Friday, 24 May 2013

Albury trip Day 1: Getting to the Southern Border

The last time we really took a trip to the Southern border of a country we were interested in the work of Homeland Security and got assistance in speaking to shop assistants from some blue rinsed ladies who had better Spanish than me (which ain't hard to achieve).  That was Nogales AZ.

This is Albury NSW.

We left home in Beauty on time at 8am.  The temperature was about 0C and fog seemed to threaten, but never actually delivered.  Rain also threatened during the drive and occasionally did deliver, but the VW automatic rain detector was well up to this.  So were all other systems – I was driving and thus had the information system on instant fuel consumption.  This is a great slope detector: if it is above 5l/100km you're going uphill!

Our first stop was Tarcutta, about 10km past the split between the Hume and Sturt Highways.  We found the RSL and its two field guns but they didn't seem to be designated memorials.  The big memorial in Tarcutta is the Truckies Memorial. 

Note the nicknames.

The actual memorial is the Hall next door to the halfway (between Melbourne and Sydney) cafe.
I was struck by the number of females listed on the Honour Roll 
and by the fact that they are all designated as 'Miss'.  Frances commented that they would probably have mainly been young women going off as nurses.

Before leaving this area we went up Mates Gully Rd to inspect a Travelling Stock reserve renowned for good birding when the eucalypts are in flower.
I was a tad worried that is might have been burnt in January this year but the fire had started just East of the area of interest.  The only obvious flower was Acacia genistifolia.
Here is a burnt area: note the epicormic growth!
On to Holbrook.  As I noted in my posts about the trip to Melbourne this was renamed in honour of a submariner.  The memorial submarine was well decorated with schoolkids.
The Uniting Church was interesting as both the original building (costing £241) and its newer version (£1648) were still extant.
Swapping rites, I noticed that St Clare's convent were hiring out office space.
Fair dos, but I am surprised that nuns would have “JeanLouise essential beauty” as their first clients.  Perhaps nuns have changed recently or perhaps I never saw the 'before' side of them in the past?

With a slight wonder about what will happen to Holbrook when the bypass is finished (the bypass seemed not to have changed since October  last year) we rolled on down the road and saw that Woomargama had potential for a War Memorial so swung in.  War was about the only thing they didn't memorialise!

The area is making a big thing about a large national Park nearby and this edifice is devoted to the Squirrel Glider.

 If you've got a dunny, turn it into a work of art!
On, on to Albury.  What a nice town.  A very helpful lass at the Info Centre and we found the accommodation really easily.  The railway station (seen here from Monument Hill)
was suitably historic (including the longest platform outside Flinders Street).
It appears this was because people changed trains here due to different gauges, so NSW took the chance to stick their finger up to Victoria.   They also had some unusual bike racks (the building in the background is the former Station master's house which is now the Visitor Information Centre).
The blot on the landscape was all the exclusions in the Botanic Gardens.  I wonder why they exclude dogs but (probably) let taxonomists in?
The main War Memorial was extremely interesting although scaling the Hill on which it was located was somewhat of a challenge.
This memorial, as with many others, dated from WW1 for which the dates were given as 1914 -1919.  This is quite sensible, as although the Armistice was signed in 1918 many Australian troops wouldn't have got home until well into 1919.
We spent a little time trying to find the WWII bowl.  Only when we got back to the foot of the hill did I realise this was a reference to the stone fort we had passed on the way up.  Coming back down we noticed the very colourful array of foliage in the town.
Quite a few of the buildings in Dean Street were suitably historic.

This 'work' was on the top of the AMP building.
My Latin isn't really good but I think "Amicus certae in re incertae" could be be translated as "A sure friend in uncertain times".  AMP is - or was - an insurance business: clearly this relates to the period before demutualisation.

This plaque on the Art Gallery raises questions about the definition of a War Memorial.  I tend to think it is, 'cos it wouldn't have got erected if there hadn't been a war!
A window in St Matthews Church commemorating the 2/23rd was very impressive.
Indeed the whole building was impressive, having been rebuilt after a fire in 1991.  The stonework is very well done.
Inside it was intriguing as it is the only Anglican church where I can recall seeing the stations of the cross.  Also, the rector was described as 'Fr.' and I can never remember hearing a vicar referred to as 'Father'.

As we walked 'home' the lantern in the War Memorial caught the sun and really looked as though it was lit from inside.
Following a libation or two I contacted a nearby Indian restaurant- the Indian Chimney – and acquired some takeaway.  The butter chicken was OK but a tad sweet while the beef vindaloo was brilliant: no salmonella could survive in that!

Links to rest of trip
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

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