Thursday, 17 March 2016

Two point Five days in Melbourne
part 2

How I found the airfare to get me to Melbourne for a feeding frenzy

This is the usual starting point for me - search the airlines direct to see whats on offer then of to Orbitz to see what they come up with and then Skyscanner is next inline. Skyscanner seems to find fares sometimes that Orbitz cannot. 

Well it worked skyscanner found the same fares as the airlines were offering but at a cheaper price. You cannot book on skyscanner they are a travel search engine. The deal they found was through BYOJET. I had not used them before but the who process worked and the E-Ticket arrived promptly with booking references for both airlines. So you can then go to the airlines website to select seat etc. The Virgin fare type was not upgradable but the Qantas fare was.

It's easy to check by going to these pages and entering your details

Virgin :

Qantas :

You can go onto Qantas website and request an upgrade using points only well in advance but I find the amount of point required is a little high and not the best use of the points. My sector was CNS-MEL and it would have cost 20,000 points. I decided to wait and see if I got the invitation email to bid for an upgrade, which is a $ value + amount of points.

Indeed I got the email and I put a bid in. The minimum points was 4,000 so I left it as that, the starting $ value was $210. I put a bid in at $215 and the bid was accepted. 

I value my points/miles at A$15 per 1,000 and that's how I work the numbers for my cost value analysis.

This made the whole Two point Five days end rather nicely...

Two point Five days in Melbourne 

A getaway from FNQ to indulge in a Food & Booze fix of the southern kind.

Found the airfare through Skyscanner which redirected to byojet
I'll revisit the deal on the next page

I forgot how fat the wallet has to be if you intend to eat out, possible every meal you are on the ground in a big city!! But hey it was worth it, I don't do it very often - so a little splurge is rather a pleasant experience

Arrived 4pm and towards the city we shall go. got into the CBD at about 6pm and people were hanging out of restaurant doors in every direction. No reservation, 40 min wait!! this says keep looking, so we did. 

Night 1 

Fantastic food, all we had was tapas size eats and for me the drink of the night was sherry.. Ah the desire to return to Spain has been reinforced 
Loved the buzz - great way to start a visit to Melvegas. The vibe of walking several block to get there because the wait at other places was to long just made the evening great....

Day 1

The 1st full day in the big city and I wanted to firstly try  Lune Croissanterie as a day starter and I heard the product was brilliant. Time for a coffee and croissant to start the day. The coffee was goodish and the croissant was underwhelming. They looked great!! I chose a filled croissant - it looked good on the outside so I purchased with my eyes. It was over filled and stodgy and you just could not taste the croissant. The venue was brilliant and I definitely would go back to try a plain croissant as they also looked fantastic, personally I just made a bad choice for me. Feeling fat and lardy it was back to our accommodation to then walk several Km's along the Maribynong River until ones belly felt better  

Time for a coffee, next stop was The Boat House on The Maribynong, great view, great venue, great location :-: bad coffee..!! 

Now it's time to jump on a tram, Myki Card at the ready, No. 57 towards the city, a walk around a few streets then onto No. 1 to Port Melbourne weaving through the burbs to the waters edge and then a walk to St Kilda. A massive walk, longer than anticipated but a great way to get ready for the rest of the day. From here it was time to jump on a tram towards the city. Wrong tram it turned left but that put us near a pub called the Fifth Province. So what to do? walk in and have a glass of vino, seated street-side watching the people go by. 

I have an app on my phone called FourSquare and it popped up with Milk The Cow as 2nd best wine bar in Melbourne. It was about 4pm, great time to sit and eat light, which we did. a flight of 5 sparkling wines and 5 cheeses to match. Just Brilliant, they do all the work and select the combo and we get to taste some food and wine that we would normally not pick out. Highly recommend this place, the staff are great and have fantastic knowledge and the cheese selection is Ginormous... love it Love it 

Back on the tram heading towards the city, more walking once there and we head towards AC/DC Lane. We were smack on 6pm as we walked towards our chosen restaurant Pastuso. without a reservation ... yes they had a table only condition is we had to be gone by 8pm, easy. Peruvian food - guess what ?? Peru is now on my bucket list. More love.!!! food was really really good, great flavours and part of the menu is a Ceviche Bar. Overall we ate small, 5 plates to share and wine and walked out feeling very happy.

Its time to call it done for the day, jump on a tram and homeward bound.

Day 2

Last full day - so lets eat and drink some more..!!!
Breakfast at Mama Bear was fantastic. I said that I would only have coffee this morning to save ones belly for the rest of the day BUT the menu was to good looking!! I weakened and had a massive breakfast. Great coffee, great food and a must go to in Ascot Vale. Oh hale to the hipsters love this place.

More walking for more Km's to prepare for the rest of the day and lesson the impact of breakfast.!!!

Next: Mkyi Card at the ready - tram to the city and then outward bound to Richmond for lunch at Bouzy Rouge (mmm 3pm so just a bite) - 2 glasses of wine and a couple of Tapas. YUM Croqueta's were SO tasty..!!! This place is so groovy and I want to come back. The fit-out of the interior is so good - love it....  

More walking the on a tram back to the city 

Embla was the place for a drink once we got to the city. Talk a load off the feet!!! the wine list was really interesting. 1 glass and onwards

Bomba was were we could not get into on the 1st night - but we did get a seat at the bar as we were so early.  The food and wine was GREAT, the aged Jamón was so good and I again had a sherry or two to have with the tapas.

Out the door in a hour and a bit and on a walk to Hardware Lane. We were told about a new Bar called the French Salon which is located above Kirk's wine bar. Closed on Saturday nights Booo Hooo. Until next time..!!! So we had a glass of Champagne at Kirk's wine bar which is a really nice place to sit and people watch.

Tram time - burbs bound towards Union Road, Ascot Vale to get off and try another Spanish restaurant : Arcadia 
Really nice and lucky we got a table. It's a family run restaurant serving traditional home style food. Nothing tricky on the plate just good Spanish tapas. Busy busy and loads of families enjoying the place. As I said really good food and just a nice place to go close to home.

Last Morning

Time for one more outing before heading to the airport. Back to Union Street in Ascot Vale for coffee at Little Byrd. Ye Ha - This coffee was really good - had to have a 2nd and then 3rd before heading out the door very happy.

Friday, 4 March 2016

This is about being keen2travel as an envelope across Australia

Well not across Australia, a little hop from Cairns, Queensland to Sydney, New South Wales using our beloved national postal service Australia Post.

I received the  letter as returned only a few days ago. Take a look at the postmarks...!!

Postmarked as sent 01 AUGUST 2012 postmarked as returned 23 FEBRUARY 2016 

- That's over 1,200 days to NOT deliver. 

+Australia Post truly delivering a service that takes so long you do forget