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Showing posts from February, 2013

The wedding

We stayed in Adelaide for three nights.  It is a lovely city and I glimpsed the places other bloggers have shown, but I barely took a photograph. I didn't even find time to walk a Road that Beckoned.  

You see we were busy catching up with family at Angela and Dan's wedding. My clever sister made those beautiful gowns for her daughters.

Inside

It's drawing to the close of the day and we are steaming (or should I say locomoting) into Adelaide.
The Overland sure was nice and roomy.

Grampians

That's the Grampians.  I really want to see them and obviously the train is not the way to do it so we will have to come back this way again some day.

Flat lands 2 of 2

Hey that's a mountain out there.  We must be getting near the Grampians.


Flat lands 1 of 2

After Geelong we leave industry behind and once again are in the big flat wheat and sheep land.  It goes on and on, but I resist reading too much of my book, so I don't miss interesting things sliding by.



Industry

We are off to a slow start, passing miles and miles of shipping containers, industrial developments and working class suburbs.

The Overland

It was Australia Day and Megan one of our attendants on The Overland was dressed for the occasion. Operated by Great Southern Rail, the train runs three days a week between Melbourne and Adelaide.  It will be another full day of travel.

Doormat

Back at the hotel I was initially taken aback thinking it was that ubiquitous Americanism "Have a great day".

Then I remembered Asian hotels where mats in the lift cheerly said "Good morning", and promptly at midday changed to "Good afternoon" and then sometime in the afternoon swapped to "Good evening".

Well we did have Another Great Day and were excited about boarding the train to Adelaide early the next morning.  Set your alarm, I will see you at Southern Cross Station tomorrow.

Brown Alley -- Another Road that Beckoned

I was torn between the desire to follow a Little street and picking an Alley. You see Alleys are such a wonderous city thing and I don't do city all that often. So here is a supplementary Road that Beckoned, the alley just up from our hotel.




Little Bourke Street 7 of 7

What a delight at the end of this fascinating walk. We had dinner before wandering all the way back to the hotel.

Little Bourke Street 6 of 7

Little Bourke Street 5 of 7

One thing I noticed was how bike friendly Melbourne has become.  There are bike racks everywhere.

It was the last week of the Australian Tennis Open so I have to say the town was tennis mad too, only to be  replaced by football mad soon.  It's a very sporty city.

Little Bourke Street 4 of 7

There are also trams in the big cross streets.

Little Bourke Street 3 of 7

The main cross streets are lovely and leafy and the pavements lined with cafes. Melbourne is a convivial foodie place.



Little Bourke Street 2 of 7

There are alleys all along the street ... most with street art somewhere on the walls and doors.

Little Bourke Street 1 of 7 - A Road that Beckons

Cities always seem to be reshaping themselves, I find it both exhilarating and disconcerting.

My Mum came from Melbourne. At the end of the war she found herself transplanted to my Dad's home town in sleepy country Queensland.  While she became an exemplary woman of the country she did often speak of her home city with nostalgia. One of the things she talked about was the nice grid of straight streets in Melbourne and that there were "Little" streets between the big ones.

As a result I have had a lasting fascination with "Little" streets. I decided to pick the one where our hotel was located, just up from the railway station. We had an early train to catch the next morning.


Return of the city

As day drew to a close were back among commuter traffic and the tall spires of the city began to come into view.

We spent the next day in Melbourne ... I will take you down one of the Roads the Beckoned for the next week.

Donuts

No I am not talking about raids to the buffet car, though we did plenty of those.

Every now and then there is a little excitement outside, like a train load of these huge rolls of steel running beside us.

Royalish

We are travelling through country we have visited by car.  And I am learning something about train travel.  It's mesmerising, it's comfortable but it's all about landscape, not detailed discovery.  The railway stations are at the edge of towns.  All we get are tantalising glimpses, no hope of spotting Royal Hotels.  The King's Own Hotel is the nearest I got on the whole trip.

Wheat and sheep country

The soft green land soon gives way to miles and miles of  hot golden landscape .  It's 42C out there gasp new passengers boarding the train.

Southern Highlands

Soon enough we have left the suburbs behind and are slipping through the soft morning mist of the Southern Highlands.

Orient express

Hey did we catch the wrong train?  Doesn't look like suburban Sydney out there at all.

Leaving the city

The train goes over so slowly past tall city buildings, drab fences daubed with graffiti and tired morning commuters.

I'm impatient to get out into the countryside.

Find your seats

Inside we find the train seats are comfortable with plenty of leg room ... much more spacious than in an aeroplane ... and the windows are big.  But I know I am going to have trouble trying to get shots without window reflections.

All aboard

Ooo there is nothing like the long stretch of carriages on a long distance train to get that thrill of excitement going.

Great train journey

Before we do the next road I am going to take you on a Great Train Journey ... Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Broken Hill, Sydney ... all by rail.  There is nothing quite like the grand arch of Sydney's Central Station to put me in the mood of the bygone era of glorious train travel.

The Sydney-Melbourne train is no longer called the Southern Aurora, it's just the CountryLink XPT service - how dull.

Blue Hills Drive, Glenmore Park 7 of 7

If you like orderly suburbia Glenmore Park is quite lovely with its fresh new houses and community facilities, neat and tidy gardens and beautifully planned green spaces.

That's the end of this road, I'll go some place messy and country next.

Blue Hills Drive, Glenmore Park 6 of 7

I didn't hear a single frog or see people on the beautifully planned cycle/walking paths. Everyone seemed to drive cars at Glenmore Park.