I have three big things to report on today. The first big thing is that we drove big kilometers today – about 700 – to get from Canberra to Melbourne. 700k is about 430 miles and it was a rainy morning when we left just after 8 AM but by the early afternoon the sun had broken through and we only had to deal with high winds as we got closer to Melbourne.
The other two Big Things are really big things. I have mentioned before that Australia is known for is its “Big Things” ~ things that are man-made and are significantly larger than the original thing. I’ve included photos of a Big Koala and a Big Orange. I recently discovered a book at the library that highlights 120 Big Things in Australia, so I checked it out! We were going right by two of these Big Things on our trip home today, so they were our rest stops.
The first Big Thing we tracked down was the Big Rolling Pin (actually the World’s Biggest Rolling Pin) in the town of Wodonga, VIC. The rolling pin is 13.2m long, with the pin being 1m in diameter! This rolling pin was mounted above Henri’s bakery in 1992 and immediately increased business and has become a landmark in the town. We ate lunch at the very busy bakery and had tasty sandwiches. Oh, and by the way, the rolling pin has an electric motor so it spins! Here is a photo:
Our second Big Thing is historical in nature: a 6 meter-high statue of Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly is the most famous bushranger, or outlaw in Aussie history. He was accused of assault, robbery and murder and lived a life on the run. He was finally captured in the small town of Glenrowan, VIC and it is here that this huge statue was erected. The statue represents how Kelly was outfitted at the time of his capture~ full-body armor that was homemade. Jim is in this photo to give you some perspective on Ned’s size!
I first became aware of Big Things in Australia when reading Bill Bryson’s book, In a Sunburned Country and I think he knew of 7 big things. Obviously, some Aussies have thought this was a great way to drum up business and it worked as we never would have stopped at Henri’s Bakery for lunch if the Big Rolling Pin hadn’t brought us to the place!
During our travels this weekend we became aware of the abundance of road signs encouraging drivers to take rest stops. Apparently drivers falling asleep at the wheel is a real problem, because most of the signs on the main roads we drove in the past 4 days were heavy with sleep related signs. Here are some examples:
Weary?-Power nap now!
A Microsleep Can Kill in Seconds
Sore Eyes? Power nap now!
Break the Drive – Stay Alive
Only Sleep Cures Fatigue
The Power nap signs were usually right before a place to pull off the road. There have been so many sheep along the roads we traveled this weekend, that if anyone wanted to count them, they would have been asleep in a minute!!!
A couple of days ago I wrote about going to the top of the Black Mountain Tower overlooking Canberra. I included a couple of photos but if you want to see a video clip made while I walked around the top deck of the tower, click here.