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Features > Melbourne, Australia (Apr 2009) > Trains, Libraries & Shrines


After Miranda & Hoy's wedding it was time to see even more of Melbourne and the surrounding area. See photos below of steam trains, wineries, libraries, and shrines of Victoria's first class city.

Sections - Puffing Billy/Winery | Sanctuary/Shrine | Botanical Gardens/Victoria State Library


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Sometimes abuse of fast food containers leads to an identity crisis - in this case somehow the cup holder for Burger King has morphed into "Hungry Jack's" - tragic (and quite a demotion from a king to a jack...)


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Again - St. George the dragon (the bank) is everywhere!


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Beautiful surroundings in Melbourne (I think this was in the park near our hotel)


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Melbourne does have a very good transit system full of various options and an excellent tram system with nice modern trams and a F-R-E-E city circle tram that is antique but still reliable and did I mention it was free?


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Crossing the street in the SUN


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So, next it was time to join our newfound friends Warrick and Jie from Miranda & Hoy's wedding in a coach tour of the countryside - our first stop I think was the Sherbrooke Forest home to some REALLY tall trees, I believe these trees are Eucalyptus Regnans which are described as the tallest form of vegetation known (beyond redwoods and douglas firs) growing to more than 100 meters.


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These trees when originally found fetched quite a bounty as they were perfect for temporary ship's masts broken during the long journey and in need of repair to quickly journey again.


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Where are all the gay people from Ohio? In Australia!


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Next the bus took us to a train station where we didn't have to stand in line/buy tickets (but were at the end of the train) to ride the famous Puffing Billy steam train restored for some decades now and focused on presentation as it was in the 1920s. Gladly since there was no total fire ban while we were there, the two diesel trains didn't have to run and we got to see a real steam train in action.


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Daniel, Jie, and Warrick


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The train


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Seems kind of odd to be so happy in the presence of a "Beware of Trains" sign...look out - that thing you're sitting on - IT'S A TRAIN!


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It was fun to sit on the side of the train - here it rounds a corner


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Countryside below...


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Menzie's Creek was our stop (the coach driver reminded us several times before leaving) so we got off, took photos in front of the train and such...


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Colorized exhaust stack


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Warrick and Jie


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More steam!


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These guys were filling up another engine with water and I think they accidentally filled it too high/fast since water started squirting out a bit before this


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Thankfully the fire restrictions were low, but 7 February 2009 Black Saturday group of more than 400 bushfires killed 173 people and destroyed more than 4,000 structures


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Taken out the tinted bus window...


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Some signs of damage still remain in the area


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Next stop on the tour was a pleasant winery where we had a delicious lunch and while Daniel, Warrick & Jie sampled wines I walked around the grounds to take photos


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As we learned later in the trip, roses have been planted near vines for centuries as the rose plant will attract a wide variety of pests first to alert the vinyard owner of problems


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Not sure if the tree was just dead or somehow cemented over as a work of art, but interesting

Sections - Puffing Billy/Winery | Sanctuary/Shrine | Botanical Gardens/Victoria State Library

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