Canberra Day Twenty Eight

[Saturday, 8th October 2016; 10pm]

Another lovely day. Any day now that has sunshine and warm temperatures is a good day. The number of rainy or cold days has outnumbered the sunny lovely days so I’m not wasting any opportunity to get out when I get a good one, just with sunscreen on this time!

It was going to be good day anyway cos hubby’s brother arrived last night from Melbourne for the weekend. He’s only one week back in the country from England where he taught in a select entry girls school for the 9 month teaching year, and then most recently from 3 months backpacking around Europe. SO much to catch up on! And he’s a green thumb so that suits my interests!

First of all brother in law and I hit the National Arboretum because it was their open day. We got the usual talk at the discovery centre, checked out the fascinating bonsai exhibition and then went for the drive through the lower section that was just open today; usually closed to visitors so you’d have to walk all the way through, which is a long way! The whole arboretum is 300 hectares!! Lots of walking, and lots of it steep. A very interesting place, I think there’s plenty of scope to go again, putting in mildly! And the views! Well you can see for yourself. Lastly we checked out the cork trees which are an amazement on their own. It was intriguing to hear how the Burley Griffins planned for all of this a long time before it came to be.

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Cork trees brought to Australia by Burley Griffin in 1912, showing evidence of harvesting which can only be done every 10 years, and may take up to 3 crops to get the best quality!

Home for a yummy lunch of nachos, we are being very spoilt here! Then an afternoon trip with EVERYONE to Floriade! Finally got hubby there after the disappointment of their night festival being cancelled for wind and rain. And our hosts came, and brother in law. Always beautiful, but especially in the sunshine and with good company. It was awesome to see that the tiny Purple Swamphen chicks are growing up, feeding themselves and much bigger than the first time I saw them a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad that the crowds haven’t phased them or their parents; it can be very disruptive having people near their nest or young…but these are all just going about their business. It was incredible to see the change in all of the garden beds as older plants have gone and new plants have come up. It really has to be seen to get the full impact.

Another amazing fact is that I took my meds on time last night, and lo and behold I woke up on time! 7am! Other than hubby who was already out riding, I was the first one downstairs this morning! Some kind of record. By 5.30pm when we got home from Floriade though I was feeling pretty feeble! So nap time, then dinner, now bed!

But my camera is upstairs with my sleeping husband so I’ll post this tomorrow when I can get at the photos.

Heritage steam

Today I went on an exciting adventure. Me and a whole bunch of kids with mum, dad, grandma, uncle etc. I felt just like a kid setting off on an exciting day trip, and as I was surrounded by exactly that, it really helped set the mood!

I arrived at the heritage Queenscliff station at twenty to eleven in the morning to find the train I was about to catch steaming and puffing away with doors wide open ready to receive travelers. What an adorable cutesie sight!! A glorious sunny day, the chill of the morning worn off to a nice comfortable day and a trip in this old steam train to boot!!

Ticket office at the Queenscliff railway station.

Ticket office at the Queenscliff railway station

Irony abounds in the sight of this old fashioned ticket office. I purchased my ticket for the steam train online with my smart phone, and unable to print it out, the railway man had to read my details off said smart phone to record my journey! So much for doing things in the old way! However I did get a cute old school ticket to carry.

Return ticket to board the Queenscliff to Drysdale steam train

Return ticket to board the Queenscliff to Drysdale steam train

Permission to enter the railway station and wait for the train to depart!

Moving from the ticket office to the railway platform

Moving from the ticket office to the railway platform

Queenscliff railway station

Queenscliff railway station

Here’s the train waiting to take on passengers and convey them to Drysdale

Steam engine puffing away ready to take off

Steam engine puffing away ready to take off

Steam engine with the engineers getting ready to depart

Steam engine with the engineers getting ready to depart

Carriages waiting with open doors for passengers to board

Carriages waiting with open doors for passengers to board

Finally eleven o’clock!! All aboard!

Time to depart - all aboard!

Time to depart – all aboard!

Time to pick the best place to sit for the best view!

Time to pick the best place to sit for the best view!

View from the carriage out the door waiting for the station master to shut us in

View from the carriage out the door waiting for the station master to shut us in

The station master closing all the doors for departure

The station master closing all the doors for departure

And we are off! Following the shore of Swan Bay then crossing inland to Drysdale

Perfection! Blue skies, green grass, trees and through it all the gorgeous Swan Bay

Perfection! The view from my seat in the train: blue skies, green grass, trees and through it all the gorgeous Swan Bay

The inside of the 1920s carriage

The inside of the 1920s carriage

Some days, life is just perfect! Comfy seat, train doing all the work, view to boot!

Some days, life is just perfect! Comfy seat, train doing all the work, view to boot!

First stop, Laker’s Siding

Lakers Siding railway station

Lakers Siding railway station

Second stop, Suma Park (bad photo!)

Suma Park railway station

Suma Park railway station

Third and final stop, Drysdale. Beautiful station opposite Lake Lorne, home of some great birds!

Behind of Drysdale railway station

Behind of Drysdale railway station

Purple Swamphens at the Drysdale railway station

Purple Swamphens at the Drysdale railway station

A beautiful Black Swan, a Eurasian Coot and some ducks opposite Drysdale railway station

A beautiful Black Swan, a Eurasian Coot and some ducks opposite Drysdale railway station

Cormorants roosting in an old tree in Lake Lorne opposite the Drysdale railway station

Cormorants roosting in an old tree in Lake Lorne opposite the Drysdale railway station

What a great trip! I can highly recommend the steam train trip between Queenscliff and Drysdale; if you’re in the area, make sure you take the time to enjoy this old school adventure 🙂