.20 each which is good on trains, trams and buses.  There was a free shuttle into town and then we walked a few blocks to the tram and went to Queen Victoria Market, a Melbourne icon and the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.  A bargain hunter’s paradise with over 1000 vendors, huge variety and lots of atmosphere.  We thought about the zoo, but did the market first and then we were tired and it was sprinkling on and off.  It went up to about 72ºF.  I had to take off my raincoat.  We saw lots of items and it was clean.  We walked into the butcher area but got out fast.  I did find lots of quilled cards for sale for $5. AUD ($5.25 US)

IMG_0001 IMG_0002 Quilled Cards, $5. AU IMG_0020

     Overall, Melbourne is a very easy city to get around and it was very clean.  There were some tall buildings, but not too many.

IMG_0023 IMG_0025IMG_0026 IMG_0028 

     We got back to the ship just before dinner time.  Erica came in about 6.  The Indonesian Crew Show was tonight at 10.  As usual, it was great.  We bought the generic tape of the crew show.  I hope I recognize someone on it.  The money goes to the crew fund.

Baris Dance by Sucipta; Indonesian Crew Show      In the first picture Sucipta is doing the Baris Dance.  My favorite act was the Angklung Orchestra and I always enjoy the coordination of the Saman Dance.      IMG_0553 Angklung Orchestra

“We shall not cease from exploration   And at the end of all our exploring    Will be to arrive where we started   And know the place for the first time.”  ~  TS Eliot

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