Today we started the day a bit early as we had to make it to the Sydney International Airport for a 9:00 a.m. trip to Melbourne. We met as a group at 6:45 in the morning in the lobby of the Great Southern Hotel. As we made our way to the airport we all said our silent goodbyes to the streets of Sydney. After making it successfully through security with minimal problems, a quick grab of coffee or a sandwich, boarding our plane and we were off! As this was only an hour flight to Melbourne, the plane did keep lower allowing for great views of the coast-side. After successfully landing in Melbourne and waking from quick naps, we un-boarded the plane and went in search of our luggage. Bryan led us to our bus and we packed our things underneath the rig. Our bus driver then drove us to the old Victoria Market. We spent the next hour and a half or so meandering around the market trying different foods and searching for bargains. Opportunities for food were widespread with anything from Cantonese cuisine to American BBQ to English fish and chips. The shops in the market had many different wares including cheap trinkets, aboriginal art, knockoff designer brand, and everything in between. After everyone had found their treasures, we loaded up on the bus to continue our tour of the city. We saw many different parts of the city, old and new. The Victoria House was one site we saw. The Victoria House is used as a seat of government for the state of Victoria. We also saw Luna Park, one of the oldest amusement parks in the city of Melbourne. We also drove along the Yarra River as well and witnessed many different interesting events and buildings along the river such as a music event. We also saw in the Yarra River a giant ferry called the Spirit of Tasmania, a government subsidized this ferry. As the tour winded down, the bus made its way to our hotel for the night. Room cards were handed out and rooms were assigned. Compared to the Great Southern Hotel in Sydney, most found the rooms in our Quality Inn much larger and nicer. The afternoon and night were ours to explore the city, relax, or catch up on our journal work. Kyle and Jim (the fine gentleman writing this blog today) are planning on going out for a night to visit a local entertainment complex and also possibly visit the Melbourne Observation Wheel, an extremely large Ferris wheel that overlooks the Melbourne skyline. So far our trip has been enjoyable and everyone seems to be having a great time. Tomorrow we plan on taking tours of many different facilities including a tour of the National Wool Museum. Since we don’t have to be up terribly early tomorrow many of us plan on enjoying the night out with our friends. We send our best wishes to our friends and families.
Jim and Kyle