We took the Overland to Melbourne. It’s a 10 hour train ride from Adelaide to Sydney. I thought it would be nice for Leon to take a break from driving from then on. Leon spoiled us by booking first class service. That meant we had very roomy seat and food and tea service all day. And some gluten free treats for me!

train treat

I enjoyed the ride although Leon found it less than smooth, we were told the rough rails may have been as a result of the extreme heat hitting the southern part of the country. The sights are typical of this country, from my memories.  Hotels dot most small towns.  This is where you go to have a nice meal and a drink, a bit like a brasserie, not to sleep.

hotel along the train ride

We arrived at Southern Cross station in the heart of Melbourne and basically walked across the street and half a block to our hotel. The room was really well designed and comfortable. Unfortunately the air conditioning was very noisy so I didn’t get a good sleep that night.

Before bed, we had to find the Laneways, something quite unique to Melbourne. Narrow lanes between building have been revived with the addition of all kinds of restaurants and cafes. We wandered quite a while till we found the lane I was looking for and stopped for a light dinner of salad. I remember sitting in the same laneway with my daughter in 2011 during a mother daughter weekend in the city. Good times…

You might notice that I was wearing a jacket and scarf for dinner.  Just like on our arrival in Australia, almost 7 yrs ago to the day, the weather got breezy and cool in the evening. Nice to know somethings are constant, even if it is just the weather.

As we sat during dinner, I realized I wished we had planned more time to visit Melbourne.  It’s grown even taller since we were last here.  It’s such a vibrant city, a bit like a cross between NY and a European city.  Maybe I’m describing Montreal.  Not sure. I do know that I love Sydney, but Melbourne makes me shiver.

melbourne before sunrise

Early the next morning, we got up, dressed and walked back to the train station for our next trip to Wodonga on the Victoria-NSW border. We didn’t bother with tea or breakfast figuring we would get all that on our first class ride. As we waited at the platform, boarding was delayed until they told us to take a train on another platform. We ended up on a commuter train with barely a toilet and cold water until Seymour where we boarded a 2 hour bus to our destination.

For some reason, I felt nauseous in the train so I ended up sleeping for most of the trip. Still it was unpleasant to arrive at our hosts’ having consumed nothing more than some water and a few almonds that I always carry in my pack.