Driving, walking, flying
Ross Travel Blog› entry 7 of 8 › view all entries
April 11th, 2008 – by: goezi
Ma and Margaret had already been to the small historical town but they were happy to go back.
It was East of Launceston so it was a new part of Tasmania as far as I was concerned. Not so for the others and they chatted about what they'd seen or done a few days earlier, prior to my arrival.
I was still quite shocked by Tasmania's likeness to New Zealand as far as landscape is concerned but the houses were very different, with the landscape dotted with the square, stone buildings.
We thought about visiting a couple of places as we drove along the highway toward Ross but as we got to the various sites we didn't bother with any of them for one reason or another.
We ended up arriving at Ross mid-morning and though the sun was out, the breeze cut straight through to the bone.
We were keen to get out of the cold and headed straight into a craft shop. It sold mostly timber items. Some of them were very nice but others were cheap and mass-produced. My father was a builder so we've always loved timber in our family. The Australian hardwoods are lovely.
My brother was always the most skilled on the wood lathe and his work far outshone the turned items available in the store.
Once we'd had a good look around we cut out of there and went up to the Ross church.
Ross is one of the most popular historical villages in the area. It has a huge tourist industry for such a tiny place, and this is because of it's great sites. The church is the main one at the top of the town.
Inside the dark wood of the small church was lovely. I marvelled at the doors and other beautifully carved furnishings, and then of course there is the light spilling in from the stained glass windows...
Unfortunately the windows weren't as impressive as they could have been because by the time we came out of the church the weather had turned. Clouds covered the sky and there was a light shower blowing in on that cold wind.
We had wanted to walk along the mill trail near the town but it seemed too far to risk in this weather when we only had light jackets.
We wandered back down the hill, along the main street. There were dozens of motor-homes or camper-vans parked around the place. They were obviously travelling together and had decided to stop here for the day.
There are many interesting buildings dotted around Ross. We had a walking tour map and followed it from one end of the village to the other. We stopped in at a couple of other stores but the only ones that seemed to be open were the touristy ones and although I looked at the wares nothing really took my fancy.
We turned a corner off the main street and wandered along the front of the old barraks and stables. By this time the shower had passed and the weather had brightened nicely. We approached the most famous landmark in Ross, the old bridge.
We'd seen plenty of postcards etc for sale with shots of the bridge and it seemed I couldn't really take one myself that didn't replicate the angles that had already been used by photographers. I did the best I could though and we then went to a nice cafe for a bite to eat and a coffee.
After lunch we made our way back to the Launceston airport. We stopped at a couple of small towns along the way and read the points of interest about each as we drove the main street loop.
At the airport we ordered afternoon tea and sat at a table next to an Australian girl that had spent most of the day celebrating her birthday (or so we gathered from her yelling, laughing, swearing and all-round excitation.
At first I thought it was pretty cute but it quickly turned rude and everyone in the tiny cafe was giving her sideways looks.
I hoped she wasn't on my plane but since we were due to fly in about an hour I figured she was.
Next thing someone from the airport approached her and said she was not to drink any more or she would not be permitted to fly. She quietened down swiftly and when I searched her out about 20 minutes later she was looking very very unwell as she was propped up between two of her friends in the departure lounge.
Unfortunately for all of us the plane from Melbourne that was due to fly into Launceston, offload passengers and then carry us away, was delayed due to technical problems. I told Ma and Margaret to shoot off. There was no point in them hanging around longer than they needed to. We said our goodbyes and they were gone.
The next announcement from the airport advised that the alternative plane, the oppositions craft, that had just landed, had suffered a birdstrike and now the engine was damaged and it wouldn't fly at all until tomorrow. I chuckled, thinking of the girl whose birthday had started so well and was now extending dreadfully for her.
By the time we landed at Melbourne we were 3.5 hours late. My friend, Andrea hadn't bothered to leave the airport after the first delay, and just waited when the second delay was announced.
We found her car in the car park and I pulled out my credit card to pay the fees. I wondered if I had just bought shares in the place!
Perhaps it was a scam by the airport -delay the flights, rake in the parking fees!
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