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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A short break...

Late yesterday afternoon I arrived back home after a short break in Canberra with DH. He flies home late this evening as he has had 1 1/2 days training for this contract job which he has been doing. That was basically the reason why we went to Canberra on Saturday morning; free airfares for him and accomodation which we expected to pay for some but the organisation he is working for are paying for Sunday and Monday nights as well! On Saturday we drove up from Canberra to Cooma (about an hour) which is in what is called the 'High Country' . Canberra is in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and is not a state of Australia. However it occupies an area that used to be New South Wales. Cooma is not in the ACT, it is in NSW. (You see we had colonies originally which became states at federation in 1901 and the 2 powerful states 'fought' over which state would 'house' the new Federal government. Apparently the site chosen is about halfway between Melbourne and Sydney and Canberra was a purpose built city; originally farm paddocks)


This row of flagpoles (and flags too of course!) in Cooma represents the different nationalities of the workers on the Snowy River Scheme. The mosaic wall was fascinating and very colourful


In 1988, a mosaic wall was completed in Cooma depicting scenes in the area's history. This mosaic shows the moving of the town of Adaminaby to higher ground as the dam filled with water and flooded the area.


Cooma's heritage listed railway station. As in a lot of Australian towns, the trains don't run any more except for 2 vintage railmotors which take tourists on a short ride. We were too late, just missing the second and last ride of the day by 1/2 an hour!

At Cooma we went into a centre which has displays etc relating to the 'Snowy River Scheme which was a project started in 1949 and completed 25 years later. Many workers from overseas were employed on the project which built a number of dams, then diverted water from the Snowy River via huge tunnels through the mountains. This water provide energy for Hydro electric power stations as well as some water diverted to drier inland areas for irrigation. I couldn't help but think as we watched a DVD in the centre's theatrette that such a project possibly wouldn't happen today because of environmental issues. In fact the Snowy River had become so degraded by the less flow that authorities have recently started releasing water back into the river.
Next morning we drove up into the Australian Alps area to Perisher (ski resort) and Charlotte's Pass. We could see patches of ice/snow on the mountains in the distance but the landscape which is covered in snow in winter was absolutely covered in wildflowers! very beautiful. It was my first time in this high country area although I've had a number of trips to Canberra before.

The road into Perisher


The closer white 'spotches' are not snow; they are daisy-like wildflowers


An early explorer of this region

I was fascinated by these huts/ticket booths?  at the bottom of the ski-lifts. DH explained that in winter the level of the snow would be up to the bottom of the doorway so you wouldn't need the ladder then.


Our timing for the trip wasn't that good though. Many businesses were closed for the holiday break so some craft shops weren't open even my beloved 'Woolshed' at Manuka was closed. We still had a lovely time enjoying each other's company, the beautiful scenery, some beautifully cooked meals, and a recent model hire Camry which we upgraded to. More about Canberra, our nation's capital in another post!

4 comments:

Claud said...

Sounds like a great and educational trip. Your country is beautiful Maria. I wish I would have been there :-(. Hopefully one day.

Claud

Maria said...

I was in my fifties before I really travelled (New Zealand doesn't count! lol)overseas Claud...never really had the money before that and still raising children. My second husband loves travelling so we went to Europe in 2008 and we have saved to have a holiday in the US this year! Once we met a young woman from the UK who was holidaying in our state and she said 'why would you Aussies want to travel overseas as you have so much to see in your own country?' And we do have a lot of natural things but our oldest buildings are only just over 200 years old!!!

Claud said...

That's great! Do you know where you want to visit in the US? As you well know, there is something for everyone here and for every taste. It's a beautiful country too and has been my home away from home for the past 18 years. Time goes by too fast sometimes. Anyway, you may want to wait until April or May when the spring weather is back.

Maa said...

Interesting post, Maria. I'm a Canberra girl and Petal is a Cooma boy(born and bred). lol!
We have been away for 18 years now and only visit relatives now and again. Maa.