Woman In…. Esperance, West Australia

Our Road Trip

Esperance is a seaside town on the south-eastern coast of West Australia. To get there, my daughter and I set off on a road trip from Perth, and in one day, drove 730 kilometres  through the lower belly of West Australia.

On our journey on National Route 1 and on smaller local roads, we passed through a great inland sea of wheat, salt lakes and remote towns.

     

    My daughter has lived in Fremantle in Western Australia for the past three years and will be returning to Victoria later this year, so before leaving the west she was keen to see more of the state. I work from home as an editor and at the time I had no looming deadlines so I was free to join her.  So we decided to visit Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park.

    In spite of the air conditioning being on its last gasp, ‘Olivia’, my daughter’s trusty old  all-wheel drive Subaru was in good mechanical condition, a must for travelling the roads of West Australia. We had extra water and snacks as a precaution. Even though we weren’t going to be travelling in extremely remote areas and the roads were all sealed, it’s always wise when driving in rural West Australia, to take extra water and food in case of emergencies.

    Picnic at Yilliminning Rock

    Our first stop was Narrogin where we bought lunch and decided to stop along the way to have a picnic. About 20 minutes from Narrrogin we pulled onto Birdwhistle Road to follow a sign to Yilliminning Rock, where sure enough there was a concrete picnic table and an information board. Keeping an eye out for snakes and our feet up on the bench-seat away from large hungry ants, we ate our lunch in a cocoon of heat and bush silence;  I took my first long, relaxed breath since leaving my home in Melbourne five or six hours earlier.

    Yilliminning Rock is a granite rock rising about 50 metres from the surrounding farmland. The 10-minute climb afforded a lovely 360 degree view of the plains through which we had travelled and were yet to venture. Tiny pins of heat stung the skin on our backs, somehow finding their way through the threads of our clothing. It was time to get back in the car, with a change of driver.

    Through the Wheatbelt and a Milkshake at Lake Grace

    For most of the 730 kilometres we were shoulder to shoulder with straw coloured walls of wheat, the West Australian wheatbelt. While some might find the kilometres of wheatfields tedious, I didn’t. I was fascinated by the very largeness, the weight of blue sky, and the silence, and I entertained myself imagining what life on the land would be like. I enjoyed the memories from childhood of similar journeys my father took us on into the Australian bush. We stopped for a close-up look at the wheat, and the dry, red aridness dispelled any romanticism. A kind local woman stopped to make sure we were OK, as we were pulled over on a dusty road in the middle of nowhere.

    We drove on stopping for petrol and coffee and a milkshake at Lake Grace. We visited the gallery next door to the café and discovered that the town had a vibrant arts and crafts community. The locals had been busy knitting and a gush of red knitted poppies filled the median strip dividing the highway running through the town.

    About nine hours after leaving Perth we arrived in Esperance, and found our accommodation, a barn-like holiday flat called Doo Drop Inn. Quaint, but it had everything we needed.

    Esperance and the Whale

    Esperance is a small seaside town with comfortable accommodation choices. You probably won’t find five star rooms, and certainly not five star restaurants but you will find hospitality and somewhere to fill your tummy at the end of the day.

    We discovered three highlights of Esperance (there would be more but we only had a short stay). The first was the development of the waterfront, including a path winding through low indigenous planting. Even in its incomplete stage the path was interesting and relaxing to walk. It was the local jogging and exercise route.

    The second highlight was a beautiful sculpture of the tail of a breaching Southern Right whale, at the centre of this redevelopment and at the entrance to the Tanker Jetty. The piece stood meters high and was made from steel and wood, inlaid with coloured glass. We later met one of the artists, Cindy Poole, at her studio, Section Glass Gallery, (a must visit) who told us the story of the sculpture. The brief was to incorporate the elements of the local area and she and another artist decided on a whale to represent beauty and the migrating whales that pass the town, steel and wood for industry and the port as well as fishing vessels, and glass to reflect the colour of the area. The sculpture is one of the most beautiful pieces of public art I have ever seen.

    The third highlight was a coastal route that takes you past some stunning ocean scenery and swimming beaches. We stopped for a swim in the aqua waters of a Twilight Bay, just out of town. On our return we stopped on a cliff top to watch a storm approach over the ocean. We longed for the cool and wet of the storm, and hoped it would reach the dry fields inland.

    The next day we would leave for Cape Le Grand National Park.

    Cape Le Grand National Park and Frenchman’s Peak

    At 50 kilometres south-east of Esperance, Cape Le Grand National Park is an ideal day trip, or if you have camping gear or a camper van you can stay as long as you like. At Lucky Bay camping ground, where we stayed for one night, there was an outdoor kitchen, BBQs, clean amenities (toilets and showers) and ample sheltered space for tents, with a separate space for camper vans. There is no power and you will need to bring your own drinking water. There is a small charge per night.

    On our way into the park we stopped to climb Frenchman’s Peak (262 metres). I resorted to crawling on hands and feet for a short section early on, however the rest of the climb, while needing endurance, wasn’t difficult. The rock faces could get slippery so I wouldn’t advise this climb during or just after rain. Having said that, it rained lightly while we were at the top so we took extra care on our descent.  The 360-degree view from the summit is beautiful. On one side we watched the rain approach. From the height we could see the perimeter of the rain cloud, and it moved like a swarm across the land, over us, then out to sea. Looking in the opposite direction, the colours and formations of sea and sky mirrored each other and we could not tell where one started and the other stopped.

    After setting up camp we used the clean outdoor kitchen to cook dinner. More campers arrived during the evening, many of them young people and families from overseas. There is a ranger’s cottage nearby the camping area, and even without this we felt safe and comfortable. Lucky Bay is famous for kangaroos that come down to the beach, and it was very strange seeing kangaroos lying around on the sand. We saw a group of people who had been four wheel driving along the beach to get to remote fishing spots, but most people were there to bushwalk. There is a main 15-kilometre walk (one way) that can be done in a day, or broken into smaller walks, which are around three hours one way. We kept our activity to beachcombing as we only had one night available.

    Before heading the 800 kilometres back to Perth, I woke early for a walk and to watch the sun rise over this natural, unspoilt corner of Australia.

     

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    Photographs – Jacinta Agostinelli

    Jacinta Agostinelli is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. She also works pro bono on the management committee of a local community organisation, cares for her granddaughter, and grows vegetables and raises chickens using organic and sustainable methods. She enjoys spending time with her family of five daughters and husband, especially in far away places.

     

     

     

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    Nellie Bly – Around the World in 80 Days

    It is the 125th Anniversary of the Race Around The World.

    Who was the first person to race around the world in 80 days?

    It was not Jules Verne’s fictional Phileas Fogg. It was in fact a young American woman called Nellie Bly. She made it in only 72 days. Four days later, a second young American woman, called Elizabeth Bisland made it in 76 days.

    14 November 2014 marks exactly 125 years since they set out on this record-breaking race.

    In 1889, they covered 28,000 miles from New York back to New York, travelling by steamship, train, sampan, rickshaw, horse and burro over 4 seas and across 2 continents, an extraordinary feat in the age before aeroplanes.

    The global race of these two women made international headlines and captured the imagination of peoples everywhere. But since then, their feat has faded into obscurity.

    WomanGoingPlaces would like to recount the remarkable story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland – two women who had the courage to go places in every sense.

    Women in journalism in the 1800s 

    Women did not have the right to vote when Elizabeth Jane Cochran adopted the pseudonym Nellie Bly, and began working as a reporter. Not only were there few women in journalism at that time, but she also pioneered what later became known as investigative journalism by going under cover and risking her life to expose important social issues.

    She came from Pennsylvania coal country and talked herself into a job at ‘The World’ in New York under its renown publisher Joseph Pulitzer. She soon showed her courageous and intrepid spirit by persuading her paper to let her feign mental illness and be locked up in insane asylum. Her exposé of the cruelty in the asylum prompted a reform of the institution. Nellie also arranged to be thrown into prison so she could expose the treatment of female inmates; worked in a factory to reveal the shocking conditions of working women; placed herself in great danger in order to lead to the arrest of a sexual predator; and bought a baby to uncover the trafficking of babies in New York. The irony is that today she would most probably have been awarded one of the Pulitzer Prizes, named after her employer. But in the 1880s, she gained more recognition for her travels than for her journalism.

    Elizabeth Bisland came from the South. Like Nellie Bly she had come to New York almost penniless and talked herself into a newspaper job. All the money she earned had been through her writing.

    Both women struggled to carve out their positions as writers  at a time when journalism was almost exclusively, a male domain.

    Unlike Bly’s exposés of social injustice, Bisland’s focus was on literature. She became the literary editor of The Cosmopolitan, a monthly magazine, and wrote essays, reviews, feature articles and poetry.

    The race begins

    Nellie read Jules Verne’s description of an imaginary trip around the world in 80 days. It made a profound impression. It sparked her decision to take on the challenge and record her own story, an experience she hoped would outshine Verne’s fiction. She also determined to do it in 75 days.

    However, when she raised the idea with her editors, they dismissed it for two reasons. They told her it was unthinkable that a woman should travel around the world alone without a chaperone. And second, that as a woman, she would need so many trunks to accommodate all her finery, speed would be impossible.

    But a year later, fearful that other newspapers might take up the challenge, they called the 25 year-old Nellie Bly into the office and told her to start a race against the clock around the world  – in two days time.

    Elizabeth Bisland was given even less notice. Having read about Nellie’s upcoming trip in the morning paper, the editor of the Cosmopolitan magazine called the 28 year-old Elizabeth into his office and asked her to leave that evening to beat another young woman in a race around the world.

    Clothing & Luggage

    Nellie dashed home to assemble her clothing and luggage. She chose to go around the world in only one dress – a two-piece blue suit with a long skirt, a plaid coat and a cheeky cap, of the same style that years later would be adopted by the Sherlock Holmes character.  She would carry a single small leather bag that contained everything from personal items to writing materials.

    Bly developed the concept of ‘carry-on’ luggage a century before it became common. With her extremely tight schedule, she didn’t want to be delayed – miss a boat or train – by waiting for her luggage.  “ If one is traveling simply for the sake of travelling and not for the purpose of impressing fellow travellers, the problem of baggage becomes a very simple one, ”  she remarked.

    Bly’s photo in this outfit became an iconic image – splashed on front pages of newspapers and illustrated on posters around the world.

    Elizabeth had only 6 hours to organise herself. She took 2 dresses, a winter coat, a Gladstone bag and a steamer trunk for the rest of her belongings that would not fit into the carry bag.

    And they are off….

    On November 14th 1889, Nellie Bly stepped aboard a passenger ship in New Jersey and the official timekeeper started the clock as her ship steamed east across the Atlantic to England.

    Totally unbeknownst to Bly, eight and a half hours later, Elizabeth Bisland stepped aboard a train and began her journey in the opposite direction.

    She took the train overland to the west coast of America and then a steamship across the Pacific to Japan.

    The journey

    They crossed through all four seasons around the globe and travelled on seas made treacherous by storms, typhoons, icebergs, and the loss of a ship’s propeller.

    Bly travelled nearly 16,000 miles on sea and was not seasick once. Bisland was not as fortunate. Their frantic schedules left them little time to enjoy the places they rushed through, but wherever possible they would try to snatch a glimpse.

    Bly however, made a deliberate departure from her route by insisting on visiting Jules Verne in Amiens, France. The writer who had envisioned this adventure, was quite patronising to the young woman who sought him out and thought her too slim, frail and unattractive to break his imagined 80-day record.

    Wherever possible, Bly and Bisland would send through their reports of their travels by telegraph. But Bly was not made aware until about halfway through her journey that there was another young woman racing her in the opposite direction. Nor was she aware that her newspaper was running a competition which tens of thousands of readers entered and that sold out editions, to guess the precise time of her arrival back in New York. The World made a packet with the boost to its circulation. Bly received no monetary reward whatsoever.

    The record

    Bly completed her race on January 25th,1890 – exactly 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds after she started.

    More than 10,000 people were at the train station in Jersey City to give her a tumultuous welcome and her success was hailed in American and European newspapers.

    But there were no crowds to meet Bisland when she returned after 76 days, 16 hours and 48 minutes. Storms in the North Atlantic had cost her an extra 4 and a half days and consigned her arrival to the back pages of the newspapers.

    Both Bly and Bisland then faded from public memory despite their record-breaking feat.

    And it was only a hundred years later, in1998, that Nellie Bly was inducted into the American National Women’s Hall of Fame for her pioneering work as an investigative reporter.

    *  *  *  *   *  *

    • A very good detailed account of the race is in the book by Mathew Goodman ‘Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World’ Ballantine Books
    • Nellie Bly’s book about her trip: ‘Around the World in Seventy-Two Days’ -published by Pictorial Weeklies Company of New York
    • Elizabeth Bisland wrote an autobiographical novel ‘A Candle of Understanding’
    • Nellie Bly’s undercover articles for The World: dlib.nyu.edu/undercover/nelliebly-new-york-world-0
    Nellie Bly's route in the race around the world in 72 days

    PBS map of Nellie Bly’s route in the race around the world in 72 days

     

     

     

     

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    Our Woman In….Havana

      One of my favourite ways to prepare for travel to a country, particularly one that is off the beaten track, is to read the country’s literature and newspapers. So before heading to Cuba earlier this year, I downloaded Everyone leaves (Todos se van), by contemporary Cuban author, Wendy Guerra.

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      The book was set between 1978 and 1990 during the revolution, in a region in southern Cuba and in the bohemian quarter of Havana preferred by the intelligentsia of the time. It is about artist Nieve Guerra and, as the title suggests, about how the people she loves gradually leave her. Central to everyone’s leaving is the unrest and uncertainty of Cuban society during the revolution—which is the part that interested me the most. Putting aside any romantic notions of Che Gueverra and of revolution, I am fascinated by how people live during revolutionary times. The book gave me insight into the lives of Cuban intellectuals and artists who opposed the revolution and its curtailing of individual freedom.

      By the time we arrived in Havana I knew which streets I wanted to walk and which localities I wanted to stay in.  When we reached our casa particulare, (a room in a private apartment or home rented to travellers and international workers) in a faded, blue-painted, concrete block of apartments in Vedado, Havana, I knew about such apartment blocks in this, the choice suburb of the intelligentsia.

      I knew to question the closed up and condemned apartments we passed on the stairs on our way up to where our host lived; from my reading I was sure these were once the homes of people who were extradited for their political views during the sixties and seventies. Our host confirmed my suspicions with a shake of her head and a finger to her tightly closed lips.

      I knew about the Bertolt Brecht theatre, which joy of joys was across the road from our casa. I knew about the famous Malecon, the stretch of water the city of Havana is built alongside, and the path on its edge leading from the suburbs into old Havana, for my heroine, Nieve, had walked the Malecon in winter, summer, day and night. I was determined to find the real Havana beneath the buzzing layer of hustlers, taxi drivers and self-proclaimed tour operators—although these too added a certain excitement to our adventure!

      Travel guides gave conflicting advice around accommodation, from ‘don’t stay in the casas’ to ‘don’t stay in the hotels’! So we spread our time in Havana between staying in a casa particulare with Adele, who had Spanish origins, and her family—her husband, daughter, son-in-law and grandson—and a hotel in Old Havana. We booked from Australia and the confirmation we received from Adele was a bit like Clancy of the Overflow’s thumbnail dipped in tar! Once in Cuba we were quick to realise however, that Adele’s access to email was a feat in itself as no-one had internet connection to the outside world, and even the big hotels had rationed and unreliable connections. Informal, non-official looking emails are the norm, not a sign of dodginess.

      The casa was terrific. Adele provided our meals and cleaned our room, and helped us with transport—her son-in-law owned one of those old American cars Cuba is legendary for—and suggestions of what to do. Cuba is not a wealthy country and the people have the bare essentials. They are on rations for some foods, they line up to do anything from going to the bank to buying ice-cream, and the government has only just given families permission to supplement income by renting out a room in their private home to travellers, so we were pleased to give Adele our business. But it was hard going because she spoke no English and we spoke a few words only of Spanish.

      Adele booked us a bus trip to a holiday town, which happened to have a festival running the weekend we were there. Cubans love their festivals and this one went all night. Between the cracking thunder of a storm and the vibrating thud of the music, nobody slept much! But we were in one of those quaint, brightly painted houses with a rocking chair on the front veranda, so we were happy.

      Adele had also booked us a horse ride to see traditional cigar making. Off we went, through the muddy back lanes of the town, over a creek swollen from storm the night before.  The horses swam across the creek and we dare-devilled along a plank while holding tightly to a single support wire which had far too much slack and wavered with us as we tried to balance. We continued up and down gullies tortured with erosion, to a dark, old shed where our young strapper made us a Cuban drink and showed us how they used to make cigars. Not quite the sanitized tour wrapped up in occupational health and safety compliance one would get in Australia, but it was typically Cuban. As it rained for most of the ride we were wet through and my sandals clogged with mud but we knew the inner workings of a cigar!

      Perhaps the most defining moment of a trip is not one that is planned or found in a tour guide. Returning from our horse ride on the wet Sunday morning, we passed an ordinary looking apartment block, and it was the singing and chatter coming from within that struck me. We barely stopped, but I nudged my husband and said “listen”! Such apartment blocks in Australia are mute, but here in Cuba they sing! An unassuming moment but I’ll not forget it.

      Considering their poverty you would be surprised to know that Cubans are among the most highly literate populations in the world. I was intrigued by the accessibility of art, theatre, history and music. While we were in Old Havana it was International Book Day so we dawdled around the streets lined with makeshift bookshelves and bought ourselves a pirated copy of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana, a delightful send-up of British intelligence and espionage pre-Cuban Missile Crisis, set in the very bars and street blocks we were passing.

      We went to the Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution), the most sacred building in Havana, where a young guide told us an absorbing story of Cuba’s history. The spectre of Che Guavera and the legacy of Batista can be seen throughout Havana, and of course we brought home the obligatory red scarf and Che T-shirt. Cubans are proud of their history and they can all talk about it. This museum was one of the highlights of our visit.

      Old Havana was once a grand, old, Spanish colonial city. It has block after block of ornate buildings in all manner of disrepair and if the parts and materials needed for restoration or repair come from America, then an embargo means there is no immediate hope that the repairs will be done. The elevator in the Museo de la Revolucion, for example, had been broken for a year and as the parts come from America it will stay broken for some time yet. Scaffolding erected with hope around some of the old buildings is covered in vines. One day soon Cuba will open its doors and capitalism will move in. The Old Havana may be restored to its former glory, but I suspect this will come at a social and cultural cost.

      Did I find the real Havana of Todos se van? Not in the sense that we met like old friends over coffee, but yes, the real Havana was there, just in passing.

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      Photographs by Jacinta & John Agostinelli

      Jacinta Agostinelli is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. She also works pro bono on the management committee of a local community organisation, cares for her granddaughter, and grows vegetables and raises chickens using organic and sustainable methods. She enjoys spending time with her family of five daughters and husband, especially in far away places.

       

       

       

       

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      Woman In … Lake Balaton, Hungary

        Woman travelling with extended family.

        With two grown-up sons, their partners  and a grandson living in London England, my base being a couple of hundred miles north of that, and a husband working in Hong Kong, it’s hard to get us all together for an extended piece of family time away from the day-to-day (i.e. me in the kitchen). Hence most years,  I’ve taken to booking a large comfortable villa (more of that later), somewhere close to the UK via a budget airline.

         

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        Our age range is 3 to 57 years,  so I’m looking for somewhere that’s family friendly with the potential for a bit of gentle sightseeing, when I can drag them away from the pool. We like warm but not sweltering; much hotter than 30 degrees and we Brits melt. This year’s criteria also included a venue outside the Eurozone, as, until recently, UK travellers were taking a hefty currency hit against the Euro.

        Joe, my eldest and dad to Theo (3), is my holiday guru.  Despite being half my age he’s seen twice as many countries as I have and he suggested that Hungary fitted all our criteria. He’d visited Budapest a couple of times,  loved it and he’d heard about the beauty of the Balaton area. Hence, after a couple of hours flight from London on Ryanair, and a further  1.5 hrs drive from Budapest airport, we found ourselves  a few minutes’ walk from the shores of Lake Balaton.

        All sorted.

        Views over the lake are certainly stunning; it is the largest inland body of water  in  Central Europe and a haven for bathers and small yachts;  speedboats and jet-skis being verboten.

        I say verboten because it turns out that the Balaton region is a magnet for tourists from the old East Germany. And whilst the lake may be beautiful, looking back towards land is no less spectacular; the grassed area which forms the shore (there’s  no proper beach)  is where they all hang out during the balmy summer days.

        And it really does all hang out. Everyone from aged 8 to 80 years, men and women, opts for the skimpiest swimwear.  Think Helmut Kohl in Speedos! My body is more Angela Merkel than Claudia Schiffer, so my idea of beachwear is nearer to the burka than the bikini: strappy maxi dresses, a tastefully draped sarong.

        Unfortunately the Soviet era vibe continued to our accommodation which had looked first-class on the website and was pricey (twice as much as the fabulous villa in Turkey we’d booked the year before). When on holiday I want to stay somewhere AT LEAST as comfortable as home.

        I know that there are intrepid women out there at this moment, setting off with two pairs of knickers and a T shirt in a rucksack, the jeans they stand up in and a sleeping bag that won’t see the inside of a washing machine for a month, …… but I’m not one of them.  I want deep mattresses, Egyptian cotton sheets, thick towels and gallons of hot water beating me into submission after a dusty day.

        In 1994-ish  I went to East Berlin as a guest of a visiting Professor at the Humbolt University. He booked us into Humbolt student accommodation.  It was very basic, but clean, with a surprisingly good bathroom. Our villa turned out to be of a similar standard, but without the power shower.

        A good meal was called for! So we headed to what we were assured was the best local restaurant. We English have a reputation for awful food (once richly deserved, but no longer). However this was truly terrible. Suffice to say that this was the first time I’d been served canned potatoes in about 40 years.

        Thankfully, after this, things started to look up. We found excellent supermarkets with good fresh food and local wines that wouldn’t embarrass an Australian vineyard, but at prices Australians can only dream about. 1000 Hungarian Forint (about five Australian dollars) bought us a very quaffable bottle. We kept eating out to a minimum – a sandwich at lunchtime – and cooked cracking BBQs around the pool in the evenings.

        We got into a groove – in the mornings a swim either in the pool or the lake, followed by a lazy breakfast. Then everyone into the hire car to explore the region.

        Highlights included the Tihany peninsula which is accessible by ferry. We walked up the hillside to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey with wonderful views of the lake. The still-functioning abbey was founded in 1055 AD, although its church was rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1754. It was a blistering hot day so on the way down we ambled into a shady bar and availed ourselves of ice cold Hungarian beer served in terracotta mugs. The local food might not be great , but the ale is awesome.

        Keszthely is also a must. Its centrepiece is Festetics Palace,  a Baroque palace set in parterre gardens which contains a magnificent library.  The palace  is a venue for evening classical concerts and houses a puppet museum. However, there  are tiny museums down every alleyway, including a display of pornographic waxworks! My sons visited it (in the name of research for this article, obviously) and assured me that the Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky exhibit is very lifelike…

        We also spent a very pleasant afternoon in Badacsony, a hillside region scattered with small vineyards and wineries. The owners aren’t as geared up for visitors as Australian vintners, but they were very welcoming to tasters and justifiably proud of their wines. These are small concerns producing boutique wines which aren’t available in large stores and the prices reflect that. Nevertheless, we were sufficiently impressed to bring home a few bottles as presents.

        We had five nights in the Lake Balaton region, before moving on to Budapest which is a whole different story – a magnificent city with an international vibe.  Once we’d found our feet in Balaton we had a thoroughly enjoyable, very relaxing family break and I would certainly recommend the area to families looking for something similar. However, on the basis of our experience I’d be aware that accommodation and restaurant standards can be below par for westerners. Choose your villa carefully and stick with a BBQ washed down by the excellent local hooch!

         

        Sue Robson-Catling is English. She has run a Stage School and stood for election to the UK Parliament, amongst many other ventures. She is currently a company director of a management consultancy working for Airlines. Despite having flown many thousands of miles, for work and pleasure, she still never gets on a plane without thinking that aviation is a modern miracle.

         

         

         

         

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        和媛梦之旅一起游览威尼斯大运河 (Grand Canal of Venice)

         

        媛梦之旅邀请您跳上我们的船和我们一起游览威尼斯大运河。您可以通过点击下方视频加入我们的旅程,一同领略世界上最辉煌的水道之一。

        如果您从来没有去过威尼斯,我们的影片会向您展示运河两旁雄伟的大理石宫殿以及优美的贡多拉(指当地来来往往忙碌的小船),这些都是使水上生活充满生气的重要元素。即使您已经去过了威尼斯,这部影片也会让您重新领略它的美丽。

        我们的船沿运河S形曲线朝着军械库(Arsenale)和圣马克盆地(St. Mark’s Basin)方向驶去。

         

        船只

        正如大家所看到的,大运河上交通繁忙。客运船、小型船外机、时尚快艇、木质出租车、豪华游轮、驳船,当然了,还有贡多拉 ,这些形状及大小各异的船只以不同的速度朝着不同的方向,鸣着喇叭在水中拍浪前行。这里没有红绿灯,也没有秩序,可能有一些航行规则,但这里却有一个和谐的节奏,仿佛所有的船只都在精心编排着一部气势磅礴的水上芭蕾。

        Vaporetti就是这里公共交通系统中的水上巴士。他们定期在运河中的各站间来回穿梭。您可以这里的任意一站上下船只。但出乎意料的是并不是所有的站都在运河的同一侧,根据目的地的不同,水上巴士有可能在大运河中纵横交错,这样便可以绕道超到其他的船只前面。

        除了客运船之外,大运河里还有很多其他船只,以满足这个城市的日常需求。这里有警方巡逻艇、用于送邮件和包裹的邮政船只、货船、甚至是装有起重机和挖掘机的建筑用驳船。

        贡多拉

        在我们旁边,纤长而又优雅的黑色贡多拉慢慢划过。游客靠着船上的垫子用自拍杆拍着照片,同时还伴着手风琴演奏者的音乐唱着歌儿。这里仍然有一些划贡多拉的人,他们的父亲和祖父也同样是在这条大运河上划贡多拉。制造贡多拉的手艺也因此代代相传,至今仍在威尼斯沿用。

        宫殿

        世界上没有哪个城市像威尼斯那样有着如此众多的宫殿。在大运河沿线有着约100座宫殿。这些宏伟的建筑展示了威尼斯从11世纪至18世纪的700年间,作为欧洲最大的港口和贸易帝国中心的力量和财富。威尼斯的统治者,贵族和商人们把他们的船队送到世界各地,带回来了丝绸,香料,宝石和巨额的财富。

        威尼斯人试图通过在威尼斯最负盛名的地方—大运河旁建造更加宏伟的宫殿,以此来炫耀家族的财富和权力。这些宫殿不仅是他们的家庭住宅,而且也是他们生意的业务总部。宫殿的上几层为家庭住宅,底层则是存放货物的仓库和办公用地。由于大运河的宽度和深度,从远方来的船只可以在运河上航行,停泊在宫殿的旁边,并将货物直接运送到家庭仓库。

        直到今天,运河沿岸都是小码头,贡多拉和其他船只可以停泊在各式建筑的入口处。当你经过的时候,很容易想象在过去的几个世纪这里的生活。贵族小姐穿着华丽的礼服走出宫殿,脚踏14英寸的高跟鞋以保持她们穿的裙子不碰到肮脏的街道,然后乘坐贡多拉前往各自的舞会。

        里亚尔托桥和学院桥

        我们经过了横跨大运河的四个著名桥梁中的两座大桥。建造于十六世纪的里亚尔托桥是这些桥梁中最古老的。由瑞士工程师安东尼奥•蓬蒂(Antonio de Ponte)设计的这座拱形石桥可以让较高的船只通过。这就是为什么里亚尔托鱼市场能够在大桥旁蓬勃发展1000年之久的原因。

        学院桥是运河进入圣马克盆地前的最后一弯。它毗邻阿卡德米亚美术馆(Gallerie dell’Accademia), 这里拥有着世界上最棒的威尼斯艺术收藏。

        以前的学院桥是一座木结构建筑,由米奥其(Miozzi)设计并于1932年建造,用于替代1854年建成时的钢结构桥梁。威尼斯的市民非常热爱米奥其的这座桥,所以当它烂掉且有倒塌危险时,木结构便代替了钢结构。

        军械库和双年展

        我们正在接近我们的最后一站,那就是军械库。在这里有威尼斯的核心力量—这个世界从未见过的中世纪最伟大的船厂,它的制造力足以每天生产一艘新船。

        现在,原来那些可以容纳下船上厨房的木制天花板结构已经变成了美丽的艺术画廊。

        这里就是现在威尼斯双年展举办的地方。每两年,威尼斯都会主办威尼斯国际艺术双年展,这是世界上最古老和最负盛名的当代艺术展。今年,第五十六届威尼斯国际艺术双年展正在举行中。展览将一直举办至十一月二十二日,内容相当精彩。隔年则会举办威尼斯建筑双年展。

         

        我们已经到了最后一站,是时候下船了。

        但是有了我们的视频,您就可以随时随地游览大运河了。

        视频摄影和编辑– Augustine Zycher

        ****

         

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        女人在巴黎

        坐在墨尔本郊区的一家咖啡店外,我和两个女性朋友正为即将来临的生日举杯庆祝。此时的天气阳光明媚,雅拉河(Yarra River)的风景美不胜收。树木郁郁葱葱、骑自行车的人精神饱满、河里划船的桨手也充满着活动,周围的一切都很美好。朋友们不经意间说起她们想去巴黎,问我是否愿意一起去。她们的话还没说完就在一旁咯咯地笑了起来,我看得出她们觉得这是个非常好的想法,但实际上却有一点不切实际。

        一趟去巴黎的旅行,我试着按照她们的想法想象了一下,为什么不去呢?

        在短短几周的时间内,我们不安地打电话、发短信,为的就是能让三个女人能够有两个礼拜的时间可以“私奔”去巴黎。要知道作为妻子和九个孩子的母亲,我们忙得不可开交,现在终于能够找到一个既能让老公满意又让孩子乐意的方法,这真是个奇迹。

        在做了一些功课和跑腿活之后,我们很快订好了机票和住宿。我们马上就要开启去巴黎的冒险之旅啦!!!

        飞机上的大部分时间我们都在庆祝终于可以逃离现在的生活开始这段异想天开的旅程。我一直在感叹没有家庭的旅行如此轻松,虽然我的家庭幸福美满,但是没有了吵吵闹闹和繁重的责任,这样的平静和恬静是如此令人向往。巴黎,我们来了!因为这是我第一次来巴黎,所以从出发的时候我的眼睛就睁得大大的。

        对于我们使用的那些并不存在的法语词汇,巴黎人的忍耐度算得上是非常高的,这一点我感到特别吃惊。

        在接下来的文章里,我列出了巴黎的十大地方和大家分享,里面的内容并没有先后之分。

         

        Musée d'Orsay, Paris

        Musée d’Orsay, Paris

        1. 奥赛博物馆 (第9区)

        一趟旅行下来,这个美术馆成了我的大爱。由火车站改造而成的奥赛博物馆里收藏了大量的艺术珍品。馆内有两个很棒的咖啡馆,大家可以在选择去哪个前两个都进去看看,我们选了一家价格合理东西也不错的咖啡馆。在博物馆外,我们误打误撞地看到了更有味道更奢华的咖啡馆。不管你是否进去用餐或喝咖啡,探个头进去看看内部漂亮的装饰也是值得的。

         

        Sacre-Coeur Basilica, Montmartre, Paris

        Sacre-Coeur Basilica, Montmartre, Paris

        2. 蒙马特(第18区)

        在这里有很多可看和可做的事,包括圣心大教堂(Sacré-Coeur)的长方形大厅、正逢展出的达利展以及琳琅满目的旅游商店,在那里可以收获到很多有价值的小东西。天色随着日光的褪却逐渐暗下,标志性的黑色路灯照亮了街道,给夜平添了几分暖意。蒙马特高地的地理优势让我们从远处看到了美丽的城市风光。夜渐深,城市也开始朦胧,但那份韵味却仍在。

         

         

        Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen: Parisian flea and antiques market

        Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen: Parisian flea and antiques market

        3. 巴黎圣旺古董市场:巴黎人的跳蚤和古董市场(就在第18区的北边)

        只要稍微再往北一点,也就是坐几趟火车的距离就能到那儿了,你会觉得不虚此行。想象一下,狭窄的走道旁挤着几十个市场摊位,摊位上放着各式各样的法国古董。我多么希望我能在巴黎有一套公寓,里面摆着这些法国古董。我想着如果所有的法国古玩店老板在这尽可能多的买这些古董,然后再运到墨尔本像是Armadale和Malvern区里昂贵的商店里会是什么样的场景。漂亮的灯具,桌子和小家具,还有各种银器,古董海报等收藏精品。正如这里卖的古董,摊主们也个个充满魅力、如此实在。如果不是因为天气极冷外加持续下雨,我觉得我可以一整天都待在这里。从这里步行一小段距离还能发现另一个更加传统的市场,那里有卖衣服,食品,包包等很多东西。

         

        Musée Rodin

        Musée Rodin

        4. 罗丹美术馆(第七区)

        美术馆的主体部分不幸关闭整修,但是花园还是开放的,里面有许多罗丹的雕塑非常高雅地成列在那里。这非常容易让我联想到如果在温暖的季节,如此美丽的花园中肯定会呈现出更美的景色。现在光秃秃的玫瑰花丛一定会在那时发芽开花,繁花似锦。还好这里有一个咖啡厅,虽然位于临时的大楼里,还是为我们在寒冷的季节提供了舒适的庇护。

         

        Marais District, Paris

        Marais District, Paris

        5. 玛黑区(第四区)

        通常被称为“老巴黎”的玛黑区位于塞纳河右岸。来到这里就必须在那些由鹅卵石铺成的街道上走走。这里的氛围和巴黎市中心那种保守的氛围相比显得更活泼俏皮。这里有很多精品店,我的信用卡就是在这里遭殃的。还有许多时尚和珠宝店(或许是因为我碰巧把注意力都放在了这些商店上?)我也记得其它许多小型画廊和不显眼的庭院。这里是巴黎著名的犹太区,我们参观了犹太博物馆,还在位于蔷薇街32至34号的 L’As Du Fallafel吃到了最好吃的炸豆泥三明治,填饱了我们的肚子。我们下午三点半才到,这就意味着我们不用在门口排长队了,并能马上入座一家已经挤满当地人和游客的餐厅。

         

        Laduree Patisserie, Champs Elysees, Paris

        Laduree Patisserie, Champs Elysees, Paris

        6.  6. 拉杜丽(Ladurée)糕点铺和茶室 (巴黎有三家店)

        在巴黎的最后一天,我们起了个大早,穿着自己最迷人的衣服就这样去了大名鼎鼎的拉杜丽(Ladurée)吃早餐。如果想来一顿高大上的下午茶,这里也绝对是首选。根据我们的观察,拉杜丽的室内设计绝对是法式风格,大量镀金的成分及镜子只能用华丽来形容。防止对其豪华内饰的破坏,这里是不允许拍照的。在这里喝茶吃饭真的是一次很棒的体验,不管是银具、茶杯、餐具,甚至是餐巾和食物的摆设,我们都十分钟爱。我们的服务员是一个年轻的歌剧演唱家(不幸的是,他不能在客人面前表演。他曾经是可以这么做的,但是由于这会让他忘了自己服务员的本职工作。)对了,不要忘了抬头看看这里的天花板,洗手间装修的宏伟程度也非常值得一去。这里一定需要提前预订座位(一般一两天就可以,但是如果恰逢周末或者旅游旺季要提前预订。),最好预订楼上的位置。拉杜丽楼下还有一个可爱的小店,离开的时候可以买一些包装精美的糕点作为礼物。

         

        Patisserie in Paris

        Patisserie in Paris

        7. 橱窗欣赏糕点

        连我这个糕点都不怎么吃的人都控制不住一直往橱窗里看。我们经过的每一个糕点或巧克力店我都要停下来欣赏橱窗里的糕点,而且这里的店又那么多。所有的糕点看起来都又精致又好吃,有一种非常巴黎的感觉。我的朋友向我保证,他们吃起来和看起来一样好。

         

         

         

         

        La Terrasse, Paris

        La Terrasse, Paris

        8. 当地酒吧

        在巴黎几乎每一个街角都有一个酒吧或者餐馆,而且酒吧里大多都用红色的椅子。我们在这里找到了最爱去的酒吧,在从火车站回公寓的途中我们大多会去坐坐。服务员认出了我们,并把我们安排到常坐的位置,送上我们常点的饮料和小吃。尽管我们总是叫它“红沙发”,这家酒吧实际上叫La Terrasse。这里的服务和氛围都不错,是个放松的好地方,我们一边看着当地人和游客来来往往,一边聊着当天的战利品,十分惬意。

         

        Chateau in Loire

        Chateau in Loire

        9. 卢瓦尔河地区(虽然不在巴黎但却值得一游)

        这是一个遍地是葡萄园、花园和城堡的地方。

        我打算如果下次再去巴黎就要在这里多待些日子,而不是像这次只挤出一天的时间。我们乘火车大概花了三个半小时到达了这里,所以只留下半天可以参观两个城堡(这里其实有很多可看的地方)。城堡非常好看,一路上的田园风光也绝对让人赏心悦目。我可以想象下次来的时候在这里骑个自行车多待上几天,那得有多舒服。(当然了,如果我很有钱的话我甚至可以租一个小城堡来住)。

         

        Jackie Pila at Eiffel Tower

        10. 艾菲尔铁塔(第七区)

        我们是晚上到这里的,但夜色绝对没有给这里的美景打半点折扣。晚上没有人排队,所以整个游览的过程只花了不到一个小时。

         

        一些其它的建议

        虽然没有进入我们推荐的10大目的地,但是位于第20区的拉雪兹神父公墓(Père-Lachaise cemetery)值得一提也推荐一去。这里很大,你会发现很多游客在找寻名人的墓碑,包括吉姆·莫里森(Jim Morrison)和丽塔·海华斯(Rita Hayworth)。

        我发现还有一个鲜为人知的地方非常有韵味,那就是位于第五区的莎士比亚书店(Shakespeare and Company Bookshop)。如果你正在游览巴黎圣母院,这里绝对是个好地方,因为位于第四区的书店就在西岱岛的东半面,跨过桥就是。书店虽小,但却传承下了最初的传统。这里不仅有二手书也有新书,虽然狭小得快连转身的余地都没有了,但从踏进来的那一步我便觉得自己书香气息十足。注意哦,这里的书大多都非常的重!

        一定要在塞纳河上坐游船!在上面你可以看到风景如画的城市风光,也可以有很多拍照的好机会。

        在游览的第一天如果能大概了解这个城市的情况对旅行是非常有帮助的,你可以通过乘坐观光巴士达到这个目的哦。

         

        巴黎旅游小贴士

        *地铁是出行的一个好办法,而且也非常人性化。我们购买了十张单程票。(这比单独买票便宜)。我们到最后才学会把这些票和信用卡分开,不然票的磁性会被消掉的。

        *接下来是一个非常重要的贴士,那就是不要在卢浮宫门口排队进去!我们是在附近地下商场的一个出口先把门票买好的。或者你也可以购买巴黎通票(Paris Pass)或博物馆通票(Museum Pass)。在这种非旅游旺季,我们的方法把排队的时间缩短了一个半小时。

        *千万不要用自拍杆,这非常的不时尚!

        *有可能的话就在淡季去巴黎.在较冷的月份去绝对是值得的,因为这意味着最短的队最少的等待(除了卢浮宫,我们基本没怎么排过队)。这也意味着我们的航班和住宿都相当便宜,可以留下更多的钱来购物!只要确保你有一个非常非常暖和的外套,这绝对是必需品。

        *使用谷歌地图来帮助自己定位,找到目的地(我们觉得当地的纸质地图看起来太困惑了)。

        *事先约定一个后备会合地点,以防在手机没电或失灵的时候走失或走散。我们当时约定的会合地点是博物馆的商店。

        *别忘了带上自己的充电宝,因为使用谷歌地图和拍照很快会把手机的电用完。

        *在巴黎法国长棍随处可见。入乡随俗的你一定要养成这样的思维方式,那就是早上买一根法棍,下午或者晚上再买一根新鲜出炉的。在法国如果你晚上吃着早上买的法棍可是一个大禁忌。

        *穿着要时尚。如果身着运动装,你最好是在跑步或者锻炼。在这个时尚之都,穿着运动装走在大街上是不能够接受的。

        *如果你喜欢逛大型百货公司,就千万别错过位于第九区的老佛爷百货公司。虽然我个人比较喜欢小而独特的精品店,但老佛爷百货公司也是很多人的选择。那里有一个穹顶非常好看,而且你还可以在顶层一览城市的风光(我们错过了这个地方)。老佛爷百货还会时不时的举行时装秀,你可以提前打电话询问下详情。在这里购物可以获得10%的增值税退,但在购物时必须要排队进行一些繁琐的书面工作,到机场的时候还必须出示购买的商品,这样一来一回,有些人就未必还想要这退税了。

        *在巴黎机场的免税店购物也出奇的不错,这里是给朋友买礼物最后的机会。

        *我相信对于大多数人来说这已经不是什么新闻了,但是不管你的旅行社是如何给你打包票的,你还是要确保在航班间预留至少一个半小时的时间。这样能够大大增加你和你随身物品准时到达目的地的概率。

        *如果非常不幸地你的行李没有和你在同一班飞机上,你有权要求赔偿。在我们到达巴黎的时候我们就进行了索赔。

        *还有几家非常可爱的小铺可以去看看,包括玛黑区的Merci(在Beaumarchais大街111号),这是一家酷酷的生活小铺;还有Monoprix (巴黎有三家),这个店非常好玩,有价格适中的家居用品、食品和时尚单品。

        *最重要的是为你的下一次巴黎之旅列一张“必做”清单。
        我为下一次旅行写下的一些想法包括:住在玛黑区;在卢瓦尔和波尔多地区多待上些日子(而不是像这次只能一日游);去蓬皮杜艺术中心(Pompidou Centre)(周二不开);游览凡尔赛宫和卢森堡公园(这次没有时间了)。

        *还有一条建议。当你在飞机上的时候别忘了监督好你的乘务员。特别是当他把热饮递给你邻座的时候,一定要确保他是在你前方递过去的而不是在你的上方,这样就可以防止一不小心一整杯热咖啡洒到你全身和椅子上的意外。

        如果你正计划着去巴黎,那么,祝你一路顺风!

        ******

        Jackie Pila是一名墨尔本的社工和艺术治疗师,同时也是一位热衷于旅游的妈妈。业余时间,她喜欢拳击和巴西柔术。此行给她提供了一个逃离日常生活的机会,也给了她一段美妙的法国之旅。
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        澳大利亚当代艺术中心 – The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA

        ACCA – the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art –  is Australia’s most significant contemporary art space and plays a pivotal role in developing contemporary art in Australia. It is the only major public gallery in Australia focused on commissioning rather than collecting, and has commissioned an unparalleled number of new works from emerging Australian contemporary artists.

        NEW15

        The current NEW15 exhibition is part of the annual NEW series that provides young artists with the opportunity to create large-scale new works. NEW has been so successful that for some artists it has become the launching pad to local and even international recognition. Now in its 15th year, NEW is highly regarded and generates huge excitement in the local art world and annual pilgrimages to ACCA in Melbourne.

         

        Venice Biennale 2015

        In addition to NEW, through its exhibitions and commissions, ACCA promotes a range of talented Australian artists. Some of those who exhibited at ACCA have gone on to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, the world’s most prestigious art event. They include Callum Morton, Daniel von Sturmer, Susan Norrie, Patrician Piccinini, Ricky Swallow, Shaun Gladwell, Simryn Gill and now Fiona Hall. (See image slider above)

        At Venice Biennale 2015, Fiona Hall’s installation, ‘Wrong Way Time’ will be the inaugural exhibition of the new Australian Pavilion.  Australia is the first nation to be granted permission to create a new building among the Biennale’s heritage-listed buildings. This is remarkably significant for Australian art and architecture as it is the first 21st century pavilion to be built in the historic Giardini.

        This new $7.5million pavilion represents another link between ACCA and the Venice Biennale. John Denton, Director of Denton Corker Marshall, the Melbourne based architecture firm that designed the new pavilion, is also Chair of ACCA. The previous Chair of ACCA was Naomi Milgrom AO, businesswoman, philanthropist and distinguished patron of contemporary art and architecture.

        The ACCA Building

        The ACCA building itself has become a distinctive architectural icon of Melbourne.

        It’s rust red steel exterior is reminiscent of the red earth in outback Australia, and like this earth, it too changes colours in response to the sun. Sometimes it is a brooding dark red, at other times a vibrant, rich burnt-orange colour. The building was designed by local architects, Wood Marsh, and completed in 2002. But ACCA’s history as Australia’s only ‘kunsthalle’  showcasing the latest and most significant artwork by living artists from around the world, goes back 30 years.

        The ACCA building is located behind the National Gallery of Victoria in the arts precinct of Southbank, and in a sense was regarded as the  “new kid on the block”. The National Gallery had reigned over art in the state of Victoria for 152 years. But increasingly, ACCA became the place to see the newest and most exciting trends in contemporary art. This was in stark contrast to the NGV which largely turned its back on contemporary Australian art.  It was only last year, with the blockbuster exhibition, ‘Melbourne Now’, that the NGV finally flung open its doors to contemporary artists, many of whom had been welcome for some time at ACCA.

        ACCA’s renowned Artistic Director and curator Juliana Engberg who has commissioned and overseen more than 120 of ACCA’s Australian and international exhibitions, is now leaving to join the roaming European Capital of Culture series.

        ACCA Events

        In addition to its exhibitions, ACCA also holds very popular events. There are drawing workshops, educational programs and lectures. Currently, there is a highly acclaimed lecture series called ‘The Grand Tour: Cities Shaped by Art’  that covers London, Venice, Berlin, Beijing and Amsterdam.

        The ACCA courtyard is shared with the Malthouse Theatre and is a very attractive place to enjoy a coffee after viewing the exhibitions.

         

         

         

         

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        莫宁顿半岛之雅碧湖葡萄园 – Yabby Lake Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula

        Yabby Lake Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula

        Rows of vines, draped in white netting, spread down the hill and across the valley. The sea shines in the distance. You sit on the deck overlooking the vineyard and enjoy an excellent meal. The wine you are drinking is produced from the vines below you, and it is some of the best wine in Australia. Suddenly six kangaroos come leaping past and hop between the vines down to the lake – Yabby Lake. ( Yabbies are small, freshwater crayfish)

        The Trophies 

        Yabby Lake Vineyard sprang into public prominence when it made history by winning the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Red Wine of the 2011 and 2012 vintages. It was the first time in its 52 year history that the Jimmy Watson Trophy was awarded to a Pinot Noir –  a Yabby Lake Block 1 Pinot Noir 2012.

        This remarkable achievement was followed by accolades and awards for the Block 2 Pinot Noir 2013, which to date has already collected 11 trophies.

        The Founders

        And yet the vineyard is only 17 years old. When Robert and Mem Kirby bought the land in Tuerong on the Mornington Peninsula, they were not winemakers, but wine collectors who always dreamed of planting a vineyard. The land had the perfect conditions for growing high quality chardonnay and pinot noir – ‘hungry soil’ and a north-facing slope capturing both maximum sunshine and cooling sea breezes from 3 directions – Port Philip Bay, Western Port Bay and Bass Strait. It is this maritime climate that has turned the Mornington Peninsula into such a successful wine growing region.

         

         

        The Viticulturist

        A viticulturist with 27 years of experience, Keith Harris has been at Yabby Lake right from the beginning, carrying out research, soil surveys and preparation to ensure that the right variety of vine clone was matched to the type of soil. Then season after season, he hand-nurtures each vine.  When asked how Yabby Lake managed to achieve distinction for its pinot noir in such a short period of time, he replied,  “ It’s rigour. To grow good pinot noir you need rigour. Rigour in the vineyard, rigour in the winery, and rigour with the bank manager. We’ve had all three. It’s a very expensive way of growing grapes.”

        The Winemaker

        Tom Carson, joined Yabby Lake as General Manager and Chief Winemaker in 2008. Prior to that he was at Yering Station for 12 years during which time the winery won international acclaim including ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2004 International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.

        He believes that  “ wine is not a competition game. It’s a respect game. It’s respecting wines, where they come from and why they taste the way they do. We don’t think that we are making wines that are better than any other particular producer or place in the world. What we can say is that we are making wines from our site and we have a site that is capable of producing exceptionally good quality.”

        The Cellar Door and Restaurant

        The Cellar Door and Restaurant opened only 2 years ago but is already recognised for its quality wine and food. Acclaimed chef Heston Blumenthal brought his family for lunch and Melbourne fine dining restaurant Vue de Monde held a food and wine tasting there recently.

        Chef Simon West uses local suppliers extensively and the menu, which changes daily, offers casual, but refined, sophisticated food. The paintings and the sculptures combine with the natural beauty of the place to make it a lovely way to spend an afternoon in a vineyard.

        It’s only a 50-minute drive from Melbourne on the M11 but the contrast with the bustling traffic is immediate. The gates of Yabby Lake open onto a silent, peaceful vista of rolling hills covered in vines – vines protected by nets in this season. The drive to the winery and restaurant is through a long avenue of tall eucalyptus trees, which give a distinctly Australian aspect to the rows of vines on either side of the road. These tall trees look as if they have been here forever, but they were planted by Mem Kirby as small saplings.

        Kangaroos Between the Vines

        If you are lucky, you might spot a kangaroo between the vines. Kangaroos are not usually associated in our minds with vineyards, but  apparently wine and kangaroos cohabit very comfortably. They don’t often eat the grapes as they prefer the grass that grows between the vines.

        The Winery

        The significant new addition to Yabby Lake this year is the opening of the winery which was constructed not far from the Cellar Door.  Now tractors are able to deliver the freshly hand-picked grapes a short distance directly from the vineyard into the winery, rather than being pressed at a distant site.

        WomanGoingPlaces was the first to film the pressing of the grapes in this new winery. The grapes are dropped into a huge, highly sophisticated de-stemmer that removes the stems from the grapes by gravity. The grapes are never pumped or handled in a way that can damage them. New technology for an ancient craft.

        Australia does not have the benefit of centuries of winemaking, but we are not as new to it as you might think. In fact, when the first British ships were transporting convicts to this land, they also transported grape vines. The first pinot that we know of in Australia, is called MV6  (Mother Vine). It was brought  out in 1840 and was thought to originate in France. The grapes that are grown today in Yabby Lake are clones of this original Mother Vine.

        The Wines

        Yabby Lake Vineyard produces single vineyard wines under the Yabby Lake label and from an additional site under the Heathcote Estate label.

        Yabby Lake’s range of wines includes pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris, shiraz and sauvignon blanc. Their wines are exported to major wine markets overseas including to their 5 cellar doors in China.

        The vineyard evokes an Australian childhood idyll – the  summer pastime of searching for yabbies in dams, creeks and lakes – for which it was named. The idyll is still present in the wide bucolic sweep of the place. But the Yabby Lake Vineyard, first under Robert and Mem Kirby and now in the hands of the second generation, Nina and Clark, has developed into an enterprise that is making its mark on Australian wine-making.

         

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        Photographs & Video – Rosalie Zycher & Augustine Zycher

        Music – Albare  CD  ‘The Road Ahead’  ‘Expectations’ track www.albare.info

         

         

         

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        澳大利亚的标志—— 墨尔本布莱顿海滩之彩色盒子房

         

        媛梦之旅继上篇 Iconic Bathing Boxes of the Mornington Peninsula 澳大利亚维多利亚州莫宁顿半岛地 收到热烈反响后,现就彩色盒子房发表另一篇文章。与上次不一样的是,这次的彩色小屋位于可以眺望城市商业中心的墨尔本近郊,他们就是布莱顿海滩(Brighton Beach)上的90个彩色小屋。

        小屋的价格?

        不算水电,如果你要买这个比舢板棚还要小的空木盒需要花多少钱呢?

        好吧,那就让我们用2014年底拍卖的数字告诉你。位于布莱顿海滩边丹迪路(Dendy St.)上的彩色盒子房在去年年底进行了两次拍卖。其中第57A号小屋以二十一万五千澳元的高价售出,每平方的价格达到了四万四千七百九十一澳元。几分钟后,沙滩上的另一处有着一百多年历史的67号小屋也被炒到了十九万澳元。

        彩色盒子房为什么这么值钱呢?又为什么会有这么多人对它们如此热衷?

        独一无二

        这些小屋最显著的特点就是他们引人遐想、色彩艳丽的外观。布莱顿海滩上的90个盒子房形成了一道独特的色彩弧,沿着沙滩一直和墨尔本的天际线相接。这绝对是一道美景。每一个彩色小屋都有其独特的个性、外形以及喷绘色彩。没有两间是相同的。

        接下来可以讲讲它们的历史。布莱顿海滩和莫宁顿半岛(Mornington Peninsula)上的1300个彩色盒子房可以追溯到19世纪80年代,当初为了让女士们可以更得体方便的在沙滩上更换泳衣才建造了这些小屋子。

        Bathing Box Licence 1936布莱顿历史协会(Brighton Historical Society)有记录显示,在布莱顿原来有更多的彩色盒子房,但是由于恶劣的天气,它们有的被海水冲走了有的则被损坏了。该协会还保留了一份1936年的许可拥有盒子房的证明。

        家庭财富

        那些有幸在上世纪就拥有彩色小屋的人们往往把它们视为家庭的财富。它们已经远远不是一个存储像是毛巾、遮阳棚、躺椅、独木舟和冲浪板等海滩用具的地方了。它们是珍藏家庭暑假记忆的地方,比如第一次带孩子从沙滩走进海里、一起游泳、玩板球;在彩色小屋旁伴着日出日落吃饭喝酒。这种在海边的家庭休闲娱乐已经成为了一种习惯,代代相传。就像上文中提到的有着100多年历史的第67号彩色小屋,它曾经陪伴着同一个家庭走过了50年。

        投资选择

        彩色盒子房的存在还有另一个不得不提的原因,那就是它们还是非常好的投资选择。

        如果你在30年前购买一间盒子房,你只需花费一万两千澳元。假如你等到20世纪90年代初购买一间,你将花费六万澳元。但再过十年后,你可以以二十一万四千澳元的价格转手。记录显示,丹迪街上的一间盒子房在2011年以二十六万澳元的价格售出。

        正是由于认识到其价值,海湾委员(Bayside Council)会批准在丹迪街海滩旁再建10座小房子,这为其小金库增加了160万澳元的收入。但是沿莫宁顿半岛的多数委员会有严格的规章制度来阻止新建盒子房。

        管理彩色盒子房的规章制度可以追溯到几十年前,并且由小房子所在的每个地区的盒子房协会(Bathing Box Associations)所监管。在布莱顿地区,还附有这样一条使用说明-只有海湾地区的纳税人才有资格拥有盒子房。执照持有者不得出租或转包其小屋。另外,执照持有者也不能住在小屋内或将小屋用作住宿场所。对于如何装饰小屋还有更加严格的要求。

        因此,当看到一个盒子房展示出这样的画面时,我们的吃惊程度可想而知。富士山下,蓝色巨浪拍打在日本的海岸上,而不是澳大利亚的某一片海滩上。第66号彩色盒子房的设计源于一幅非常有名的日本版画《神奈川冲浪里》(Under the Wave off Kanagawa)。这幅由葛饰北斋(Katsushika Hokusai)创作的作品是世界上最有辨识度的日本艺术品之一.

        创造回忆

        对于那些并不拥有彩色小屋的人来说,他们仍然希望小屋能成为家庭美好回忆的一部分。所以,每年都有成百上千穿着婚纱的新娘们步履艰辛地在沙滩小屋旁拍照,和她们一起的当然还有她们的新郎、伴娘和伴郎们。当然了,除了这些人,每年还有成千上万的游客和参观者来到这里拍照,其中还有中国著名的网球选手李娜。

        盒子房的奇特魅力使得人们一眼就能认出来,这也让它们成为了澳大利亚的标志之一。

        Li Na just after winning the Australian Open Trophy as Women's Singles Champion 2014

        Li Na just after winning the Australian Open Trophy as Women’s Singles Champion 2014

        ****

        摄像 —— David Zycher

        视频编辑——Augustine Zycher

        如想单独浏览每一页照片,请登陆我们网站 Gallery 一栏。

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        欧林达杜鹃花花园

         

        在如此美好的春天该怎样度过愉快的一天呢?开车前往墨尔本近郊的欧林达(Olinda)小镇,看看那里的杜鹃花花园(Rhododendron Gardens)将是一个不错的选择。

        占地600亩的山坡上盛开着15000片杜鹃花丛。放眼望去,不管哪个方向的风景都美不胜收。山间小径时而上时而下,引领你走进五彩斑斓的鲜花海洋,深粉、浅粉、珍珠白、深紫、火焰橙、奶黄色,每一片花丛都开满了美不可言的鲜花。渐变的颜色、纷繁的品种、沁人心脾的香味,这一切都让你眼花缭乱。

        这里还有很多其它品种的植物,像是娇艳欲滴、含苞待放的樱桃树,一排排色彩鲜艳的映山红、山茶花、木兰花和水仙花,它们的存在和杜鹃花相得益彰。大量的植被、阴凉的树荫以及翠绿欲滴的草坪,一切的一切都让这里成为散步、野餐和休息的理想去处。

        从墨尔本开车只需一个小时就能到达杜鹃花花园。当你沿着丹德农山脉(Dandenong Ranges)蜿蜒的山路驶向阴凉的大山深处时,你就会被高耸的桉树和葱郁的蕨类植物包围。这些澳大利亚本土的植物为移植和保护那些珍稀杜鹃花品种起到了天然屏障作用。

        由于杜鹃花最早来自冰天雪地的喜马拉雅地区,澳大利亚炎热的气候似乎是最不适宜种植这些花的了。早在1701年就有记录表明一名英国人前往中国的大山深处搜集杜鹃花并把600种干花品种送回了英国。

        在彼得·马西森(Peter Matthiessen)的著作《雪豹》(The Snow Leopard)中,他在前往喜马拉雅山的途中曾写到杜鹃花,当时他所处的地方海拔为3810米。因为反射冰川光线的缘故,“杜鹃花叶子在悬崖绝壁上显得光彩熠熠”。彼得对这一点大为惊叹。

        1960年,澳大利亚杜鹃花协会(Australian Rhododendron Society)的成员说服了当时维多利亚州州长亨利·博尔特(Henry Bolte),促其拨地600亩用来建设杜鹃花花园。该协会成员自愿负担起亲手清理土地和种植杜鹃花这些艰巨的任务。在那漫长且炎热的夏日里,来自妇女协助组织(Women’s Auxiliary)的志愿者们则会提着沉重的水桶走遍整个山脉,为得就是拯救新种的杜鹃花。

        根据一项研究,1157种杜鹃花中的384个品种(三分之一的种类)都面临着生存威胁。不管是森林减少、气候变化还是人口增长都对杜鹃花的生存产生着负面的影响。

        杜鹃花公园现在由维多利亚公园协会(Parks Victoria)管理,但同时ARS也积极地参与管理工作。他们在十月组织了一场大会,会上云集了国际专家、澳大利亚和海外的业内工作者、公园管理人士,共同讨论在这个日益变化的世界里,人们在保护杜鹃花工作方面所面临的挑战。他们也为一个刚刚修缮完毕的暖房(越橘杜鹃花房)举行了一场启用仪式,该花房是用来保护脆弱的越橘杜鹃花的。

        入园是免费的。即使不在鲜花盛开的时节,这里也不失为一个游玩的好地方。

        没有准备野餐的你也完全不用担心,在游览花园结束以后你可以前往欧林达(Olinda)和萨瑟弗拉斯(Sassafras)小镇,那里有很多咖啡店和餐厅可以用餐。

         

        如果您想浏览更多相关的照片,请点击访问我们网页 Gallery

        更多关于开放时间、旅游指南的内容,请访问维多利亚公园管理处,网址 parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/national-rhododendron-garden

        摄像师:D.Zycher

        视频编辑:Augustine Zycher

        音乐:巴赫《C大调前奏曲》

         

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