10:15am - Caught city bus (TriMet) to downtown Portland (cost: $1.25)
12:30am - Caught Bolt Bus from Portland to Seattle (cost: $3.00 - including credit card fee)
3:45pm - Caught Sound Transit light rail from Seattle Amtrak station to Seattle airport ($3.00)
6:35pm - United flight from Seattle to Los Angeles (2 1/2 hours)
10:30pm - United flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne (16 hours)
November 2 - Never lived because flight crossed international date line
8:30am - Arrived Melbourne (time in Los Angeles: November 2 - 2:30pm)
Watched 3 movies and slept some on flight from Los Angeles -- and arrived tired but excited to be starting a new adventure. Picked up local sim card for iphone ($23USD for 6 gigs of data) and got some local Australian dollars from ATM. Then easily found Sky Bus to downtown ($19 Australian, about $15 US) and free tram to my AirBnB home for the next 3 nights ($54 a night - including all fees/taxes). This AirBnB will be perfect spot to visit the city as it is within the free tram zone of the city (Melbourne has the world's largest tram network: 493 trams on 25 routes with 1763 stops) and just a block from one of Melbourne's top attractions: Queen Victoria Market.
After meeting one of my AirBnB hosts and dropping my backpack, I proceeded to the Queen Victoria Market and enjoyed both my stroll and my lunch -- picking up a soup/salad to eat at nearby tables. Seeing no empty table, I asked a couple if I could join them in the beautiful afternoon sunshine -- around 70 degrees -- and enjoyed a delightful conversation with the couple who were tourists from northern Italy. In their broken English, they gave me a local map and instructed me on how one of the trams routes (35) is specifically designed for tourists -- giving a free audio tour as it circled the city. Once again, as is so often in my travels, conversations with others start easily and provide helpful information. After lunch I proceeded on the free tram and got an overview of this very gorgeous city on a very gorgeous spring day (yes, November is the last month of spring in this southern hemisphere city).
Not sure how much I'll blog this trip. I'm thinking I might start using Instagram to post photos and give a brief update. If you are an Instagram user, feel encouraged to find me there with my motorcycling-inspired moniker "BackRoadRider."