This past weekend saw us head into the city to explore a little. We decided to brave it and catch the train. We live at the end of the line for the Metro train system so we figured at least we couldn't get lost as we were heading into the city which is the end of the line and then we just had to stay on the train on the way home until the end of the line also, just perfect for me and my hopeless sense of direction in a new area lol. The trip into the city takes just over an hour,,,,,,over double the time that it used to take to catch the train in to Adelaide from our old house! But at the end of the day, we don't "need" to go to the city on a regular basis so it doesn't really matter,,,,,,,,I just hope the kids don't end up with jobs in the city, they would hate that commute each day!
Just getting on the train proved interesting in itself. The woman at the train station cashier office was Indian and I couldn't understand a word she was saying and Hubby got left to deal with our ticketing issues. She was less than helpful to newcomers to the state thats for sure. Eventually we worked out that we had to buy a Myki card each (this is a new ticketing system they have introduced). A Myki card is just like a credit/ATM card. You buy the card ($6 for adults and $3 for children per card), then you load money onto them. So we paid out the $18 for the cards and then went over to the Myki machine to load $10 onto each card (so much for this being a cheap day out!). This card works out so much cheaper in the long run. A ticket into the city would have cost us $11.90 for a day trip if we just bought a normal ticket, per adult. This way the cost was $3.30 each (this is a weekend rate) so it is a heck of a lot cheaper. We now won't have to pay next time we travel as we had the $10 loaded onto each card. Over here you don't have to do anything when you get on the train, the ticket machines are actually at the stations. You press your Myki card onto the machine as you enter the train station and then again as you go out. I have no idea if we got charged right though as Mr12 had issues with his card when we were trying to get out of the Melbourne station and then Hubby forgot to scan all 4 cards as we left our station when we got home, he only scanned 1. I guess next time we will see whether or not we ended up getting charged correctly.
Anyway we had a wander around the city, going down the Bourke Street Mall and surrounding streets. It sure felt strange to walk down a mall area that had trams going down the middle of it. I am so used to Rundle Mall in Adelaide that has no vehicles whatsoever lol, I kept telling the boys to stop and don't forget to check for trams as they were wandering back and forth! Also another thing to get used to is the busyness that is Melbourne. Adelaide is such a little country town by comparison to this hustle and bustle city. I didn't like going to the city in Adelaide when it was busy so I hate to think how I would go in Melbourne on a week day lol. There is no way on earth that I will ever bring the car into Melbourne myself. Box turns are the way you turn right here and to be honest, they scare the crap out of me lol.
I will leave you for today with a few piccies that we snapped while out and about. Don't ask me where precisely we were at the time, I know the river views were taken near Federation Square but other than that I'm clueless lol (Hubby used his phone to find our way back to the train station cuz we had no idea where we were!!). While there though, we were successful in finding the lolly shop Suga which was great. We got there just as they started to make a batch of their raspberry lollies, it was awesome for the kids to see just how these lollies are made,,,,,,,of course we had to buy some lollies to bring home with us too :-)
|Outside the State Library|
|There are elephant statues everywhere to celebrate the Melbourne Zoo's 150th birthday, these will be auctioned off eventually|
|I just have to have a ride on one of these horse and carts one day|
|My kind of motor bike!|
|The kids were amazed at how long the train was, back in Adelaide you may get 2 carriages if you were lucky lol|
While I still don't like Melbourne and it still looks kind of grotty, I do understand why people love it also. It does have a beauty about it and it does feel alive here. Whether or not I ever come to love the place, well that will have to be seen but for the moment we happy to just explore. That is one thing I am liking is the fact that there is so much to see and do over here compared to SA, especially with kids. I know we are only new to the city but we have a huge list of things we want to see and places we want to explore further and it is a city of contrasts, from beaches to forest areas to snow. We have decided that each weekend we will explore something new, this could take a while. At least it is keeping the kids interested lol. Stay tuned, each week I will be sharing our weekend's exploration results :-)