Japanese people are overjoyed that Tokyo is going to get the Olympic Games in 2020. This reminds me of the announcement in 1993. We stayed up all night and then we heard that the Games for 2000 were going to be in “Syddeney”. What immense joy! We celebrated by going to a joyful parade in Sydney. Our granddaughter Natasha turned two at this time of the year. Our daughter Monika was happy to let us take little Tashi along on the train to Sydney to watch the parade. Our daughter Caroline came along too with us. This week Natasha is going to be 22! Last year she had a big party for her 21st birthday.
It was windy and cold today, however plenty of sunshine and beautiful clear air. We thought it would be wonderful to go up to the highlands on a day like today. To drive up Macquarie Pass was no problem. Here is what it says about this pass in the Wikipedia:
“Macquarie Pass is an eight-kilometre-long section of the Illawarra Highway passing through Macquarie Pass National Park. It was opened in 1898.
Macquarie Pass links the Southern Highland town of Robertson to the coastal town of Albion Park, descending the Illawarra Escarpment via a very narrow bitumen roadway, which has several single-lane sections and is mostly two lanes with double “no overtaking” lines. It is in the Shellharbour local government area.
This section of roadway is very steep, and contains a large number of hairpin bends, resulting in buses and trucks needing to reverse on some of the bends. The pass is quite notorious for accidents due to its nature, and drivers and riders are required to be cautious.
After heavy rain, the Macquarie Pass can be closed due to flooding on the top half of the pass. Cars and motorcycle riders may opt to use Jamberoo Mountain Road between Robertson and Jamberoo, while trucks are advised to use Mount Ousley Road (Southern Freeway) and Picton Road as an alternative.
The road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. The Shellharbour and Wingecarribee Councils and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority have therefore published a safety brochure entitled ‘Motorcycling Macquarie Pass.'”
We reached Robertson and decided we would first of all have an early lunch with one of the famous Robertson pies and a cup of tea. The pies were delicious as ever. We have frequented this PIE SHOP in Robertson for over fifty years. The pies there are really special. Peter had a pepper steak pie and I had a beef curry pie. A hot cup of tea with it was lovely.
In the Wikipedia it says that the road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. And so it is. At the pie shop for instance scores of motorcyclists had just arrived for a well deserved break. The eating section of the shop got pretty crowded after a while for lots of other holiday makers with children on winter school holidays had also arrived. The shop did a roaring business with their pies.
Near the railway line and near what used to be Robertson station is the little bit of rainforest which we had not been visiting for decades. Today was the day. We got ourselves reacquainted with it. There is a round-track of only about 600 m. We walked along it and felt like being in another world.
Earlier in the morning on the way to Macquarie Pass we stopped at the Marshall Mount Dance Hall. Our daughter Monika liked to go to their dances nearly forty years ago. Looking at the hall today Peter recalled how he drove to this hall on a Saturday night to pick up Monika and her friends after the dance had finished. We noticed today also a building next to this hall which used to be the Marshall Mount Public School.
We did a little detour through the country side where we noticed some ducks crossing the road. All in all we had a lovely day on this beautiful sunny winter day with gusts of wind that felt very cold.
This is a copy of one of my earlier blogs!
“I found an interesting contribution about the German city of Leipzig.
As a ten and eleven year old in 1945/46 I did get to know a bit about this city. Sure, when we first moved there to stay at grandmother’s place, the war hadn’t finished yet and we experienced quite a few bomb raids.
As I told in another blog, one bomb raid in April 1945 turned out to be disastrous for us. This was probably the very last bomb raid that Leipzig had to endure, because soon after the American troops together with some Canadians occupied the city. When the Canadians moved through neighbouring streets to lay out some cables, we kids were watching them. We were impressed by their appearance. They were all very young looking, tall and lean in immaculate uniforms. We welcomed the foreign troops.Them being with us meant, we wouldn’t be bombed any more. From now on we could sleep in peace!
We were a family of six. Having lost our home in the bomb raid, we applied for accommodation for our family. We were given a flat in an area where the buildings weren’t damaged at all. We were assigned an apartment that had three rooms plus kitchen and bathroom. Had grandmother been just with Renate she would not have been able to get an apartment of this size. Only families of five or more were assigned accommodation with that many rooms! So we were lucky again. Grandmother stayed in this apartment in Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse for many more years. She died in 1957.
About Leipzig I remember the ‘Ratskeller’, where we had a few times a lovely meal. I always thought it was something special to eat out somewhere. But I loved Grandma’s cooking too. Like magic she always produced excellent meals even when there was not much food available. She was a great one for improvising. And never ever was any bit of food thrown out. She always pointed out to us, to throw away good food, was a sin. This kind of thinking still sticks with me today!
I also remember the Thomaner Church in Leipzig and the Thomaner Choir. I believe the journalist who wrote the blog about present day Leipzig is from England and lives in Berlin now. He went for a visit to Leipzig and ended up loving this city. If ever I have a chance to visit Germany again, I plan on paying Leipzig a visit together with Peter, my husband, and Peter, my brother. If you are interested in finding out more about Leipzig, please look up the above link.”
Last year during our visit to Germany we did not forget that we had wanted to visit the city of Leipzig. We actually went there for a day visit. We had in our minds to search for the grave of my paternal grandfather who had died in 1947. After a lot of searching we were able to locate his grave site. We made some pictures which I published in a blog. Leipzig seems to be a thriving city these days. We would have liked to stay there a bit longer. But we had to go back to Berlin the same day. The Main Leipzig Railway Station (Hauptbahnhof) has been very modernised. A huge modern shopping center is located within its premises.
Famous sculpture at the Yarra River in Melbourne.
Peter, granddaughter Lauren and I had been waiting at Flinders Street Station for granddaughter Justine who was going to meet us there after work. It was a happy meeting after not having seen each other for sooo long!
After dinner we strolled to a Gelato shop that was still open. We each had a little tub of this delicious gelato and sat down at a large table with a terrific view of the Yarra.
This was a lovely night out with the granddaughters. Justine caught the train back home from Flinders Street Station. Peter and I went with Lauren by train back to Essendon where our son Martin was waiting with the car to take us home.
We had a twelve hour day yesterday: Leaving our home a bit before seven in the morning and returning a bit before seven at night. We actually caught the 7,15 train from Dapto, changed trains at Refern (one stop before Central). From Redfern we caught the Western Line train to Newtown. In Newtown is one of our favourite cinemas. Since we’ve been there last time the complex was enlarged. They have now ten cinemas within the building!
Arriving at Newtown Station, Peter straight away took a whole lot of pictures along the way to the DENDY Cinema. Onece at the DENDY we noticed the milkbar had already opened. So we took seats to have a cup of flat white. We also ordered some delicious fruit salad, which we shared.
The movie was a German movie called ‘Barbara’. It was in German with English subtitles. Only a handful of people watched it with us. We thought this movie was very well made. The main actors were really, really good. They were both medical doctors working in a hospital in the northern parts of Germany at the time of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). They had a very miserable life. Under what conditions people had to work in the GDR. is very truthfully and realistically brought to life in this movie. Peter said, he can’t understand how people can feel nostalgic about a place like this! Maybe a lot of people tend to remember the things that have been good in the GDR and choose to forget the constant harassing. This is why they don’t care to think about it how in those days they could very easily be deprived of their freedom, meaning you could end up in jail or be taken in for questioning again and again. You were not able to trust anyone, for everyone could be a spy who wanted to dob you in for offences against the state of the workers.
On the way back to the station we talked a lot about the movie we had just seen. We decided we’d go by train back to Redfern and from there catch a fast train to Parramatta. At Parramatta Station we had a quick lunch. We then took the free bus as far as the Ferry Station at Parramatta river. However we didn’t venture down to the wharf but went to the foot-bridge instead which lead us to the other side of the river.
According to the map which Peter had printed out, it would be only a short walk to where the Aged Care Facility was once we had crossed the river. It turned out to be another twenty minutes for me in the heat of the early afternoon. In the end I got quite stressed and hot. However we found the place we were looking for, no worries. It turned out to be a huge place with a lot of wards, similar to a hospital. David was in a two-bed room. His room-mate was outside somewhere. But David lay in bed. Apparently he lies in bed most of the time. He smokes only two cigs a day. A nurse takes him outside in a wheelchair for this.
David was quite happy to see us. A few of his things which we had found amongst all of Gaby’s stuff, we handed over to David. He kept everything in his room to look at it later. We told David we’d see him again around the time of this birthday. He said he was looking forward to see his brother Anthony and sister Ann soon.
On the way back to the station we noticed a crowd in front of a huge building. We don’t know whether it was a demonstration or a fire-drill.
We could have gone down to the wharf to catch a ferry to the city and go from there back home by train. But it was getting a bit too late for this. So we just caught the free bus back to Parramatta Station and went home from there. We did the ferry trip quite a few times over the years. It’s lovely to travel to the city all the way on the water. Sure we’d like to do this again some other time. I’m sure there’s going to be another time.
David’s brother let Peter know that David is in hospital. We went to see him there two weeks ago on Sunday. We traveled by train to Westmead station. From there we walked to Westmead Hospital. We found David in good spirits. He looked much healthier than we had seen him before. We talked for about an hour. He called us ‘Papa’ and ‘Mama’. He showed us his leg where it had been amputated. He said he was going to get physio so he would be able to walk better. In a few weeks he was to go back home.
In the meantime the brother sent another message that David was to be sent to a nursing home. So the villa where Gaby and David had lived for the past twenty-three years had to be vacated. We were asked would we perhaps want anything out of the villa that had belonged to Gaby? We said, we would go up to the place on a day when David’s family was to be there too.
We didn’t take any photos inside the hospital. But David was in a pleasant ward, I think it was on the seventh floor. He had a room all to himself! He was listening to his radio which a neighbor had brought in for him. He had just had his lunch and someone came in to pick up his lunch-tray. He said he didn’t smoke any more and this was going to save him a lot of money. We were very happy David felt so much better after having had good medical care in hospital for several weeks.