Thursday, July 26, 2012

St. Andrews Market & Kinglake

We journeyed into rural Victoria in the Nillumbik Shire, north east of Melbourne.  Shire is like a township, I know, I did a double take when I saw that word.  I actually had no idea where I was going, since I never heard of these places, but I got in the car anyway though.  Well, of course I did, and it was a good thing because I saw some beautiful sceneries and bought smelly bars of soap.  The good kind of smelly.  The following photographs were taken by Marcus Krigsman.  He's a good photographer, isn't he?  Also a good tour guide...  If A=B, and B=C, then..  ahem yeah.  :P

 I was told that St. Andrews Market was an "alternative market" but I had no idea what that meant until I got there.  I would probably describe it as a hippie market.  The market is very selective on who they allow as vendors.  They don't want something too mainstream, mass-produced or even duplicate vendors selling the same products.  As a result, I saw many "Made in Australia" signs, cool clothing (that I don't need any more of..), fresh produce, fragrant bars of soap, musicians, and even a chai tent.  I was thoroughly impressed.

The best part, for me, was that these prices were fairly reasonable.  In fact, the bar soap that I could not resist was cheaper than what I've found in the US.  $1.50 for a bar of soap?  Amazing!  I'm not sure, but I'd guess it was 4-6oz bars.  In either case, it was fun for me to pick out scents.  The other funny thing was that we ran into a lot of church friends at the market.  Funny, 25 minutes out of town was not where I expected to run into people, but just as well!  Last but not least, as a result of these entries being a week behind, last Saturday I discovered that there are shuttles that run from the last train stop, Hurstbridge, to St. Andrews Market and other towns in the Nillumbik Shire.

We continued up into the mountains toward Kinglake.  In 2009, the area was nearly obliterated by a forest fire.  Nearly three years later, the trees are regrowing at a fairly quick pace.  Of course, "quick" is a relative term.  For someone who grew up near evergreens like pines and redwoods that take decades to grow, I'm used to very slow growth.  In either case, Kinglake is a beautiful area with lookout points from which you can see the city and faraway mountains.  There is no lake at Kinglake though, ha.  We stopped at Flying Tarts Bakery and Cafe for lunch where I had my first taste of meatpies.  The meatpies were smaller so we finished the meal with additional treats including a vanilla slice, jam donut and a bumblebee.

On our way back we stopped by Sugarloaf Reservoir.  It was raining so the reservoir was a grayish color.  On nice sunny days with blue skies, it would be a more beautiful place.  Next time :)

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1 comment:

  1. I like that you included a map!! That market sounds awesome, too. Can you explain what a vanilla slice & bumblebee are? If I think literally, it doesn't sound super appetizing :)