Days 42 – 44 in Melbourne

25th December, 2017.

Christmas Day! Amy had booked Christmas Lunch at a highly recommended pub restaurant in Collingwood, Le Bon Ton. It turned out to be an inspired choice as the atmosphere was just as we like it and the food, while obviously Christmassy, was just that bit different and delicious.

Before lunch.

Amy seated at our table.

The stained glass windows in the pub were beautiful.

Waiting for a tram back to the city.

Amy took this photo of us at dinner.

26th December, 2017.

Boxing Day. We were off to an early start and decided to cross the river and explore Southbank.

Boxing Day & Melbourne mean one thing – the annual Boxing Day Cricket Test Match between England and Australia. There were hordes of folk walking towards the Melbourne Cricket Ground, many wearing their supporters’ Guernseys, including heaps of English people who were enjoying Christmas down under.

We met Amy at lunchtime and had lunch at a restaurant hidden in the trees above the floating restaurant in this picture. It was far too hot to be sitting outside in the sun.

As it was such a beautiful day, a boat trip to Williamstown seemed like a good idea. Viewing the city from the river certainly gives a different perspective.

This crew member needed to be agile and strong, pushing the ferry off from the dock and then leaping aboard.

As expected for a public holiday, Williamstown was very busy with people enjoying the lovely weather and eating at the many alfresco cafes lining the main street.

On our return journey, we noticed a helicopter hovering over this large sailboat. We knew it couldn’t have been one of the Sydney to Hobart entrants and a quick Google revealed it to be an entrant in the Volvo Round-the-World race, with Melbourne being on the route.

An enjoyable but tiring day.

27th December, 2017.

It was back to work for Amy and back to Tasmania for us but our flight was not until late in the afternoon leaving us time for a little more exploring once we checked out of the hotel where we were able to leave our bags to be collected later. We had passed the Immigration Museum a number of times going to and from our hotel and thought it might be a good place to spend an hour or two.

We were a little early for the 10 a.m. opening so looked around for somewhere to have coffee. Surprisingly few places were open but we did find one in an open arcade.

The Immigration Museum is housed in the restored Customs House, a beautiful old building.

The displays and information about immigration to Australia from the arrival of the first fleet until today were very interesting and extremely well done. There were some funny things as well.

In a section devoted to Customs and Excise, I was very excited to see a copy of this book which was written by my Great Uncle, Robert Shaw Close, in 1945 and subsequently banned. Bob was charged with and convicted of “obscene libel” which was later overturned on appeal. I had known the story for many years as told by my mother but to actually see a copy of the book was quite a thrill.

How times have changed!

We spent a couple of hours in the Museum before wandering off in search of lunch. Promptly at 3pm our airport shuttle collected us from our hotel and delivered us in good time to catch our 5pm flight back to Launceston. We were pleased to have the convenience of hopping in our car and heading back to Old Macs Farm where our caravan had survived our absence without incident.

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