I had an opportunity to travel to the state of Victoria in Australia for 5 days in the Autumn this year. After two years of Covid and lockdowns in Victoria six times, it was very interesting talking to the people who have lived through this time of lack of social interactions and loss of business and jobs across the state. There is a feeling of loss about it all and how much people have missed out on seeing people and being barred from visiting loved ones who, under normal circumstances, would have been able to see each other. Gatherings were halted and people retreated to their homes. And now, even though the restrictions have been lifted, not everyone is ready to socialise again. There are masks on many, but not all wear them on public transport. Some youngsters said they had already had covid so were immune for three months so were not worried about getting it again, because their experience with the virus was mild and not a major issue for them, so if they did get it again, they were treating it as a flu-like virus.
Like a lot of older Australians, I am cautious and wear my mask in settings where there are crowds. I have not had Covid and I have also had a second covid booster and feel relatively safe and also a flu jab too. But I am not prepared to take any risks, and wear a mask in my job as a secondary teacher.
So on with the journey. I landed in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. The weather was predictable, there was a coolness in the air but it was not very cold. I prefer to travel with a certain winter feel in preference for to a hot climate, especially a humid one.
I spent day catching up with my very good friends and preparing for the gathering I was here to enjoy. A significant birthday.
It was terrific seeing familiar people and meeting new ones.
The following day, I caught the VLine train – a country train as opposed to the suburban network. So for an hour I travelled north to a largish town called Seymour. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour,_Victoria
The area has industries surrounding horses, cattle, sheep and wine. The population is around 6 000, so a small but significant-sized town in Victoria. From there my friend who met me at the train, drove me through the countryside, west on Pyalong Road towards Kyneton. On that journey, we came across this lovely trestle bridge.
My friend who drove me to Kyneton, her grandfather, used to drive trains along this route and over the trestle bridge.
Lancefield was a lovely historical town with traditional buildings and great photo opportunities. Established round 1865. www.aussietowns.com.au/town/lancefield-vic
Really loved the garage with its old-world charm and clever marketing. He has embraced the history of the town and capitalised on the tourist interest in historic and rustic decorations. The only disappointment is that the Hay and Grain store was not! On the corner facing the street there were steep steps into a very small, new-age-style gift shop with incense, candles, trinkets, glass balls and soaps. Not what I expected. Just around the corner on the side of the building was an old wool press and that was all that showed any of the history other than the structure itself.
After a walk around Lancefield, we had a lovely muffin and eggs and bacon for my friend and a cup of tea at the Aspy Cafe – which I might add was very tasty and fast to the table. It was lovely. The staff are friendly and efficient. #AspyCafe
The town was established as a supplier of goods for the goldrush in the 1850s and there is an example of the buildings of the time in
“Kyneton’s oldest surviving stone building, the Church of England Rectory, located at 61 Ebden Street, commenced in 1850 and is a rare surviving example of a pre-gold rush dwelling.”
The winter is approaching and all around Victoria the deciduous trees are colouring their leaves. Reds, and browns, yellows and orange. Beautiful against the often grey skies.
My next stop was the town of Trentham where some long time family friends live. Our parents were friends and as a result we spent time together as kids and have remained relatively close since. I really love seeing them, now all our parents are gone. It’s a link to our shared pasts and a welcome one.
The following information was copied from https://visithepburnshire.com.au/trentham/
So go have a read if you want. It’s a lovely village. With charm and history and it is just great to look at. It has a tendency to get snow often, sometimes enough to make snowballs.
Cool country. Spud country. For a tiny town, Trentham packs a punch. Not just what it is famous for – but for its lesser known gems too.
A quaint village retaining many historic buildings and a charming streetscape also boasts drop-dead pretty gardens and shady tree-lined streets (not to mention the main street has even featured in several movies, but Trentham is too modest to boast of such things).
Situated half way between Woodend and Daylesford and located high on the Great Dividing Range, Trentham’s soil is fabulous for growing some of the country’s best spuds along with a veritable cornucopia of seasonal produce. From chestnuts and cherries, to heirloom fruits and olives, there isn’t much that won’t flourish in this rich volcanic dirt.
In June 2021 there was a damaging storm and Wombat Forest was decimated. Most of the forest is ‘new’ growth as opposed to old growth. The reason for this is during the goldrush years in the 1850’s there were huge demand on the forest for timber for shafts and tools for the gold diggers. So as a result not much of the forest in very old, and so was’nt strong enough to handle the huge winds.
Well that is the end of this little visit to Victoria in the Autumn. I highly recommend it.