Friday, November 22, 2013

You're not in Rio now Dorothy

One windy Sunday accompanied by localised but only occasional showers of rain we headed west on the Calder Freeway towards our destination of Macedon. As we approached it became clear that there is Macedon and Mount Macedon and they are very different places. We decided to see Mount Macedon first and slowly ascended the steep and winding road past the most glorious houses with even more glorious gardens. The lucky country is very lucky for some.

Ok, so it isn't Christ the Redeemer looking over Rio, but it is quite impressive. We are nearly 1000 metres above sea level and it is noticeably cooler than down on the southern plains.


The rhododendrons were at their peak and looked wonderful.
 

The 21 metre tall cross is a memorial to those who died in the Great War and WWII. The last lines on this old plaque say, "Death cannot rob them of their glory, nor time efface the memory of their gallant deeds". I think it should say, "Thanks English Army Commanders, for sending our Australian lads to a futile but certain death".


The white area in the far distance is Melbourne, about one hour's drive away.


The cross was privately built in 1935 but the surfaces deteriorated significantly over the subsequent decades. After a few lightening strikes and the 1983 fire, it was damaged beyond redemption. In 1995 it was rebuilt with funds generously donated by property developers the Grollo brothers. That is what philanthropy should be about, not providing services for sick kiddies that should be funded from taxes.


A couple and their pooch depart the cross along what could nearly be described as a rhododendron walk. Good, they kept getting in the way of my lens.


Mount Macedon was very severely affected by the 1983 bush fires. There is evidence of more recent fires here, which was probably protective burning by authorities to reduce fire fuel loads. Along with the cross being burnt in 1983, the public gardens were also ruined.


It is a short walk back to the carpark. There is a dining venue adjacent to the carpark and can be seen in the left of this photo. Oh dear, the reviews aren't good.


Poking up through the trees is what I would guess to be some Telstra infrastructure.


R, please take some photos from the car as we drive back down to the township of Macedon from Mount Macedon. He did.

Mount Macedon township was established by the rich and elite in the 1800s. It was a much more pleasant place to endure the summer months of heat, wind and dust.


The 1983 fire did not show any respect to the rich and and elite, with many grand century old homes destroyed and even more English style gardens and rare plant specimens engulfed in the raging fires.


We could almost be in a well tended English village.


The township of Macedon, not Mount Macedon, is pretty ordinary. The local bakery was ok, but oh the coffee. It was vile. I'd rather drink Pablo instant caterers' blend.

17 comments:

  1. I like the 'sculpted' writing in the tall hedge in the bottom photo.

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    1. Victor, I thought it was great. Pity I didn't slow enough for what it says to be clear.

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  2. Hello! Nice blog! My godparents had an old weather board house in Macedon that was burnt to the ground during the fires. I'll never forget foraging through the rubble as a child, helping collect random pieces of surviving crockery and the like. And the chimney standing all on its own. Very spooky.

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    1. Thank you YA. It must have been awful for your godparents. Yes, chimneys often stand proud when everything else has gone.

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  3. It must be awful to see all you own engulfed by fires. You are right about it looking very English in parts. Fortunately you managed to get some peopleless shots in the end.

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    1. Fun60, it was more that they kept standing where I wanted to stand to get the best view.

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  4. It is a pretty area to visit. Sad about the damage that the fires caused but things are looking good again. Don't worry about people being in your shot. It actually brings your photos alive. It gives a point of interest to rest your eyes on and it also provides a reference for the size of objects in the shot it gives perspective.

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    1. Dinane, I really don't mind people in my shots but I am very cautious, unnecessarily so I expect, about being noticed taking people's photos. You are quite right. People in a shot does give it perspective. I thought it was quite a nice photo.

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  5. Nice photos of a very nice area. I believe Mt Macedon was the setting for the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock. I remember reading the book which didn't make a lot of sense to me at the time.
    Pablo instant isn't too bad if you make it strong, load it with sugar and use all hot milk, no water. and you have to be desperate for a coffee.

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    1. River, Hanging Rock is nearby. I don't know where the movie was set. I did know the school building, but I have forgotten now. Shall we agree Pablo is not fit for human consumption?

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  6. Looks like a very beautiful place ! I agree with you what helps "glory" when you are dead ?

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    1. Yes indeed. Where was God, glorious or otherwise, when tens of thousands of teenagers were being mowed down by machine guns?

      On both sides, I hasten to add. God wasn't on anyone's side.

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    2. Gattina, I get angry when I think of it. They were sent to their slaughter, the cream of the crop of young Australian men.

      Hels, so you don't wonder why I am a non believer? No god would have allowed that and nor would she allow what happens in Israel and Palestine.

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  7. Mt. Macedon looks like it has recovered from the fires very graciously Andrew..it may be more exclusive but fire shows no preference oui

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    1. Grace, so far as I know, it was the only time it was hit by fire. There by the grace of god go thee.

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  8. TY Andrew, I have only ever seen that cross from a great distance.

    I think the school building used was MLC? Story set at Hanging Rock.

    Telstra Dome? Too far from Indonesia to be any use to anyone.

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    1. FC, MLC sounds right. Sorry, Telstra Dome?

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