Tuesday 31 March 2020

Puffing Billy

We had deliberately chosen to stay in Belgrave so that we could go on a vintage train.  We had already deicided we would travel on it when we saw a Michael Portillo programme where he was riding the train.  I have found this great video of the journey.

Belgrave Station

We did wonder whether the train would be running.  By this time all flights from China were banned and this part of Australia was very dependent on tourists especially from China.

 Two engines were put on the front of the train.

The train chugged through the forest.

Across a wooden bridge.

Lots of people got off at Menzies Creek.  Half of the carriages were detached from the train and one of the engines moved to take that half of the train back to Belgrave.

We continued our journey to Lakeside Station.


At Lakeside we walked down to the lake and around it.

We had a drink back at the station, accompanied by this little guy.

Then we started back to Belgrave

A better picture of the curve of the bridge

The best part of travelling on this train was that because the carriages were open you got the smell  and noise of the engine.

We had eaten our lunch on the train ride back so we were able to straight away drive throught the Yarra Valley.  We also had a little walk to find a rather disappointing waterfall - it had virtually no water in it!

This is us looking at the waterfall!

We drove up to Mount Dandenong to see the view over Melbourne - however it was rather hazy.

Our next adventure is Phillip Island.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 28 March 2020

Travelling during a worldwide crisis

As I sit at my home computer in the midst of a 12 week lockdown, I am totally amazed by the fact that our trip planned last May happened at all.

I spent January and February watching the news from Australia about the fires and then the floods.  The roads we planned to drive along were shut.  Happily, they were all open by Thursday March 5th the day we left Heathrow.  We arrived in Melbourne on Friday night and had arranged to stay in a hotel until Monday, then start the drive to Sydney arriving in Brighton-Le-Sands on March 16th.   We had planned a week's stay with the Hopper Juniors and Minors, returning home on March 23rd.

The folks in Melbourne seemed totally oblivious to a worldwide virus and seemed not to realise the severity of it.  They spent the weekend at the Moomba Festival and F1 was arguing about whether to cancel the Grand Prix the following weekend.  They did eventually.

We spent our 3 days in Melbourne amidst the crowds - no social distancing!
The front door of the Cathedral

Flinders Street Station

A fancy arcade

Another view

I had particularly wanted to see the art work along the lanes in the city centre.

We visited the main market.  The fish stalls were amazing.

More art

A beautiful green lane in the middle of the city.  I could hear the birds singing.

We visited the State library with its amazing layout.

One of Melbourne's oldest trams which was also free to ride. 

A view of the city

On Sunday we walked through the very noisy festival to the tranquility of the Botanic Gardens

We saw this party - we couldn't decide whether it was a birthday party or a bridal shower.

In the evening we ate at a roof top restuarant.  This was the view - not the most appealing!

On Monday - a trip on the river to Williamstown.   The Moomba Festival had closed the upstream part of the river we had wanted to cruise on so we went downstream instead.

We went for a walk around Williamstown

And got the boat back to Melbourne.

We collected the hire car and Roger drove us to Belgrave where we were booked to stay two nights.

More adventures next time.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 21 March 2020

SG Weather

February's theme for the Snapshot Girls photography group was Weather.  Time totally got away from me so I searched through old photos for my contribution.  I only looked for Winter weather.

These were all taken on an exceedingly cold day some years ago.  We were walking from Bournville to the centre of Birmingham.

Thanks for joining me today.