August 6th 2016 – Sydney & Melbourne

Today I woke up at 6:00am, which means it only took two days to get my circadian rhythm back on track. I had a lazy morning working on my blog and packing my bags for my travel to Melbourne later today.

I left my hotel at 10:30am and walked to Kings Cross station where I took a train to Town Hall station, switching trains and arriving at Circular Quay station. I people watched and watched boat traffic come in for a while, but then it started to rain so I went and sought some shelter. I walked to the same mall that I had the Vietnamese food in two days ago, and to my surprise the mall was completely empty; a complete ghost town! I remember there being some comfy leather seats on the second of three floors so I went there to relax for about an hour, while catching up on all my social media and news.
It was time to head to the airport. I walked to Wynard station, where I purchased a black coffee from McDonald’s. The cost was $3, which makes it $1 more expensive than back home, but it’s actually better than the coffee back at home. I hopped on the express airport train, which only took twenty minutes to get to the domestic terminal.
The airport terminal was beautiful and had an open airy concept, substantially better than my experience at the International terminal. I was flying on JetStar flight 607 to Melbourne. This was my first experience with a European style airline in the last decade. They charge extra for every little thing. I tried to get away with doing carry on only, even though I knew they had a 7kg weight limit, but our local airlines at home have 11kg weight limits which I regularly exceed so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Well I was wrong. I had to put my bags on a scale and it came up to 16.5kg (36.3 pounds). I should have paid $50 but… I did a bit of persuading, and possibly flirted a bit with the woman, to get my way. Success, I didn’t have to pay! I boarded the plane and sat down in seat 12C, which was in an exit row. The doors closed and the flight attendant came over to me and actually went through every step of opening the door, which I’ve never seen an airline do before. The airline then had multiple other safety announcements, which seemed a bit over the top, but further digging concluded why. The airline is under scrutiny from the ATSB (similar to our FAA) for a variety of factors including safety, and overloading aircraft.
Continuing on with the flight they started serving food and beverages for purchase, which I wasn’t actually made aware of until I said I would take a coffee. She poured it and gave it to me and then said “that’ll be $4”. I was baffled and a bit annoyed as it was not mentioned before hand, nor in a placard in front of me. I reluctantly paid and enjoyed my overpriced bitter coffee. Overall this is the worst airline I’ve ever flown, and wouldn’t recommend them to anyone else, even if it is a cheaper airline to travel on. The saying goes “you get what you pay for”. In my case $60 doesn’t get you much except annoyance.
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The flight arrived 25 minutes ahead of schedule at Melbourne Avalon airport. I then boarded the Avalon Airport Transfers bus for a fifty minute ride into central Melbourne. The cost was $22, which was pretty reasonable. The bus ride was fantastic with a comfortable seating, and a beautiful sunset to watch.
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I arrived in central Melbourne at 6:00pm. Kirsty had given me a Miki transit card to use while in Melbourne, which I loaded with $24 for use over the next 3 days. Melbourne is significantly cheaper than Sydney to travel around, but the trains don’t run as frequently, even though Melbourne and Sydney are roughly the same size.
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I boarded my train, which took me roughly fourty minutes to get to my hotel, called BreakFree Preston. BreakFree is a chic boutique hotel at a reasonable price (I only paid $70 CDN per night, which was only $20 more than a hostel but I get my own personal space). The room is small but reasonable.
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I settled in for a few minutes before heading to Woolsworth to purchase some beer and groceries for the next few days. It was approaching 10:00pm so I decided to call it a night since I was tired. Tomorrow I will be exploring the city centre of Melbourne. Check back shortly to follow my next adventure!

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