Okay, I’ll admit it, I felt really, really guilty, when I learned that while I was having a grand old time on the Great Ocean Road, my beloved husband was suffering in a Melbourne hospital, as I confessed in my last blog post.
After seven days in a town that is hotter than hell ( well, maybe not hell, but definitely purgatory), I feel my penance has been completed and I am free to share the rest of the photos from our glorious time in Melbourne.
Originally called The Sow and the Piglets, these rock formations were wisely renamed The Twelve Apostles, despite their originally being only nine of them. One has since crumbled, so now there are only eight. I spent most of my career in marketing, so hey, I get it. Nine was close enough, if you just round up.
Not surprisingly, the gambit worked, and the rest is history. The Apostles are definitely a beloved Australian tourist attraction.
The beach is lovely too, and if you are willing to walk down (and climb back up) eighty steps, you too can get your picture taken on this gorgeous beach.
I was definitely game. My favorite photographer was otherwise occupied, but one of our fellow travelers offered to take my picture. Foolishly, I neglected to check my phone until I got all the way back to the top, only to discover a technical glitch. No photo. Andy, who you will soon meet, wearing a bird for a hat, offered to go back down with me, so he and I got to climb down (and UP) 160 steps!
Given that I’m looking a bit chunky, that extra exercise was probably a GOOD thing!
Our stop at the bird hangout was great fun, although I will admit it’s a bit of a jolt when one of these guys unexpectedly lands on you, but Andy took it all in stride.
Paul, our tour guide, (shown instructing Jenny, a member of our OAT group) , kept us enlightened and entertained during our entire day together.
He told us The Great Ocean Road was built to employ returning war veterans. (Sorta like FDR’s CCC during the Great Depression).
About 3,000 former soldiers labored to build the road for almost thirteen years. Because of what we now call PTSD, dynamite couldn’t be used to break through rock; construction was done with pick and shovel.
This war memorial was built to honor the thousands who never came back from the war.
Other highlights from our time in Melbourne included a visit to the Mornington Peninsula, where we visited the Moonlit Sanctuary.
Unlike the Tasmanian Koala, this guy was awake. These animals sleep twenty hours per day, so somehow we managed to time it just right.
We didn’t have as much luck with the wallabies and kangaroos. They clearly were used to being fed frequently, and weren’t motivated to hop over for a snack. But the ducks and birds were quite happy to take a handout.
And this wombat? All we could see were his feet and hands! I think he had a “Do Not Disturb” tag hanging on his barrel!
Another notable visit was to the Abbotsford Convent. Now art studios and an educational center, it was once a “Magdalen Asylum” where up to 400 women and girls were sheltered. They were either orphans,”fallen women” or had no where else to go. They were also a source of free labor.
For “three hots and a cot”, they worked doing laundry for hotels and the weathy of Melbourne. As you might expect of a Catholic institution, prayer and chapel attendance were mandatory, as was penitence. This went on until 1975.
Today, the convent is beautified by art. I was particularly intrigued by these hand painted fabrics, which were very creatively displayed. I leave it to your imagination as to what this artwork symbolizes. It certainly has meaning for ME.
Here’s a close up of one of the fabrics. They were all different and were all exquisite.
Tomorrow we head for Sydney, our final destination on this slightly modified tour of our seventh continent, so I’ll leave you with one last example of what my new iPhone 11 camera can do.