It was wonderful to get away and Ballarat holds a special place in my heart. My grandparents lived there and my Mum grew up there until she married my Dad. As a child I made many trips to Ballarat to see my relatives.
Ballarat is approximately 105 kilometres (65 miles) west-north-west of Melbourne or just under two hours from our home. Ballarat was named after an Aboriginal word " Balla arat " and thought to mean ' resting place ". Gold was discovered in the area on 18th August 1851 and the population swelled as it became known as a gold mining town. Ballarat is also the site of the Eureka Rebellion ( Eureka Stockade ) and is the only armed rebellion in Australian history. My grandparent's place is on Eureka Street, only two or three blocks away from the Eureka Stockade site.
Our accomodation was a miner's cottage called Glazebrook Cottage Bed and Breakfast. It dates back to the 1890's and has been restored beautifully with many period features kept. It really is the best accomodation we've stayed in. This was our third visit to Glazebrook Cottage. Darren found it on the internet a few years ago. The first time we stayed there, as soon as I walked in the door I felt like I was home. I was so happy there were tears in my eyes. Darren had struck " gold ". Glazebrook is just a couple of streets away from my grandparent's home and it feels good to be near where they lived. They probably knew of the cottage or previous occupants long ago.
|The view from the veranda over towards my grandparents place.|
Jo Casey is the owner of Glazebrook Cottage. She does a wonderful job of looking after anyone who stays there. Jo loves to personally let her clients in to make sure everything is perfect. We've come to know Jo over the last few years and she loves to have a chat with us. When I emailed her to confirm our booking I asked if I could take photos of the cottage for my blog. Guess what ? She has been aware of my blog for a while and remembers ( and recognised ) me from my tv stories. We had a good giggle over that
|Eating area and fireplace|
|Looking towards the lounge room.|
|The girl's bedroom|
|Bathroom with spa|
|Lounge room and front door|
|The gardens at Lake Wendouree|
We made a trip to the SPC cannery outlet and picked up a few grocery bargains. While we did that, Megan had fun looking in the near by op shops.
Friday was a big day for us. We spent many hours at the Hepburn Springs and surrounding Daylesford area. Jessica bought empty drink bottles so she could fill them up with mineral water straight from the ground. The taste is not to my liking but it is fresh and good for you. My Mum told me she went out there as a child with her parents to do the exact same thing.
|Jessica filling up her drink bottles|
|Darren and I|
|Jessica and Megan|
We spent a couple of hours at an antique shed called " The Mill' Markets ".As a family we just love to look at all the different types and eras of antiques. Darren looks at the records. Jessica looks at the old books and general viewing. Megan loves the vintage china. As for me, I just love looking at everything. My favourite items are vintage kitchen wares and china. It's like going on a trip down memory lane. I recognised many of the kitchen wares that my Mum and Grandmas had in their homes. On this trip I purchased a couple of tall Fowlers Vacola bottles that I'll use as vases.
|Jessica having fun|
Around tea time that night we went to Sovereign Hill for their once a year free entry for night shopping. Sovereign Hill is a recreated historical mining town attraction. We bought some of their famous raspberry drop lollies and scented soap. Both these items were very popular that night. I also caught up with one of my blog readers, fellow Cheapskate member and lovely friend Maureen. She happened to be in the area that day with her family so we met up for a chat. When Maureen and I get together, we always has lots to talk about.
|Children's choir at Sovereign Hill|
|A Miner's hut|
|Crowds in the main street.|
|The gold mine|
|Pretties in a shop|
|Lots to buy.|
|My dessert of lemon tart|
|With my lovely friend Maureen|
|A shop window|
We caught up with my cousin later that day and had a wonderful visit.
Sunday we checked out of Glazebrook and headed over to " The Mill Markets " outside of Ballarat on our way home. We spent another couple of hours " just looking ". It makes us happy. We had lunch in the cafe there. They serve up homemade meat pies with slow cooked beef inside. Very yummy and I must say, the best meat pie I've ever eaten.
After lunch we headed over to Altona for a family Christmas gathering. We finally made it home just on tea time.
We had a wonderful four days away relaxing, shopping, watching dvds each night and eating plenty of good food.
I hope you enjoyed the photos.