Sunday, November 28, 2010

Melbourne Trip: Dandenong Ranges

[4th May 2010]
As planned, we signed up a half-day local tour to Dandenong Ranges. Since we stayed a bit far from the pickup point, therefore they provided free hotel pick up service at 730am. There were lots of people waiting for boarding and we were one of them. CH grabbed a cup of coffee and bread before we started our journey.

We stopped at Grant's Reserve for second-time breakfast. We were same table with a story writer from Perth. We chatted a lot about her experience and life. Meanwhile we were enjoying delicious home-made Devonshire tea and hot fresh scones with jam and cream. Yummy!

Here comes to the most terrifying session - bird feeding. Why I said terrify? because you will not know whether those birds will bite you when you feed them. They are living in wild.

This is our tour bus.

Next we stopped at Belgrave and took Puffing Billy to Menzies Creek. It is a unique journey through the lush forest ride the restored Australia's oldest operating steam train.


We were sitting on it! =P

The railway was originally one of five narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways opened around the beginning of the 20th century. It runs through the southern foothills of the Dandenong Ranges to Gembrook. Being close to the city of Melbourne and with a post-preservation history spanning over 50 years, the line is one of the most popular steam heritage railways in the world, and attracts tourists from all over Australia and overseas.

The Puffing Billy Railway is kept in operation through the efforts of volunteers of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society, although intensive year-round operations necessitate a small band of paid employees to keep things going behind the scenes.

The railway aims to preserve the line as near as possible to how it was in the first three decades of its existence, but with particular emphasis on the early 1920s.

Next we headed to unique town of Sassafras, renowned for beautiful antiques and local crafts. Here I found the famous tea house - Miss Marples Tea Room.

Here the end of our half-day tour to Dandenong Ranges and the driver sent us back to Melbourne Centre. We stopped just right in front of St Pauls Cathedral and took free tourist bus to "Little Italian".

We were searching high and low for Papa Gino's Italian restaurant and we got it! ^_^

Delicious Italian pizza.

Spagetti in Amatriciana sauce (Bacon in spicy tomato and cream sauce).

After taken our lunch, we walked around city area.

RMIT University.

Old Melbourne Gaol.

I rest on the ground. It is so relaxing. Look, someone is sun-bathing!

Since we were too tired, so we decided back to hotel earlier and rest. Tonight our dinner would be Beef Lasagna, chicken fried rice, and chicken mushroom soup. And tomorrow's breakfast would be apple pie.

Tomorrow morning we will heading back and I will always miss Melbourne. If I could find any chances, I would re-visit to Melbourne again!

Sorry for could not arrange my Melbourne blog entries in sequence due to my laziness... =P Here are the links that will direct you to my trip story.

Melbourne Day 1 (29 Apr 2010)
Melbourne Day 2 (30 Apr 2010)
Melbourne Day 3 (1st May 2010)
Melbourne Day 4 (2nd May 2010)
Melbourne Day 5 (3rd May 2010)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Night Outing at Marina Bay Sands

This is my first time pay a visit to Marina Bay Sands few months after its opening. It was raining that night. Luckily still manage to capture some stunning night view. Thanks to CH for holding an umbrella whole night while I was capturing photos. =)

Marina Bay Sands from far. Heard from my friend, the lotus-shaped building is actually a theater. It is still under construction.

World's first double Helix Pedestrian bridge

Girls' shopping paradise..

A statue? Nope, he is a human who act like a statue...

Displayed set in the shop... Cool!

On the way back, we saw a group of people were attracted by this rainbow light. Same to me. :P

Inside the car. Heavy traffic congestion on our way home.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jack's Place, Marina Square

One week back, I went to have dinner with CH before heading to Marina Bay Sands for photo-shooting. We have came across a lot of restaurants in Marina Square until we decided to take our dinner in this Western food restaurant - Jack's Place. Been heard about the good comments about this restaurant. They serves delicious steak. Unfortunately I cannot eat too much steak because of I am easy get heaty person. Anyway I ordered boneless chicken and CH ordered sizzling steak as main course. We ordered set dinner. Few dishes are included in this set dinner such as garlic breads, soup of the day "corn soup", dessert of the day "strawberry cake" as well as drink (choose between tea / coffee).
Garlic bread + corn soup.
Sizzling steak comes with some carrots, broccolis, cauliflowers, as well as my favorite baked potato. It really forms a great taste when eat the baked potato with sour cream. Nice! ^_^
Grilled boneless chicken with brown sauce comes with baked potato.
Next come to dessert of the day - strawberry cake. The appearance of the cake does not give any surprise to us, but the taste is WOW! Indeed it is fattening, but you can taste the fresh strawberry cream from it.
Last but not least, we end the night with a cup of tea and coffee.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Melbourne Trip: Melbourne City

[2nd May 2010]

Today we woke up early to return the car and GPS to AVIS car rental company around 830am. Since the car rental company is quite near to Queen Victoria Market, we just decided to take our breakfast there. For your information, Queen Victoria market is closed on Monday and Wednesday as well as public holiday like Good Friday, Anzac Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

This American doughnut is highly recommended by friend. Look at the queue, you will know how famous it is. It only has strawberry flavored. It tastes good but not surprise. Should give it a try because it is different from normal doughnut that can be get in Singapore/Malaysia.

This is how the American doughnut looks like..

We bought fish oil at Pharmacy near to Victoria market. This pharmacy gives a reasonable price + good comment for us. I forgot the name of the shop. Fish oil is comparably cheap in Australia. Therefore I bought one for myself. Hardly can find such a good price in Singapore/Malaysia.

We had to return to hotel to keep fish oil and some souvenirs, else it is quite difficult for us to travel whole day with holding 2 big packets of souvenirs... ^_^ The transportation in Melbourne is convenient and good. Without paying any money, we already reached at Melbourne city area. Please check on this page on how to travel in Melbourne without paying any dollars.

We took tourist bus and stopped at Flinders station (just right in front of St. Paul's Cathedral). We decided to travel around Melbourne city by foot and Flinders station is our starting point. We walked pass a lane. The unique of this lane is its wall. The wall full of 'drawings'.

We reached Chinatown, which is in the junction of Little Bourke street and Russell street. At here, we were looking for reliable tour agency as well as cheaper half-day tour package. Well, we choose APT and tomorrow we will go for a half day trip at Dandenong Ranges. The AUD 75 tour package includes breakfast, Puffing Billy steam train ticket and free courtesy hotel pick up.

We had our lunch at a Chinese restaurant. I was getting bored eating Fish & Chips. I started missing rice. :P

After lunch we walked to Fitzroy Garden. The weather is nice! Cooling~ and we passed by Parliament House. We saw a lot of couples was taking their pre-wedding photos or ceremony photos in that area. This is because of Victorian Marriage Registry just nearby. ^_^

Finally we were at Fitzroy Garden. In the garden, you would be able to visit Cook's cottage. The admission price is just AUD 4.50. You can still have further discount by showing them brochure that you get from visitor information center (as I mentioned in this page).

It is originally situated in Great Ayton, Yorkshire, England. The cottage was brought to Melbourne by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934. Each brick of the cottage was numbered individually, packed into barrels and shipped to Australia.

And he is Captain Cook!

The Garden!! I love this garden!!! ^_^

After lazying for about 1 hour in the garden, we took city circle tram to Docklands Waterfront City. It is some sort like a pier. Berthing can be arranged with Marina office. The scenery is nice.

New Quay Promenade.

The sky was getting dark that time although it was just 6pm. We walked back to hotel since it is just nearby. On the way we saw a lot of unique architectures on the road. For example, the unknown thing showed in the picture below. =)

A cow on the tree?!

Tonight's dinner - NANDOS!!!! This restaurant is quite famous in Malaysia and hardly can find one in Singapore. So it is CH's first time in Nandos!!! :P

Tomorrow we were heading to Dandenong Ranges!!!! ^_^