Historic Parramatta

When I checked into the motel I felt like it was kind of familiar. Like I’d been here before. The buildings were shaped like barns and laid out around a paved courtyard. I guessed this was a nod to the Rose Hill racecourse that was just on the other side of the busy highway.

It was a Thursday night and the air was humid, thick with the smell of the city, petrol fumes, burning rubber, hot concrete. The sounds of traffic were blocked out when I shut down the door of the motel room and breathed in the airconditioned coolness. My dress was stuck to my back and the first thing I wanted to do was have a cool shower before dinner.

After dinner I went for a stroll around Parramatta. The evening was still humid but not as stifling as the afternoon heat.

Most of the suburb is an unappealing mix of apartment buildings, old houses and light industrial development. Then I stumbled across some real gems that had somehow survived the transformation of the landscape from a beautiful valley, to an early colonial town to what I found today. Despite the changes, Parramatta River still flows through the middle of the valley and there are glimpses of the original bushland along the banks.

The suburb of Rose Hill was the first European township inland from Sydney Cove. The name of Parramatta was later taken for the district, a corruption of the original name for the area Burramattagal by the traditional custodians of the land. Small farms were carved out of the bush.

The buildings in the photos were on land granted to Captain John Macarthur, later famous for starting the Australian wool industry with his wife, Elizabeth. They were built in the early 1800s and gradually over the next 200 years turned into suburbia.

From the rise in front of the cottage it is still possible to look down toward the Parramatta River despite these changes but I can see change is still going on. The older houses are gradually disappearing in favour of more and more apartment buildings. Most of the people in the area are from India or Middle Eastern countries. Change continues – I wonder what it will look like in another 100 years.

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Cruisin’ the South Pacific

A few weeks ago I was in Sydney to see my sister off on a cruise of the South Pacific, from Sydney to Vanuatu. While it wasn’t my holiday I wanted to share the photos I took at Circular Quay before she left to board her ship. It was a hot day, there were hugs, a few tears, and promises to let me know everything she did on board. We were able to chat most nights online and while I was worried about seasickness my sister went dancing, rock climbing, surfing, more dancing and some shopping. Oh, and it was her 18th birthday while she was away!

A walk around Yass

Yass is a small country town on the edge of the southern tablelands in New South Wales. It is one of the oldest inland towns in Australia, being originally settled in 1832. Most of the buildings in the main street date from around the 1870s although there is still a few that are older than that. All of this gives Yass a historic feel and it is an amazing place to spend a quiet afternoon strolling around. The Yass River runs slowly through the middle of town, dividing it cleanly into north and south Yass, with a lovely walk along the grassy banks of the river. Further upstream is more rocky and bushy but not less lovely in its own way. I like the peacefulness of Yass. It is a reminder of years gone by and I find it easy to imagine the streets full of carts and sulkys, horses tied to verandah posts. I love it here and if you are ever in Australia take the time to stop in Yass for an afternoon and enjoy the quiet serenity.

Safe travels

Molly x

Last Christmas

Just before last Christmas I was travelling up the coast of New South Wales with a friend when we stopped for the night at the little town of Casino. This was a special place for me because I lived in Casino until I was 8 years old. There is so much that looks familiar, but misty with time. Anyway, we were lucky enough to arrive here the night they were lighting the town Christmas tree. The main street was turned into a festival with markets and music and all the shops lit up with displays. It was so beautiful and made me long for a place that I only knew when I was a little kid. Still, it made me happy that I was here to share their special night.

Safe travels

Molly x

Road trip to Geelong: part two

Okay, so this post makes me look a bit car crazy, which I’m definitely not! but old cars are pretty cool and I couldn’t help myself taking lots of photos. In case you missed the last post these photos were taking at the Geelong Motorshow in November last year.

I hope you enjoy,

Molly x

Road trip to Geelong

In November last year I had a road trip to Geelong for my cousin’s wedding. Eight hours on the road with my best friend was well worth the night of romance and fun. I hadn’t really been to Geelong before but it is a beautiful old Australian city on the shores of Corio Bay. Formerly home of Ford Australia until the factory closed down a few years ago and once the hub of the wool processing and exporting industry in Australia. Despite the economic downturn of industry, Geelong seems to have been reinventing itself as an alternative to Melbourne (the capital city of Victoria). The wedding itself was beautiful, even if I felt a little uncomfortable with the priest’s emphasis on love being something between a man and woman. I resisted the temptation to stand up and shout ‘what about me!’ Before the reception I took a moment to check out the cool cars on display along the Geelong foreshore and then it was time to dance the night away.

Enjoy

Molly xx

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