Thursday, August 30, 2018

Planes, buses and trains

When you have travelled from Perth to Melbourne by air, you might as well keep going, to enjoy what we West Australians call "The Eastern States", before coming home again. This picture is of the new Silo art in the town of Rochester in Victoria. We travelled by both train and bus to Rochester on this trip. Rochy is where our family are living. 

We sandwiched two important family stays in country Victoria with a lot of journeys on trains and buses through New South Wales and Victoria -almost 3,000 km of journeys which took us to Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Orange (because it is on the other side of the Blue Mountains!)  Choosing train travel meant that we could relax and enjoy the day. I spent most of the time just staring out the window, unwilling to miss any scenery.For people at our stage of life, public transport is often much cheaper with our Seniors discounts than hiring a car would be. 

This picture is from Flagstaff Hill in Melbourne. We had arranged our public transport concessions in both Melbourne and Sydney and found that it was very easy to get around in both places.

The other consideration is that the use of public transport cuts down carbon emissions per person who is on the bus or train! This is slow living at its best.


We hadn't visited the Old Cathedral church in Melbourne until this trip, but found both a lovely set of stained glass windows and some CDs of choir music which we have greatly enjoyed on our return home. 

Melbourne was our home for 13 years, and we still have friends and family who live there. It was great to be able to catch up with them. This picture is taken from Southbank. 

From Melbourne we caught the XPT to Sydney and then the next morning went off through the Blue Mountains to Orange. Each train trip was comfortable and convenient. The staff were cheerful and helpful.

In Orange we stayed at Duntryleague Guest House, which is situated in a lovely golf range. We took our first ever wine tour of vineyards in the Orange region, and had a lovely time. There was snow in Orange just before we arrived, and it snowed a few days after we left, but the days were were in town were sunny. My puffer jacket, thermals, hat and gloves got a real workout, however. 

 Then it was back to Sydney for a longer stay. DH hadn't had as much opportunity to explore the city as I had, during my working life, so I was glad to show him around. A trip on the Rivercat up to Paramatta must be one of the best value and most scenic public transport trips in Australia. You get a 90 minute trip up river for the price of a cup of coffee!

One of my favourite historical homes is Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta. 

Despite all our travels around, it was really all about visiting our family and supporting them with some grand-parenting, which were the real reasons for our trip. It is hard to bring up three children when you are far from family support. Our son and daughter in law do an amazing job, but when they have to go away together for work, we needed to come over and help.It was a lovely time, even though exhausting and busy! 

We are now home and recovering! DH came back with bronchitis but is getting better. I had a cold or some kind of sinusy-allergy thing which laid me low for a while but I am feeling better today. It may be something to do with being further away from the canola fields in flower!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Winter holiday

A winter holiday in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT.

All the cold places!

We are from Perth, which has been having a good cool winter, but nothing like the weather we are experiencing whilst travelling in these states this month! On Tuesday it was 7 degrees C in Bendigo at lunchtime! Good thing we brought lots of warm clothes! There are plenty of rewards for travel in winter: first of all, we are doing important family things, and the weather is not getting in the way of those precious moments: see for example DGS1 and his water painting of the garage door. 

Secondly, the wattle blossom is coming out -and we are looking forward to seeing a lot of it over the next few weeks. We are travelling in some rural areas, where golden canola flowers add a spectacular view under dark cloudy skies.

Thirdly, the wineries and other attractions we are visiting are not at all crowded, and prices are cheaper in accommodation options too. 

We have planned a lot of train travel this holiday, because it is fun, relaxing, cheap, and saves on the  carbon debt of travel. We are not only visiting family, but catching up with friends too in Melbourne and Canberra, and also visiting Orange and Sydney. 

I don't know when I will be able to update you all with our travel stories, but you will find more updates on my Instagram account in the meantime.