A new journey begins…

Posts tagged ‘MElbourne’

Bendigo..a quaint Victorian city!

The Journey

It was the Easter weekend and my friends and I had decided the weekend away to Bendigo which is around the centre of the state of Victoria and approx.150km north west of Melbourne, Australia. The best way to travel together was to go in the V/Line train which departs from the Southern Cross station at regular intervals and reaches Bendigo in approximately 2hrs.

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After having a delightful train ride with picturesque view on both sides, we reached Bendigo. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining bright. We walked our way to our accommodation at the Old Crown hotel which was around 10mins walk from the V/Line train station. The city was well organised with small unique shops and cafes. There was zebra-crossings at every place for ease of the pedestrians and the people around seemed warm and friendly. We placed our bags in our hotel and then headed off to explore the scenic city.

Central Deborah Gold Mine – a thrilling experience!

We had pre-booked our tickets at the Central Deborah Gold mine which boasts of Bendigo’s golden heritage and was a “must-visit” in our list! An old gentleman greeted us at the gold mine and guided us towards the mine tour guide Natt. Natt welcomed us with a big smile which spoke heaps of how passionate he was of his job and presented the safety instructions in his soft yet firm voice. We went down the gold mine in an antediluvian lift where we were equipped with safety gears like helmets with lights on them. It was all very fascinating to us and we could already feel the thrill of the underground mine trip. The temperature was quite less underneath and the pathways were wet and sometimes a bit muddy. Natt took us through trails inside the mine and stopped at designated stops and shared us the history of the place and also made us aware of the life of a miner, the equipment they used and the hardships they faced operating in mines!

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We were both fascinated by the facts and sad envisaging the challenging life of a miner. The trip ended in around an hour and we came out in the bright sunlight with a bagful of memories and cognizance. We also visited the Gold Mine museum, attended the gold-digging workshop and had some fun finding precious gold and gemstones!

The Vintage “talking” Trams – time travel to History!

After the Gold mine tour, we grabbed some food near the Pall Mall and decided to do the Vintage tram tour! We could see frequent trams plying in the city and jumped onto one of them. An old tram conductor approached us and gave us the tickets. He also obliged us by posing with us in one of the photographs inside the tram, for our memory! He was such a kind, wonderful gentleman. He told us that he is a volunteer and that two-third of the members of the Bendigo tramways are volunteers. When we asked why he was volunteering for this fascinating profession, he said he is trying to conserve the endangered species called ‘tram-conductors’!

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The tram took us to multiple stops including the Bendigo Tram Depot, Central Deborah Gold mine, Lake Weeroona and Joss House Temple. There were two or three different trams which were painted artistically and looked distinctive.

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Bendigo City – quaint and contemporary!

We visited the major sightseeing spots at Bendigo in the Tram and we got down from the tram near the Pall Mall. The city was full of vibrant colours of autumn, busy cafes & restaurants and happy faces. Some astounding vintage cars zoomed across the city and made us awestruck! There was also a Vintage car exhibition and Easter carnival which attracted tourists from far and near considering it was the Easter weekend.

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Another remarkable spot in Bendigo city is the famous Shamrock Hotel which is known for its historic and architectural significance. The hotel was built in 1854 as the Exchange Hotel and then rebuild and rebranded several times. The hotel was the accommodation of choice of visiting dignitaries in Bendigo during the gold rush time! The hotel not only boasts of the history of Bendigo but also is one of the best accommodations in the heart of the city and a suitable eatery.

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The Bendigo Information Center is also worth a visit with the friendly staff, an exquisite collection of souvenirs and heaps of information on Bendigo and the places to visit.

The experience

In short, the overall experience in Bendigo was very peaceful and relaxing. The city has its own history & culture, some nice eatery, beautiful scenic views and warm & friendly people. Would highly recommend if you want to experience the small-town-life of Victoria and the one of the best weekend gateway from Melbourne. Easy to access and nice to visit. Leaves a smile on your face all day and you return feeling fresh and rejuvenated! See you again Bendigo and thanks for your hospitality!

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My friend at the Cafe!

I have a friend at the coffee shop. I don’t know her name but she knows mine. She also knows what coffee I usually order. Every morning, one of the motivations I have, to come to office, is my coffee and a small chat with my friend. We talk about everything, about the weather, the food, my evenings, her evenings, about flowers and life in general.

She is a beautiful young lady with a warm smile. She talks to everyone very nicely; everyone likes her I believe. She has very beautiful eyes. Just the other day, my hands were very cold and I was freezing in the Melbourne winter. When she met me for taking my order, she was feeling bad for me and said I should buy gloves. Later, when I was going out for lunch, she offered me to wear her gloves, in case I am too cold. I felt really gratified with her gesture.

We don’t know each other well, neither we spend so much time together, but the small gestures of love make my day warm. Such are the effects of ‘being human’.

Today when I went to grab my afternoon coffee, the café was quite empty. My friend came over and offered me a cookie from her own share. I gladly accepted. Then she said today is her last day in this café! I felt a gush of sadness crept inside me. I didn’t know what to say! I looked at her and she smiled and said, “You’ll make new friends”. She said she is travelling to Northern Australia and after she comes back, she would join some other café, somewhere else. She also shared her gratitude towards me and said how nice its been talking to me all these last five months in this café.

I finished my coffee and walked up to her to say the final good bye. She gave me a hug and said, take care. I started walking back to my work and didn’t turn back.

They say, “Goodbyes are never forever”. I wonder why I felt bad when she said she is leaving, why I never asked her, her name. This is life! We make friends and then bid them farewell and then make new friends again in the journey of life. Sometimes you suddenly don’t see that same face you see everyday and search for it, faces change, everyday. Sometimes you can’t even say good bye to everyone you love. That’s the truth.

Just be nice to everyone you meet, say hi and ask how are they doing. Life is too short to have grudges. I will miss my friend at the coffee shop tomorrow, but who knows, maybe I will see another warm face saying, “What coffee would you like”? 🙂

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