Sunday, 17 March 2019

Hanging Rock

Since our flight to King Island disappeared, Michael took us for a drive outside Melbourne.  We went to Hanging Rock, hoping that nothing else would disappear.

We had known about HR from the movie.  The rocks are the result of volcanic lava that has formed a plug.  Over the years the soil has been eroded and the plug rises above the landscape.  The altitude is about 800m.  We could feel our eats pop, and my waterbottle had compressed as we drove home.


Walking up to the top of the pinnacles

and this is what he was looking up at.

At the top.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

St Patricks Cathederal

St Patrick's Cathedral has been in the news lately so we went to have a look at it.  There was a wedding on, so we had to wait for it to finish before we could go inside.  We did hear the bells, and so we waited to talk to the ringers afterwards.  With the usual bell-ringing camaraderie, we were invited to Sunday's service ring, but unfortunately we are busy.  This is the church where the bells are arranged anti-clockwise but the ringers assured us that they rang with the usual arrangements, so surely we could ring theirs!

It is a grand church and with a good aspect over the city..  

Some pics outside.  The ribbons on the fence are in support of those who suffered abuse at the hands of the priests - or an archbishop.

And the bride....


We were looking forward to this trip to Melbourne, mainly for a nostalgic joyride to King Island on a vintage DC3 plane.  We were not counting on a very eventful trip. First there was a two hour delay leaving Sydney because of a threatening electrical storm. Then, DISAPPOINTMENT, the company that operates the flight went into receivership. Of course we could still enjoy Melbourne, and meet up with Kay's nephew Michael.

Michael brought us to the interesting Danish Hereford Beefstouw for a lovely meal of steak and ribs.

Outside Danish Herefor Beefstous

A walked a lot around Melbourne, the narrow laneways of cafes and shops and wide streets that reminded us of Vienna.

Cafes and shops

The Block Arcade

Kay admiring a pastry shop

Melbourne has metro and trams

Across the street from Spencer Street Station

Many parts of Melbourne are very European, with its Italian and Greek restaurants and cafes, and yet few streets away there would be a concentration of Asians, a totally different feel.

Pho for lunch


Association for people originating from KM's grandfather's village county

DC3 can wait until the next time. Meanwhile we are enjoying Melbourne.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Storm and bells

You may have read about the storm in Sydney yesterday.  We lost a large branch of the liquid amber.
SES is coming tomorrow to take it away and then we can see what sort of state the rest of the tree is in.

Sorry, you will have to turn your head for two of them.  The program keeps on re-rotating them.

We went bell ringing at Goulburn
And this is mine!
Muffles - attached when ringing for a funeral.  They are strapped to one side of the clapper, so you get one normal "dong" followed by an echo the next.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

1. Sydney to Munchen

Another first.
We saw this as we walked to our plane.  We weren't the only ones who noticed - it generated lot of comment!. It looked as though someone had taken a tin opener to the aircraft.
 But be reassured, this is the one we were heading for.
We caught up with family in Singapore.  Then it was a SWISS 777 to Zurich.  One good thing is that they have the option for a small and quick meal straight after takeoff, so we opted for that and slept as much as we could.  And Lindt is Swiss, so Lindt chocolates were on offer.

Due to Swiss efficiency, I didn't have time to get a pic of our small plane to Munch.  But it was an Embraer 190.

This is a similar aircraft, taken through our foggy window.

And picture perfect scenery from Zurich to Munich.

Kin Mun navigated the ticket arrangements and we found our way to Marienplatz and our hotel.  It is a Mercure.  It is clean and efficient.  We can hear bells from our hotel, but they aren't the English style!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

2. Our first sausages and sauerkraut in Germany.

In our jet-lag fog, we looked around Munchen waiting for our hotel room to be ready.  At lunch time (ours), we ventured into a beer hall.

Jet lag plus menu in German takes extra mental effort!  KM perusing the menu.

We thought the white tureen was for soup, but no, it is for white sausages.  So we decided to give them a try.  Obviously traditional chefs haven't been watching those cooking shows where they plate up! Just as well they were white, otherwise....
And we ordered a plate of other sausages, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.
I could have done with some tomato sauce. Must be a sacrilegious thing to say.  The white and pork sausages and meatballs were very good, more to my taste, but the other two types were edible too.

First Munich icon ticked!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

3. Munchen next day. Museum, Rathaus, food and bits and pieces..

We had a look at Marienplatz in the daytime.  This is the Rathaus, which translates as Town Hall.

On our walks, we passed a pastry shop.  This was the window display.
This one didn't have the most appealing name.It translates as 'doughnut"

We walked to the Deutches Museum.

You could spend a lot of time there, but we looked at three sections: a High Voltage display, Aviation and Medicines.   The English descriptions varied, but you didn't need any to watch the lightning demonstration!

We looked at a couple of churches.  We are not in the Lutheran part of Germany - Bavaria is very Catholic as it turned out.   And they have bells, all rung together at the same time!.  The pitch is low, so it merges into one dirge. I must still be jet-lagged.

This was lunch.  Nudel suppe (ie noodle soup).
KM had penne puttanesca.  Both were salty, but they had good coffee!
.Germany is green.  This is an electric vehicle! 

We have found the nearby supermarket has an array of bread, hot meat, salad and pastry, so have been buying food from there to eat in our room.

I have been surprised how different German is from the Latin languages I am more familiar with.  French/Italian/Spanish have links and knowing one helps with the others. I had thought German and English were sufficiently similar to help with the other - but they are not!  Or perhaps I know more French than I had realised.  No doubt we will have acquired some vocab by the time we get back home.

Monday, 3 December 2018

4. Hitler's Munich, Poppies, St Peters, Vietnamese food.

Munich lives with its history.  This was where Hitler founded the National Socialist movement and it remained the party headquarters during the war, even while the government was run from Berlin.

It was a lengthy walk, covering places where resistance people were interrogated, the Hotel Torbrau where Hitler met with like-minded people, the Hofbrauhaus where he held his meetings, Dodgers Alley where people used to walk to avoid saluting to a Nazi memorial, and Hitler's office (the Fuhrerbau) where he met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938.
.Image result for fuhrerbau
 This is the building today - the eagles have gone.
There was also a memorial to the victims of the National Socialists.

We could see these places, safe in the knowledge that we were in modern Germany.

This weekend is the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war.  There are poppies too in Munich, a recent thing I gather.

On a lighter note, we climbed the 316 steps up St Peters Tower, to a wonderful view of Munich.  There was some sort of bell up above us, but it was not hung for change ringing.  Fancy climbing all those steps for a view and not for bells.  But we did. Plenty of handrails for balance and not too much of a challenge.
The longer view.
 The autumn colours are lovely.

And Vietnamese for dinner tonight. I have noticed that the noodles are cut up - no long slurping here!  Perhaps it is just easier to eat them with a fork - we had to ask for chopsticks. The flavour was recognisable.  Presumably they could not get Vietnamese mint so used ordinary mint.  A bit of mental re-orientation was needed when the Vietnamese owner spoke to us in German!