Melbourne 2017 Day 2 – Victoria Market, Federation Square and Newwharf promenade

I woke up at nearly 7 when the daylight started peeking through the shades. The skies were kinda gloomy. Got back into bed and continued writing my ejournal so that I could upload this into my blog later. I had not been able to catch up on updating the blog lately and was still in the midst of updating on the Taiwan trip we had in November last year, due to being busy in work commitments and simply laziness. This trip slow pace allowed for time to pen down the moments of the trip (this and the previous ones). I turned on the heating again as it felt a little too cold even under the sheets while my loved ones seemed unperturbed in their sleep.

K asked for milk which I got out of bed to fix one up. It was snooze time after that. Guess we were all still on Singapore time, at least for both mommy and K as I continued to work on my blog till I fell asleep myself. The next thing I knew we were all awoken at 930am.
The usual routine was mommy to cook the lunch meal while I get K prepared. After packing his meals into containers, we were all ready to leave at 1045am, incredibly late while on holiday but we were expecting a slow pace one.

To the left on La Trobe street was a tram station and since it was within the free tram locations, we hopped on tram 35, one that was particularly routed for tourist to get into town. We hopped off the station on Queen’s street for the a visit to Queen Victoria Market.

Tram in Melbourne
Tram stop, no. 35 the tourist tram
Free Tram zone map
Tram arriving
Inside the tram

It was a short 5mins walk from the tram station which brought us to a huge area, hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of stuff, under one big roof. It was a mega size pasar malam, Aussie style. Much of the things sold though, we weren’t really interested and just keep moving and looking. There weren’t many Aussie products though there were some woollen products, oboriginal wooden stuff and paintings, koalas soft toy. As we took about an hour to walk around and after looking at a street presentation of Indonesian culture with their instruments and dance, we went for lunch at the food court next to the market.

Queen Victoria Market map
Market place
Market under a huge shed

I bought myself a big breakfast with latte from a stall (Q75) inside at aud14.5 and it was not bad. Mommy had a bowl of pumpkin soup in a bread bowl from one of the stalls (The Soup Factory) in the market. K had his pasta and some of my fried egg which he liked but not the mushrooms.

One of the corridor
Many people but not crowded
Outside stalls too
Indonesian Cultural show
Food court
All day breakfast
The Soup Factory
Pumpkin soup bowl

After lunch, we used the toilets and changed K diapers, we walked to the tram station on Elizabeth street to take a tram to the final stop at Flinders’ street. Flinder street station was huge and had a clock tower than K mistaken as Big Ben. We walked along Flinder street towards Federation Square. There was a Sikh exhibition going around but K preferred to spend his time climbing up and down the flight of stairs. We chilled in this beautiful place for a while, where we could also see the big St Paul’s cathedral before visiting the Melbourne tourist center nearby to ask for the nearest Telstra shop.

Clock tower and partial renovation
Flinder street station
Visitor center
Federation square
View from Federation square
St Paul cathedral from the visitor center

When I turned on the wifi whilst in the shop, I was surprised to find free public wifi! Logged on and found by google maps that the nearest Telstra were just 2 streets down at a mall called the Block arcade. We walked towards the location and within 10mins we were there. As I kept K busy and myself took a seat after carrying my heavy toddler around, mommy purchased data SIM for aud40 that would give us 3GB of data, should be enough to tide us through the next 15days. The mall itself looked great in the vintage design but we didn’t visit and walked back to the tram station to take tram 35 return to the apartment. There was supposed to be a Parliament House but since everyone was tired, we decided to skip that.

Telstra store in Melbourne
Block Arcade

The tram brought us behind the Etihad stadium where we got off as it left for the waterfront. At this time, K had already fallen asleep in my arms. I had to carry him all the way back to the apartment, a good 10 mins walk and it was really tiring. Had to stop and rest for a bit while mommy couldn’t even carry him a while. By the time we were back, it was already 4pm. Mommy made milk for him and I cleaned up some dishes. Then we all took an afternoon nap after K woke up, downed some milk and returned to nap.

520pm and we woke from our nap. Mommy prepared dinner and K prepared for a bath, and as usual with kids, it took awhile to get them moving to the bathroom. It was also quite challenging keep them from getting a cold when getting out of the bath especially in this cold winter day, we had to switched on the air heater to warm up the rooms first (aircon on the heating mode).

Once we were done with our preparations, and trying to get K to stop his YouTube video, we headed towards Newquay for dinner at about 7pm. It was about a 15mins walk, could have been faster if not for K insistence to press every traffic light button along the way there. We stopped by the waterfront to take some photos of the bridge and continued to along Newquay promenade to see if what were available for dinner. There were a couple of restaurants from Asian cuisines to western to choose from. Along the way were a few art structures that K spent time climbing and jumping on the lights on the ground.

Yarra river pano
Melbourne star ferris wheel in the background
Art Sculptures on Newquay promenade
Street lamps that shaped like seagulls

We reached the end of the promenade and decided that we wanted Chinese and thus returned back to Docklands Lotus restaurant for our dinner. The restaurant had some opening hours indicated but not for Sunday and there was only one family eating there. When asked if there were still opened, they checked and since it was just 730pm, they said of course! I assumed they were opened till the same timing of at least 10pm.

The restaurant had toddler seat (the usual IKEA one) which was good as it kept K still and some fish tanks to keep him entertained. We ordered Fried rice and Ee Foo noodles and they came in huge portions. While K ate the rice prepared by mommy, he too shared my fried rice and I shared mommy’s as she couldn’t finish eating hers. All this we paid for aud38.1.

Fried rice
Mixed vegetables with chicken
Inside Docklands Lotus
Docklands Lotus restaurant

Left the restaurant and K spent some time looking at the fishes before leaving to the nearby art structures to climb around. The difference now was that the cold wind became unbearably colder than before and as we tried to persuade K to leave, he was still playing around the strictures. He also found time to crap (as he didn’t for the last 3days) and I had to carry him the 15mins ( with the traffic lights) back to the apartment. Upon arrival, I quickly changed his diapers out and gave him some TV time with Ironman 2 on 7mate channel.

After packing a bit in preparation for our move the next day, we got into bed at 10ish pm, a return back to normalcy.

Melbourne 2017 Day 0-1 – Arrival in Melbourne and R&R

Friday night traffic was expectedly a little heavy as we approached Changi terminal 2. Other than 2 traffic accidents, we made it in 40mins from bukit panjang to changi. But the sight at the scoot counter 11 was horrifying. Everyone was escaping on this long weekend. Although they tried to diffuse the crowd by opening another counter on the opposite, the queue was not moving quickly, even with the DYI print out of the boarding passes and the luggage stickers. We cleared the check in by 1145 after a few more counters opened. Luggage was checked in ( although luggage tags were reprinted and repasted) and we moved to the immigrations, the one further away from Scoot since we need to go through the manned counters and they were crowded too.

Long queue to check in

We thought of getting some reading magazines for K for his entertainment but the Relay bookshop didn’t have any. Walked around and checked the 7-11 but there weren’t any too. K spent some time plane watching before we got onto a few travellators to gate E26 for our boarding ( K went 2 more travellators ahead before I had to carry him back towards the gate).

The gate was crowded as expected and we took a slow walk to board the plane. Having booked the 3 center seats, the overhead compartment were empty which was good for us to store our bags. Whatever jam we had encountered through the night translate to the final jam on the take off as well – we took off at 2am, 40 mins later than schedule.

K had his milk on the plane and slowly dozed off on my lap as the plane took flight. Mommy also had no problem falling asleep. I felt pretty uncomfortable throughout and tried various sleeping positions. What was worse was the fact that I couldn’t put my seat backwards since the passenger behind was a tall guy and his legs were blocking the recline. K moved from lying on my lap to lying onto a sitting position, lying over the armrest on mommy’a overcoat as a pillow.

6am and the plane was lighted up for a while for meals. We bought an Evian water bottle for SGD4 in cash, to quench thirst from the exceptionally dry airplane environment. K didn’t wake from this but 30mins later, the lights dimmed again. I filled in the immigrations card details before going back to sleep.

8am Singapore time which translate to 10am Aussie time, the plane began its descent. K was awoken by then and we made milk for him to drink just before touch down. Taxi took 15mins and we only got off by 11am.

Our first stop was the diaper changing room. Although not the most cosy, it was adequately big and had a changing board to change out K’s diapers. Going through immigration was a long queue, apparently for the automated lanes. For families with children under 16, we were asked to take the yellow lane which was much shorter and the queue moved pretty quickly. After that, it was a short wait at the belt and together with the luggage, we went to the customs.

Having seen so much on TV on the strict border security, we made declarations on the food that we brought from Singapore as we had fresh vegetables, peanuts, dried scallops and rice. We were asked to take lane to that led us to the custom officer whom proceeded with asking for a check. In the end, the fresh vegetables were confiscated as these were deemed disallowed. However I sensed he was also glad that we did the declaration and was friendly yet professional about it.

We exited the arrival hall and proceeded to a nearby Villa & Hut Kafe for something to eat. Ordered ham & cheese croissant and tomato and cheese toastie with Latte and juice, expensive meal of Aud26. Took a rest while K munched on some bread and on the croissant and used the free airport wifi to check in on Facebook.

Inside Melbourne airport arrivals
Villa & Hut Kafe

Next we headed towards the bus ticketing counter, we saw a vending machine with prepaid SIM from Telstra that costed aud30 but offered only 1.5GB in the day and 1.5gb during off peak. Couldn’t check with the nearby counters as they were crowded too. Gave up and took the chance on the stores in Melbourne city.

The Skybus ticketing counter was just nearby and mommy bought the family tickets express bus to the city for aud36 in total. The bus came within 5mins and we boarded the bus at 1220pm. It was quite full bus and thankfully the bus staff helped us with the 2x heavy luggage by shifting the luggage at the rack to accommodate ourselves. We sat on the upper deck in separate single seats as mostly were taken and it was then a 20min ride to the city. Wifi was available on the bus and that kept me entertained for awhile as K rested and fell asleep in mommy’s arms.

Skybus ticketing
Skybus tickets

We arrived into a spacious bus station and as mommy carried K down the bus, I managed all the bags. Then we swapped roles taking over K at the station while mommy pushed the luggage towards our Airbnb apartment for 2 nights, at 288 Spencer street.

Bus terminal

K woke up soon after from the walk and we arrived at the basement and gave a call to the contact in the email. Some 5mins later, the rep came and meet us and brought us up to 36 floor, the highest level of the building. Opening the main door revealed a apartment with a killer view, a panoramic of the river could be seen! The space was quite compact but not small and was comfortable for a living room and a kitchenette. K immediately liked it, tumbling around on the carpet.

Welcome sign
Master bedroom
2nd guestroom
Toilet and sink
Living room

The rep completed the check in process, on a tablet and also explained the check out and left us to watch TV for a bit. After that, we walked back to the Coles supermarket right across the street to so some marketing, especially after the vegetables had been confiscated.

Coles was huge and while K had fun jumping on the square tiles on the floor, mommy consolidated the purchases that came up to be about Aud88. These included a pack of diapers that we had to buy as we didn’t bring everything from Singapore due to a lack of packing space, a can of milk powder, which was cheaper in Australia and also lack of packing space and other stuff like water, organic fresh milk (cheaper than Singapore too) and vegetables.

Melbourne street
Coles supermarket
Inside Coles

Walked back to the apartment with a toddler in one arm and tons of bags in another. Mommy started preparing macaroni and egg for K as he seemed to be hungry, asking for pasta while he had some yogurt first. We later oven cooked our meals that was also bought from the supermarket which was quite expensive (aud6 minimum) for something that was microwave food. It tasted ok though.

Macaroni and cheese

4pm and we all were tired. Did the afternoon nap routine and after a bottle of milk, we all knocked out. I had a diarrhea going on but was quick to return to the bed for a catch up on sleep.

730pm and the sky was already dark. The city electrifying lights painted a beautiful scene just outside the windows. Mommy woke up to prepare the dinner while I turned on the heating to warm the room and pumped up the bubble tub for K to bath. There was good warm water but this was expected in a modern city. Not sure if this would be the same as we ventured outwards later in the tour.

As seen from the living room
Night view

We took our turns to bath too and at about 9pm did we managed to get out of the apartment in search of dinner. Dressed in double layers to protect against the cold, we walked down Little Lonsdale street in search for a restaurant by the name of The Bass Coq, which was supposedly opened till late, based on Google search. We found it closed. Most of those still opened were a couple of Korean cuisine restaurants. After a walk around, we decided to go to one of them.

Dosirock Korean restaurant and it was all warm and cosy inside. This was not very crowded like some others found along the way and so we went in. There were’t baby seats though and K had managed to just on the stool for the whole duration of eating his cooked rice and soup dinner mommy had prepared for him. We ordered the pork stew with extra ramen and it came with a portable stove.

The dinner was nice but we had to manage this extraordinarily curious boy who couldn’t sit still and had to touch everything in sight. The stove was placed away from him and thankfully the utensils were not breakable as he dropped the cups so many times. We finished the meal and paid Aud34 with tips (aud34 with 10% off on cash payment) and I ended with a wetting my jeans as K toppled a cup of water.

Army stew
Inside Dosirock restaurant
Dosirock restaurant

We walked back to the apartment and from 1030pm till 1145pm, spend it on TV which didn’t have any toddlers program already at that time and some bedtime stories before lights off, ending an easy day at Melbourne.