|Our train journey down from Sydney to Melbourne was eventful if long. We arrived at the station the required 30mins before leaving to check the luggage in, it only just made the weight limit. We were then told that the next train in on platform 1 was the Melbourne train. We went and got some hot chocolate and sat in the station close by. A station announcement came over the tannoy about not leaving bags unattended. There was a bag not far from where we sat which looked as if it had been left. Being true Scots and not wanting to waste our year visa, (we had paid for it) from some terrorist plot we informed the station staff. The guy walked up to the bag, poked it around and then moved it to a near by truck. Security Aussie style. I(Sylvia) happened to look up at a station monitor to find our train was going from platform 4, good job I did as we could have been anywhere in Australia if we had got on the train at platform 1.
We had treated ourselves to a first class carriage, which is a day carriage with 3 seats in it, on the night train it becomes a sleeper compartment. We settled down for the journey. At the next station a lady joined us, she was travelling to Wagga (Wagga Wagga) which was about half way to Melbourne. She could talk for Australia and before too long she and Jeff had swapped life histories of all our families.
Not long into the journey we had breakfast of raisin toast, which seems to be a big thing over here. At 11am we had Devonshire Cream teas and at lunch Jeff had a pie and I had fresh fruit. We were impressed by the meals so we ordered dinner of spaghetti bolognaise. Wrong, British rail food is gourmet compared to that.
The countryside we travelled through was much greener than I imagined it would be. We passed lots of farms with sheep, cows, horses and crops. Plenty of gum trees as well. Near Melbourne we spotted our first wallabies, so I now feel I am in Australia.
At Melbourne station Jeff went to get the luggage whilst I chatted up a 72 year old man, then it was off to find a taxi to take s to the hotel. We stayed at a place called St Kilda, which is the beach area. Having spent over 11 hours on a train we were in need of some exercise, so, in spite of it being dark we set off for a walk along the front and down the pier. Great excitement when we spotted our first little Penguin. They usually come in from the sea at dusk, around 7pm and head for their burrows. As this was around 9.30 we were lucky to spot him.
Tomorrow we head for our camper van.