Day 11: Hobart to Melbourne. With our flight to Melbourne not leaving until 10:30 this morning, we took our time getting to the small Hobart airport. Much to our surprise, the terminal was a hub of activity. The line for security screening was longer than we expected because numerous flights were scheduled, and non-passengers, allowed access to the gate area, helped clog the queue. Again for this domestic flight, no one ever checked our identification and we were not asked to present any documents until we actually boarded the plane.
The flight took less than an hour, and we were soon picking up our rental car at the Melbourne airport. On the drive from the airport into the city on the Tullamarine Freeway, we couldn't miss seeing some of Melbourne's vast collection of public art. First came the Melbourne International Gateway, better known to locals as the cheesestick and the grater (or the ribcage), the kind of work that provokes remarks like, "What was that?" The landmark consists of a 230-ft yellow beam cantilevered to loom diagonally over 8 lanes of traffic, coupled with a collection of 39 red beams lurking nearby. According to those responsible for its installation, the yellow beam is meant to commemorate Victoria's gold rush, while the red beams symbolize the state's wheat industry.
|Melbourne International Gateway (photo by Mary Ann Adair)|
|Flemington Bridge sound barrier|
|Traders like this one contribute to the colorful atmosphere at the Queen Vic.|
Owned by the city, the Queen Vic is one of Melbourne's top tourist attractions. Last year the city committed to the largest investment in its history to preserve and renew the beloved landmark. After the renewal, Melbourne intends to petition UNESCO to grant World Heritage status to the market.
|This trader was selling some amazing handmade books, complete with handmade paper for the pages.|
|Shot tower inside Melbourne Central|
As we have committed to do on this trip, we built some relaxation time into this travel day, spending the remainder of the day resting in our apartment. Tomorrow, we plan to hook up with a guided walking tour of the city and take in a bit of Australian theatre.
Road Noise:At the Melbourne airport, officials are keenly aware of the international mix of passengers entering the city. This includes visitors from cultures where the sanitation norm is squat toilets with used paper thrown into a trash bin. Just in case the airport's restrooms offer a guest's first experience with western style toilets, signs offer guidance.
- Started in Hobart, ended in Melbourne
- Mileage - 403 (Trip total: 11,288)
- Weather - 41° to 66 °, sunny to partly cloudy
- Shoppers at Queen Victoria Market - 44,178
SATURDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER, 2014