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"I think Australia has to be a country which has the 'Welcome' sign out."~ Paul Keating

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While visiting Bali, Indonesia last spring I decided to travel to Australia for a week.  I really wanted to go to Sri Lanka instead, but I chose to go to Australia only to cross off one of my bucket list items of making it to all seven continents.  I wasn't really that excited about visiting Australia and wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did.  I thought it would be very similar to the United States.  I asked a friend of mine which area I should visit and she helped me decide on the Melbourne area. 

Stayed at the Radisson Hotel right across from Flagstaff Gardens :

My welcome platter:

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View from my room:

Aaaauuuuusss1There was a nice rooftop terrace for viewing the city at night which I thought was spectacular.  Of course, I had no tripod :(

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 I loved the colorful beach huts I saw while visiting Brighton Beach:

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I visited Healesville to see the vineyards and wildlife sanctuary:

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 The third photo down is a platypus, the fourth photo is a dingo, and there are two photos of a Tasmanian Devil:

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Aaaauuuuusss1These penguins are very large!  They are called Gentoo Penguins:

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  The city was absolutely beautiful!   I was amazed at how clean and well-kept Melbourne is.  I was also pleasantly surprised at how polite, well mannered and friendly most people are there.  I am usually really against taking public transportation, but while there I did take public transportation to see the beach huts in Brighton Beach.   Everyone was so helpful, and being on their subway was such a different experience than any other subway I've ever been on.  It was so clean, comfortable, and spacious!

Here is a quote about Australia by the writer Jackie Collins:

I have visited Australia several times, and I always try to make a point of going to Melbourne because it's almost my favorite city there, Melbourne and Sydney. But I shouldn't say that because I haven't been everywhere-and I'm very fond of Perth too! ~ Jackie Collins

 I really enjoyed my time visiting Australia.  I wished that I had more time there and look forward to returning.   Maybe I enjoyed it so much because I wasn't expecting very much.  Perhaps it was because I was pleasantly surprised at how different it was than the United States.  I spent two entire days walking around the city amazed at how beautiful the buildings are.  I loved taking photos of them.  The architecture is different than any I've ever seen.  The buildings don't seem very old, as a matter of fact they have a modern look to them, but they are very beautiful with a lot of character.

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Have you ever visited Australia?  If so, what area?  I really can not wait to go back and see more of this amazing country!

 Thanks so much for your visit.  Please leave me any questions or comments below.   I'm on my way to Alaska this week, but will post about it as soon as I can!

~ Michelle

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