Christmas Vacation - Installment 3

** Just a quick FYI for those interested - I wrote this entry 2 days ago; but I didn't have the photos organised for it and plus, it's the weekend, and I was busy relaxing!  - sorry it's so late in coming! **

After our late night of wild and crazy domino playing - we opted for the later breakfast time the next morning.  There were more choices on the menu that day, including some delicious little potato cakes and a few more egg options.  I have to say, both mornings, the breakfasts were very good - nothing super fancy; but really tasty and nicely presented - Barry cooked the breakfast and Rod served the table.  I got fried eggs the second morning and they were some of the best eggs I've had in a while... not sure how he cooked them l but they were crispy on the bottom and soft on top!   Plus there was freshly brewed coffee - flat whites, cappuccinos etc...  After breakfast we packed up and got everything ready to go - we still had about 20 minutes till check-out.  P.I.C was enjoying the paper in the conservatory and I was jotting down some thoughts on my laptop in the dining room when Barry and Rod descended again.  They basically asked us to get our stuff out of the rooms so they could go in and make them up for the next guests - I get it, they have every right to expect us to leave before the final check out time; but in this case we had a bit of time where we were just collecting ourselves for the next leg of the trip.  We felt rushed out and we ended up pulling out of the parking lot still about 10 minutes prior to check-out.  It left a bit of a bad taste in our mouths about the stay.

All in all, Barnsley House was a beautiful beautiful place to stay.  The gardens were overwhelming inviting (see pictures above) - the whole place had this pervasive air of restfulness about it.  I thought that the rates were a good value as well - prices were comparable to some of the nicer B&B's we've stayed at in the States.  I do feel like Rod and Barry's attitudes effected our stay a bit; but, I do feel that if we had stayed at any other time than Christmas (and more than one day), than our experience would have been much more positive.  Also, the fact that it was rainy on Christmas and we couldn't enjoy the outdoor areas was really unfortunate.

We drove back up into town to find it absolutely bustling with activity.  We headed to the visitor information center so P.I.C could ask about the best way to get to Thredbo.  Beechworth is famous in it's own right for being the town where Ned Kelly was jailed and stood trial.  If you have a couple minutes, you should click on the link and read about him.  It's a very interesting story and still very important in Australian culture today.

On our way over the the courthouse, we stopped inside an old telegraph office.  The office is still functional and for a very small fee you could send a telegraph message to anywhere in the world!  Joe promptly wrote one out to his Dad back in Kentucky.  We are still waiting for the call to tell us that he received it - We are figuring that it is probably going to take sometime for it to actually get there as it will need to be mailed once it gets to the States. The guy working the telegraph was an absolute wealth of knowledge and was able to tell us some of the history behind the telegraph in Australia.

Our next stop was the courthouse - we paid our admission fee and as we prepared to head inside, P.I.C happened to make some remark to the man behind the desk about his major (and I do mean major - P.I.C is obsessed) interest in Ned Kelly.  The man quickly engaged in conversation and we ended up getting a bonus lesson in how the class systems were set up back in Ned Kelly's day.  It was interesting to hear from a local about it and also someone who was so obviously well-versed in the history.  It really added an additional layer to our experience as we went through the courthouse.  One of my favourite parts was that they had recorded "readings" of certain trials playing in the main room.  The result of that was that, if no one else was in the room, you could sit and imagine what it must of been like actually hearing these trials go on.

It was an interesting visit; but the day was hot and we were very tired so when P.I.C suggested going to another museum, we all deserted him.  Joe and I opted for a carriage ride (made even more awesome by the fact that the carriage owner had his two dogs - one adult and one a tiny puppy (but both the most well-behaved doggies ever) tethered to a post by the street where we were able to pet them to our hearts content)) and then the three of us retired to the pub for a cold beer while P.I.C geeked it out in the other museum.

We met back up at one and headed out towards Thredbo.  We briefly discussed having lunch in Beechworth; but we were all still full from breakfast so we decided that we would just find a cafe or winery on the way and stop there.  I have no idea of the route that we took or the route that we were supposed to take - we were listening to podcasts and enjoying the scenery in the backseat while Cristin and P.I.C were in charge of maps and other such navigational tools.  The woman in the visitor's center gave us directions to some scenic highway  that was so new that it was not yet on the printed maps or on any GPS systems.  I don't exactly know if we ever found that highway; but we did find some pretty great scenery - this is the sort of view that makes you stop, sit by the side of the road and wonder at how anything can be this beautiful.

Even though the road was beautiful, it was in the middle of nowhere with no lunch prospects.  We finally passed a little pub around 4 - the kitchen was closed so no luck there; but I was getting sick from being so hungry so I made myself a quick half sandwich while we were stopped in the parking lot.  I ate way too fast and I made the sandwich with hot (really really hot) salami by accident so, by the time we came across a proper town, I was feeling pretty vomitous...  Everyone else was really hungry though so we stopped for a look.  I had noticed a "Man From Snowy River" Museum on our way into town; but it was boarded up and in disrepair so I didn't want to go back and get a picture of it.  Luckily this arcade was right in front of where we  parked so I was able to get some sort of picture to show my sisters.

While everyone else walked up and down main street looking for food, I sat on a bench, felt sick to my stomach and generally had a couple of miserable minutes where I wished for all, each and any of my sisters to be sharing in this Snowy Mountain experience with me.  We met back up at the car in a matter of minute - everyone felt the food choices to be dodgy so we decided to just press forward towards Thredbo and figure out food when arrived.  I discovered that having the window down made my tummy issues disappear, the air started getting much much colder as we climbed and the view started looking quite mountainous!  It was exciting to feel the altitude and temperature change so quickly as we continued.

                                          ........... Ok, Thredbo update tomorrow...........

5 Responses
  1. Bindie Says:


    Those three pics before the Snowy River Arcade are very much how it looks around Canberra... made me fall in love with this place.

    Can't wait to hear about Thredbo!!

  2. Mimi and Joe Says:

    Yeah, we stopped for lunch in Canberra on the way back up - the whole area was just gorgeous - I love how open the countryside looks!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Evil Minion 28 checking in...

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The courthouse experience with the trials playing sounds interesting, and I'm not even a history buff!

    Beautiful pictures, as always!


  5. Bindie Says:

    Gah! Where? Is? Installment? FOUR?

    You're killing me here. I'd love to see pic of Thredbo!

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