Today we drove 15 minutes away to the township of Maldon and felt we were in a time warp back to 1853.
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the hotel chatting with the owner and while I was waiting for the bread to toast, I perused the shelves and found the perfect book for Andrew!
After breakfast, we headed into Maldon first stopping off at Mount Taragower, a lookout point for the region. It was so windy up on that tower that at times I was scared it would blow us right off there. However, we have done the Zugspitz so I guess we can handle it. 🤣
From there I parked the car near the information centre which has toilets. (Let’s face it, we are near an age where we must know where the public loos are at all times) and afterwards, got out our map of Maldon and followed its suggested walk of its historical sites reading the guide as we went along.
A stop at the Mechanics Institute which is their local library had us chatting with the staff there who amusingly told us to move to Maldon so we can bring the average age down a bit as the population is ageing. The township is a time warp. It’s Australia’s first notable town that the National Trust classified in 1966.
It must have been something for the Europeans to discover gold in the land and rivers in the 1850s that brought people from all over the world. I felt sorry for the indigenous population who were displaced in the process. However each town, whether it was Maldon or Castlemaine, you could be assured of three types of buildings: churches (all kinds from Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Salvation Army, Wesleyan), pubs and banks. There were also prison lock up cells, schools and telegraph offices.
So you found your gold, you banked your gold, you spent your gold on grog and sin; you repented at church. And so it went on.
Maldon wasn’t big on the gold findings as it was quartz. What struck me about the town were all the oak trees – everywhere you looked, acorns on the ground.
Walking around the town, I’d try to imagine what life was like. As there were cars parked in the side of the road, I’d wonder about horses and carriages, I’d pretend to see people dressed as they were in 1853 or the majority of the buildings made of timber with the large painted letters of the family names on the buildings. In some way, I wish I could go back in time to experience it.
This afternoon, we headed back to the grand room of the Midland Hotel back in Castlemaine and took our kindles to read by the heater. Instead, I spent time looking at the huge mirror that takes up one wall pretending it was a portal to 1925 and imagining what people would have been congregating into that room before and after dinner with a brandy and a cigar.
This evening, dinner at the Red Hill pub in the nearby suburb of Chewton. I think the owners were from Glasgow as there was haggis and a Glasgow salad (chips) on the menu. 🤣
Tomorrow we are heading for the Wool Mills (recustomised craft and eatery places) plus having an Apple strudel at Der Kaffee Haus, an eclectic Austrian cafe there. We will also have a look at the old gaol and walk through the botanic gardens then drive back home through the old gold diggings.