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A day of surprises

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(By Chris) Today found us at the Victoria Markets in the city. This place is a foodies paradise. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample a couple of items of food from the hundreds of offerings. We explored row upon row of the freshest most amazingly presented food we had ever seen. What an exciting, bustling place that.

(By Kerrie) The Queen Victorian Markets are a must-see for anyone visiting Melbourne. It’s huge. The food courts alone are bigger than anything we have in Brisbane. Fresh butchers, seafood, delicatessens. The most amazing cheese selections and bakeries. Not just one or two but several of each variety all wanting your business, saying good morning and trying to lure you into their world. You can tell the tourists as we are all taking photos. Then you move out to the fresh fruit & veg area. WOW! Woolies have nothing on these people. There you will also find wineries selling you their wares. “But wait, there’s more” Then starts the usual things sold at markets, in an area the size of the bag pavilion or bigger at the ekka.

I had seen winter hats last time I was there and had wanted to purchase one before we went to Tassie. So not being silly again, left Chris with his coffee and started to search out the hat I wanted. The only trouble was they still consider it summer and I only found one place that had them. Of course, I found the stall early on but as they only had 2 hats to pick from I went to every other stall to see if there was a bigger range…nope. By this time Chris had rung and had decided to join me. Now it was a hunt to find the original stall to get the hat I had seen 2 hrs before.

(By Chris) After spending a few enjoyable hours at the Victoria Markets and being amazed at the cruise ship which was berthed down at the port, we discovered that magic really does happen. We found some in the remarkable suburb of Williamstown.

What a wonderful, amazing place. It’s steeped in history, heritage and charm. This history is mainly maritime as Williamstown was the original port of Melbourne. I  was in my element. Every turn of the head bought something else fascinating to take in.  The commercial area is made up of mainly buildings that have been there since the mid to late 1800s with the occasional “Modern” building from about 1910. The houses and there are a great many of them, are predominantly old. Many are cottages but almost all are maintained and renovated. There are very few dumps in Williamstown. The houses are mingled with churches constructed of the Blue Stone so predominant in early Victorian buildings.

The highlight of the day for Chris was a tour of the Second World War Corvette the HMAS Castlemaine, which was moored at Gem Wharf, the centre and focal point of the town. This vessel has been meticulously restored and maintained and it was fascinating to be able to examine every section of the vessel from the Commander’s cabin to the galley, to the engine room. All the while the City of Melbourne was visible in the background with its skyscrapers shrouded in the low cloud that persisted for the day. The huge magnificent trees, green velvety grass and roses were once again the features that filled in the landscape for us. We felt like we could stay indefinitely in this beautiful place.

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