Last night I worked through a couple of different ideas with my friend for today. We thought that we might have had an idea put together, but on doing some research, it was not exactly the best plan. But that soon went out the window this morning when I woke up to rain.
Plans and Changes
There end up being three different plans that got dropped today. Any of them could have worked had we put effort into it, but neither of us was looking to rush around for things.
The first option that we both quite liked was to rent a car and take a drive out to the Dandenong Ranges area. The biggest challenge in this was the 5 pm return time for the rental car. We could have taken this approach, but it seemed like we would be rushing and spending more time in traffic than seeing much.
The second option would see us heading out to the Dandenong Ranges area and visit the Puffing Billy Railroad. Also a great option, but it also required making some very specific public transport connections. If we missed the connections, it would have meant catching a taxi and a rather expensive day out.
The particular visit to the Puffing Billy Railroad was still a possible option. However, it would have meant it was the only place we visited today. But we decided against it when we awoke to rain that had been around for most of the night.
As such we decided to stick to the city and see a few more sights around Melbourne itself. The first stop for the day was the Old Melbourne Gaol. Even though we were ready and moving early, the Gaol does not open until 10 am so there was a stop for coffee on the way.
I had previously visited the Old Melbourne Gaol when I was in Melbourne last time. However, it was a place that I was happy to revisit for a short time anyway. I don’t particularly like the idea of being inside a gaol, but doing so in short bursts is not too bad.
There was also a small tour here that I missed on my last visit. That is the Police Watch House Experience. A short tour of maybe 20 minutes that takes you through what it might feel like to be taken through the watch house after being arrested. Even though you know it is not real, it is a feeling that you know you don’t want to go through beyond this one time.
After lunch, we had planned to visit the Fox Classic Car Collection in the Docklands area. However, we end up having to pass on this idea as well due to some rather limited opening hours.
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Without much else to do my friend suggested we visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. It was somewhere a friend of his had suggested visiting. It also worked out well since it is located at Federation Square not far from where we needed to be for dinner.
In the past, I had not visited the ACMI not sure what it was. However, after visiting here today, I would highly recommend it as a great way to fill in some time. They have a couple of free galleries that might take around 2-3 hours to view. Plus there is also a paid exhibit, which we did not visit today, but they recommend an hour for this.
After leaving ACMI, there was still a little time to fill in before dinner. So a short walk and we were in Fitzroy Gardens, which is a beautiful area to walk around. Even though it was a little late to see any of the attractions some them you can still see to some extent without going in. They include Cooks Cottage, a Model Tudor Village, the Carved Fairy Tree and a couple of fountains. You can read more about Fitzroy Gardens in my previous post, Melbourne Cricket Ground Tour And Fitzroy Gardens.
In the end, I only got a photo of this family of ducks in Fitzroy Gardens. But they are quite cute, so here they are.
For dinner tonight I had arranged to catch up with a friend I met last year in Las Vegas. Not knowing Melbourne I let her choose the restaurant with some local knowledge. The restaurant was an Italian one by the name of Terra Rossa, and it was an excellent choice with some good food. I always enjoy catching up with friends and tonight was no different with some good conversation.
The last stop tonight was at a trendy bar by the name of Cookie. It was one recommended to us by another friend and thought it might check it out. Finding it is a bit of a challenge with it being an unmarked doorway with a rather small nameplate in a list of other tenants. If you were not looking for it, you would not know it was there. However, once your inside it is a rather interesting decor with a very extensive selection of spirits and beers, both on tap and in bottles.
After the challenge of getting the plans for the day, I am happy with what we got to see. If we had followed any of the other plans it would have not been such a productive day.