Melbourne, AU – Saturday, Feb 15th, 2014

I head down late morning to the travel desk and talk with Gary about doing some tours.  The Great Ocean Road Tour is a must and I would also like to do Phillip Island and/or a Yarra Valley Wine Tour.  After many calls Melbourne Coastal Tours does The Great Ocean Road with a mini bus.  I book this for Monday the only day he has open during my stay.  Melbourne Coastal Tours also does Phillip Island and wine tours but they are booked or do the tours on days I will not be in Melbourne.  All other companies tried use big buses for their tours, are booked or do tours on the days after I leave.  So unfortunately, I will only be doing one tour in Melbourne.  I guess I have to make it back to Melbourne sometime to do the other activities.  Gary was vey helpful and took the time looking at many options for me.  I bought a week of wifi for my stay so I can caught up on my blog posting, uploading photos and wifi calls.  I try and make a few calls on wifi but keep getting dropped.  I head out down to the city and quickly find out Melbourne is not flat and I have to deal with 5 more days of hills.  Once down to Flinders Street this area is pretty flat.  I wheel to Federation Square and by the Yarra River where an Eco-Friendly Festival is going on.  I head down past Rod Laver Arena, the site of The Australian Open, to Alexandria Gardens and Queen Victoria Gardens in route to The Royal Botanic Gardens.  The gardens are accessible with some hills that were too steep to do but most of the gardens are flat with only a slight grade.  There are accessible bathrooms in the gardens.  Sydney Botanic Gardens are still the best but Melbourne’s are pretty good.

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After the gardens I come across the Melbourne Art Gallery.  The art gallery is exceptional.  They have many artifacts from several Chinese Dynasties, rooms of impressive paintings and The Ancient World.

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I find Ratee Thai restaurant in Port Phillip Arcade off Flinders Street.  Very good Thai food accessible but the ramp to the arcade is a little steep.  There is no bathroom that I saw.  It’s close to 5pm so I start heading back to Nomads for happy hour.  The ramp up to the back deck is a little too steep.  I need to get pretty good momentum to make it up.  After a few beers I head to my room to upload photos from the day and make a few posts to my blog.  The internet is very slow and keeps freezing up.  I hope it is not like this during my stay because I have a lot of material to upload.

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