Sunday, July 26, 2009

Australia Journeys, February – March 2009

Joined in Melbourne January 31st after a nice long vacation (married and honeymoon), 5 months, and overnight in Ibis hotel, was a nice story to begin.

Arrived around 8 am after long flight from Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur – Hongkong – Melbourne, with 35 friends along, it’s not that tiring though compare to the last contracts that took days flew from Jakarta to Europe or US.

Volendam, one of the R classes of Holland America Line’s ships is such a beautiful ship.The Ship has enormous architectures ornament in the railing and ceilings, outstanding paintings, even beautiful and antique furniture all around the ship. Its length and width makes it easy to maneuver in a small ports that suitable for her itinerary, Australia – Asia – Alaska in this year 2009.

Characteristics (data taken from the Volendam’s Deck Plan)

Decks: 10

Passenger Elevators: 12
Public Rooms: 18
Passengers: 1,440
Crew: 620

Gross Tonnage: 63,000
Length: 785ft
Width: 106ft
Draft: 26ft
Built: 2000
Engines Diesel Electric
Automatic Stabilizers

Melbourne – Victoria, Australia

Arrived first time in Australia when the temperature was so humid and dry - made the body so exhausting quicker - what unexpected experience. When I walked around in the city at noon with friends who stayed in Ibis (the room in the hotel was not ready until noon), I was almost fainted. We were looking for Chinese food – typically Asian seamen – the temperature was around 34 degrees Celsius and so dry, stiflingly hot. Some men even only topless with short pants and the women wore tang tops. Fortunately, it became cooler in the afternoon through the night, made it more enjoyable to hang around to see how’s the city looked like even though only close to the hotel.

Looking at the Melbourne’s history in the Wikipedia, it’s so interesting. This Victoria's capital city was named to honour the British Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, in March 1837. In 1852 it was the gate for people to get the gold that discovered in Victoria and even when the gold ran out still the people flooded in it became a pool of unemployed. Now, this ‘The World’s Most Livable Cities” predicate 2002 and 2004 (the Economist) city is more famous because of the sports. Rugby, Cricket, Tennis, Basket Ball, and Australian Football (known as footy to Melbourne’s people) are identically to Melbourne.

Sydney – Australia

This oceanic climate city is the Australia’s most populous city. The city was European settlement in 1788 and began to overtake Melbourne as the most populous city in early twentieth century. The million inhabitant’s milestone was reached in around 1925 and the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge helped pave the way for urban development. This multicultural population (about 4.4 million) city has spectacular harbour with over 37 miles coastline and 70 beaches, including the world famous Bondi Beach.

Volendam was docked in the Darling Harbour, a popular tourist and nightlife precinct, that surrounded by museums, restaurants and shopping. The indisputably Sydney’s most famous landmark, the Sydney Opera House that officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, is the major attraction that no one can missed. Unfortunately, I did not have much time to explore more of this exotic city due to limited time. But one of the most memorable times was I bought a stroller for my soon baby born from this city.

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