Thursday 3 December
We have changed our booking on the ferry and will now be on the Spirit of Tasmania on Saturday night. We have “done” Melbourne and are getting a little tired of the weather we are currently experiencing. So off home it is.
More fun and games on the trains. Wednesday we took the train to Pakenham. This was to again visit the only caravan manufacturer that has a product we are interested in. This is about a three quarter of an hour trip each way. On the way back the train stopped underground on the loop and didn’t move. The driver announced that he couldn’t tell us much because “they” weren’t telling him much. We did eventually move onto the Southern Cross Station when we were informed that that train would terminate because they couldn’t operate the points. Now very little intelligible information was given as to what we should do so we just followed the crowd. Eventually we got home but about an hour later than we should have.
We also wandered around some of the alleyways between Flinders and Bourke Streets and found some fascinating places. Just opposite Flinders Street Station is an alleyway that is filled with tables for little restaurants. This had a great atmosphere and was very crowded. Business was certainly good. Near Bourke Street is the heritage listed Block Arcade. Very ornamental and full of expensive shops, we did weaken and buy some Haighs chocolate.
Today we again went to Melbourne and wandered around South Bank. On the way into town we waited on the train platform for the train which was initially shown as being due in three minutes. It never showed up and there was no explanation, the display then changed to show a train due in 15 minutes. I now understand why Melbourne travellers are complaining about train cancellations. On the way home we went to the platform for our train only to hear an announcement that that service was running late. A couple of minutes later we saw a train to our destination on the other side of the platform, no announcement, it just appeared.
Talkback radio and local newspapers are full of complaints re the train service and we have certainly seen why this is so. The new operator doesn’t seem to have made much difference.
Tomorrow we are taking the train to Shepparton to see a friend of Vicki’s. This is a two and a half hour trip. It is not on the metro service but on Vline which is the country train service. So taking into account our half hour trip into town we will be spending about 6 hours on the train tomorrow.
Thinking about exporting the TV soapie Neighbours to the UK I really think it is pay back and no cultural cringe is needed. After the second world war the UK used Australia for atomic weapons testing. Well I reckon with exporting Neighbours to the UK we have now paid them back for exploding atomic bombs on Australian Shores. All even now!