Practical information.

We bought a SIM card (Amysim) for an old mobile phone when we arrived in Sydney some 6 weeks ago, for $2 and topped it up with $10 credit. Since then we have topped it up twice (buying a slip from 7/11 store or garage, this gives you a number which you enter into your phone) and this has worked fine. In fact, Jaki phoned her Mum last Sunday evening and was on the phone for ages, but didn’t use all the credit. This is a much cheaper way of phoning home than using the phone in a Hotel, which cost me $70 (or it may have been pounds, can’t remember) to phone Lloyd’s bank about problems using the Debit card.

We also bought a 4 Gig sim for the I Pad which we have used incessantly and it still has some credit left, though we did buy $10 top up but as yet haven’t used it. This again was a really useful acquisition as it has been our sat nav, cricket score board, Facebook and Twitter access tool and my TV substitute (thank goodness for Breaking Bad from I Tunes).

in Melbourne, Julie-Ann gave us some swipe cards (Myki) for which we bought $20 credit and these can be used on any public transport in the a City.

We caught a bus into the City, to Lonsdale Street where we needed to pick up the free Tram (no:35) that runs in a loop around the city centre taking in all the tourist spots. This is also used as free transport by residents so gets very busy. The stop is in the middle of the road which is a bit disconcerting at first but gets easier.

We had our picture taken on the tram, which people thought was amusing and a lady gave us some background on the history of these trams which appear to be very old and slightly quaint. She advised they used to be segregated into Men and Women’s compartments until very recently.

We’re currently in the Crown Shopping Plaza which incorporates top end Hotels, Casino’s and shops, but as the temperature here is now in the 40’s  I’m happy to sit and blog whilst Jaki looks around. I can hear Christmas music playing some where in the background though please for a White Christmas seem hollow.

There are bikes (Boris type) which come with a helmet and the cycle lanes are wide and well protected from other traffic though today, it is just too hot and humid to cycle.

We sat in a park and watched a group of Office staff have their Christmas ‘Do’ sat on blankets under a tree. No alcohol in sight though lots of Santa hats and antlers.

Melbourne is more like the type of City we would be familiar with, it’s busy and crowded but it has a ‘buzz’ that makes it exciting without the dirt and grime of London. There are open spaces and sculptures dotted around, loads of Cafés with outdoor seating and, thank goodness, some decent buskers which makes a changes as most of the ones we’ve seen to date have been pitiful.

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