A year ago, I hired a car and drove my mother home from Sydney, because the plane was booked out. We had a good trip and were able to go to a bookshop in the mountains, so this year we decided to drive again.
However, this year we made the trip on December 30th, rather than in January, and the highway was so busy (and had long stretches of roadworks leaving only one lane each way), that at times we were doing only 10 km an hour, bumper to bumper with all the other cars. Some no doubt were returning from or going on holidays, as we were; others were Sydney-siders spending the day in the mountains.
Apart from the traffic, the trip is really too long for Mum now, as her strength and stamina have decreased a lot in the last year. So I don't think we'll do it again - maybe I'll hire a car to travel up to see her instead, or to get back to Sydney after visiting her, as there's a lot to see in the mountains.
This time, I wanted to visit Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum in Leura. It has beautiful large gardens (which we didn't attempt), and imposing stone steps up to the entrance (which we managed) - and a wonderful collection of Lenci dolls, model trains, tintoys, and many other toys. Here are some things that caught my eye.
All the comforts needed for your railway trip:
Some relaxing places to visit:
and impressive buildings:
More Lotts Bricks! a different set from the one I have - it looks like these were not intended to be painted.
This tall tower looks like it's made from a wooden construction set, but I'm not sure.
As well, there is a vintage, homemade dolls house. It is also called Leuralla, and was part of the exhibition of Dolls Houses in Australia 1870-1950 ten years ago. It's the main reason I wanted to visit the museum, but it's not possible to see it close up, as it sits in the children's bedroom by the window:
There's so much to see at Leuralla, I'd love to go back one day.
As we drove on over the mountains, we passed Trains, Planes and Automobiles. I had been to their shop in Annandale when I stayed with my sister last year, and I'd hoped to get to the Mount Victoria shop on this trip. We left Leura much later than I'd expected, because of the heavy traffic, so I thought that the shop would be closed. However, their Open sign was still out, so I pulled over and went in. Here's what I found:
A tiny caravan, with stars and moons on the roof! It's marked only with the number 2, on the inside of both the roof and the cabin, so I don't know who made it. It's quite light metal - aluminium, or an alloy of some kind? - and is missing the yoke for the horse. I love the colours and the design - and as the roof lifts off, I could furnish it, for a very tiny person - it's only 2 inches long!
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