Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 1
At the MEL Airport
I expected to meet live immigration officers at the Melbourne Airport Tullamarine Airport (MEL). But all the necessary immigration formalities were done by a SmartGates automated machine. I obtained my Australian Electronic Travel Authority or ETA online months before my trip, which is just an electronic visa for Canadians.
At one point when I was walking, a police dog came to my luggage and started sniffing. I stopped and let him sniff, but he lost interest right away and moved onto sniffing someone else.
The whole airport process went so fast and smooth that I thought I missed something. So I asked the standing immigration officer near the exit gate if there was something else. He pointed me to the exit gate and I was relieved.
First Hour in Melbourne
Once I found my relatives at the airport, we headed for the parking lot. The first thing I noticed was that it was not as warm as I was expecting. I was coming from Singapore, so expected hot and humid weather. But it was rather cool and even a light jacket would be appropriate.
If you are a world traveler, you know the feeling the first few hours in a new country. I was trying to notice everything surrounding me to my heart’s content.
Vehicles operate on the left side of the road and drivers sit on the right side, which is opposite than North America. Road and highway signs and markings look noticeably different than Canada as well.
Destination Wyndham Vale
We were heading towards Wyndham Vale, which is a suburb of Melbourne with 25,000 population. It took about 35 to 40 minutes to reach. Wyndham Vale reminded me of suburbs of Toronto like Ajax or Markham.
The first thing I noticed was that average houses are smaller than Canada and tress or plants are different too due to the hot weather. I noticed lots of birds and crows and their chirping was loud.