The light rail from Port Melbourne to the city takes about fifteen minutes, and costs $7.50 return, if you are a pensioner or $15.00 full fare.
After the Golden Princess docked in Melbourne, we caught the light rail to the city centre. The cost includes a reusable card that can be ‘topped up’ over the internet, so we didn’t throw the card away on leaving Melbourne – just in case we return, because it still has credit on the card!
Sunrise over Melbourne as we crept alongside the wharf.
Maureen and I lived in Melbourne for five years before moving to Sydney. The Golden Princess would be alongside for about eight hours so where to go and what to see – for me the answer was a ‘no brainer’, Maureen likes shopping, so for something different how about Queen Victoria Market. It had been a long time since we visited this market, and our day of arrival would be Friday, so the market would be open.
The market is a hundred and forty years old (opened in 1878), and is open five days a week – Thursday to Sunday and Tuesday.
It is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, and with over 600 stalls covering seven hectares (17 acres) it would take us most of the morning to see them all. After the market we planned to return to the ship for a late lunch, which would also make sure that we would not miss the sailing time.
With hindsight I think we arrived a little too early, because many of the non-food stalls were only just setting out their goods. Two friends, Viv & Lorrain, from our small ‘cruising’ group had joined Maureen & I, so the ladies could please themselves as to what they wished to see, as I could, because I was not all that keen on checking out lady’s jackets for more than fifteen seconds.
I wondered around with my trusty point and click to record a few colourful stalls. Fortunately the more colourful stalls appeared to be set up earlier than the ‘run of the mill’ stalls.
This was an interesting stall – all the individual flowers are made from recycled wood!
I don’t know how many I touched, just to satisfy my curiosity and to make sure that the flowers were not real!
$5 ‘T’ shirts – I didn’t buy any, but the display was colourful.
Supposedly Australian roads signs, but as I don’t have a bar or ‘den’ I didn’t buy any.
Because our destination was Tasmania I considered buying the Tasmanian Devil sign, but where to hang it at home – all too hard, so didn’t buy anything. I’m a great shopper.
Boomerangs – I think they were made in China. . . not sure if they were supposed to work (which I doubt), or if they are just for collecting dust in forgotten drawers at home.
Not sure where the ships came from, but I don’t think it was Australia. I fancied one of them, but was bothered about getting it home in one piece. They looked very delicate.
The card stall was ‘different’ – all pop-up three ‘D’ cards – five for $20.
Glitter and more glitter, reminded me of various stalls that I ‘d seen in Asia & India.
This stall had the feel of Japanese cartoon characters – another stall offered Japanese crockery – mainly every day crockery. When I was at sea we used to call in to Nagoya (east coast of Japan), to pick up a cargo of everyday crockery, as well as expensively created porcelain.
The above is a sample of Noritake porcelain of Nagoya, from the 1920’s.
We walked up and down each aisle and eventually came out of the covered area to find an unusual sculpture in String Bean Alley.
Check the hanging item at the centre right of the above picture. Melbourne seems to be big into recycling packing cases or wooden pallets.
A close-up of the sculpture . . . unusual, but not to my taste.
Walking down the alley we came to the organic market, which is more my taste.
I do like chillies – and I was pleased that I’d found something that was ‘made in Australia’ !
Stuff this stuff that . . .!
The indoor area of the market, was mainly for the sale of fresh food – wine, fish, meat, bread, everything that you could possibly want, such a shame that this market it is about a thousand kilometres from where Maureen & I live. The colours and the smell of the fresh fruit was a ‘feast’ to the senses.
Nectarines & peaches.
Smoked meat, cold cooked meat, olive oils and more.
Wild meat – It’s years since I last had rabbit, I think it was just after the war when meat was still rationed in the UK.
Kangaroo meat is very lean and tasty.
Venison is ‘common’ and wild boar expensive.
A wallaby is a small to mid-size animal of the kangaroo family, and is a native of Australia and Papua New Guinea – I’ve not tasted wallaby, and didn’t know that it was available as food for humans.
When visiting markets, I try and remember to take my ‘book lists’, just in case I find a second-hand book stall – which I didn’t this time.
After finishing our tour of the market we decided to walk back to the city centre via Elizabeth Street, because years ago there used to be a second-hand book shop just off this street.
It is no longer where it used to be, but I did find a shop called The Book Grocer , which seems to specialise in ‘end of line’ books – nothing over $10!
Like the addict that I am, I couldn’t pass a book shop offering discount books.
As many of us do I couldn’t help but check to see if my own book was on offer . . . it wasn’t.
For the newer followers I’ve written one book, but it has been published twice. The above two books are the same story – I wrote Ice King and self published, which was picked up by a UK publisher and reissued as Triangle Trade in hardback. Ice King is cheaper and is still available as an e-book from Amazon.
The point of the above explanation is that I am writing the sequel and I’d written about the Fishing Fleet of India during the early 1800’s.
What did I find in the Book Grocer, but
I had to buy it, for further background research for my sequel. I’m half way through reading The Fishing Fleet and have forgotten that I should read it for research, because it is such an interesting and entertaining book.
The best laid plans etc . . .