Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lilydale trip...

I spent a few hours in Lilydale, Victoria this morning/afternoon. Took an express train from Camberwell to Box Hill and then stopping all stations. It was considerably longer coming back because the train stopped at all stations. I wasn't far from Lilydale when I saw the Dandenong Ranges in the distance; sprawled at it was like a languid, naked woman, her curves rising from a dense sea of trees. As the train approached Lilydale I noticed what I would call an open-cut mine, but surely not. Maybe it was some kind of metal smelting establishment, for there was a deep hole in the ground that created a crater on an otherwise beautiful landscape filled with grazing cows and tiny houses dotted here and there. Here's a picture of the processing towers or whatever they are called, taken through the train window.

Lilydale is not how I remember her. She was once an idyllic, quiet haven, now her shopping centre is marred by unaesthetic establishments and the two historic hotels still standing are marked by graffiti and the blemishes of time. But the air is pure and oxygenated and it's easy to look past the shops to the trees that appear to go on forever. I walked from the railway station, over the little Olinda creek bridge, up the hill to visit the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum where I saw Ambush: Ned Kelly and the Stringbark Creek murders, a Victoria Police Museum touring exhibition, which was interesting because it had some valuable documents about the Kelly Gang and in particular ephemera from Constable Thomas McIntyre.
I was going to walk upstairs to see ephemera related to Dame Nellie Melba, but was content after all to just take a picture of the Athenaeum Theatre where she performed (The Melba family had great links to Lilydale).

I walked further up the hill and then crossed the road. Looked in an opportunity shop (they're all basically the same), had lunch and a cup of well deserved coffee in an establishment that apparently promotes local wines. It was considerably colder in Lilydale than when I left Camberwell and it was beginning to rain so I decided to head home and thankfully walked in my door before the downpour happened here about fifteen minutes ago.

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