I was looking through the various brochures Debs had given me, about all the attractions/things to do in Melbourne. There was, for me, a choice of going to the Aquarium, going on a boat cruise, the zoo or going to the night time ghost tour of Melbourne Gaol. Debs and her parents had been to most of the attractions so far but they hadn’t been on the boat cruise. These cruises finish at 3.30pm and it was already 1pm, so I decided we’d try the cruise.
The weather was glorious again – 28 degrees, a bit cooler thankfully, compared to the day before. It was so nice to see the sun and have warm weather a few days in a row and blue skies are great to wake up to in the morning. Debs, Mel (Deb’s Dad) and I got the tram into town and got off at Flinders Street station, walked across the bridge and down by the quays. There were three or four boat companies offering different tours. Two of them appealed to us. One had an hour’s cruise sailing up and down the river and the second one sailed out to Williamstown and back and that took an hour each way.
The boat cruise to Williamstown left at 2.30pm. Along the banks of the river you can see things like the Aquarium, the orange coloured walls and clock tower of Flinders St train station, Victoria University, the Polly Woodside ship: Melbourne’s grandest tall ship & museum, amongst other things. As we sailed along the river, the skyscrapers fade out and merge into apartments and on the right, is a working dock, with massive ships full of multi-coloured shipping containers.
It took an hour to get to Williamstown, a small village at the mouth of the Yarra river. We had a wander around and there only seemed to be two main streets. Most of the buildings were designed in old style architecture. It was nice but there didn’t seem to be a lot to do there. This was a good thing really, as we wanted to find somewhere to have lunch. The only place that was open at this time of the day, 4pm, was a place called the “Fish & Chippery”. So we sat in their courtyard and had a feast of flake (gummy sharks), calamari and chips.
That night Debs and I decided that we’d have a girly night out. We headed back into town and had a look along the promenade. It’s a lovely walk along the banks at night time and we decided to have dinner in the World Restaurant. The food was delicious, even though it was a bit pricey: 65 AUD each. Most of the restaurants along here, with any kind of decent food though, were going to be a bit expensive. We were reminiscing about old times in the Spinning Wheel bar, in London, where we used to frequent a lot.
At about 11.45pm we headed to P J O’Neills, an Irish bar in the Southgate Mall. It was pretty quiet in there. We got talking to two guys there who were, a bit mad, so to speak. Now we’d met some lunatics in the Spinning Wheel over the years but these two guys topped the bill! I won’t elaborate but I’ll just say it was an interesting night! We ended up having cocktails, in The Crown, a huge place with numerous bars, restaurants, a casino, shopping malls etc and it was 3.30am by the time we got home. I enjoyed it because I hadn’t done that for a long time.