Monday, 10 March 2008

Chinese take away and a bed for the night

Photo from State Library Collection

Just a quick plug for our accommodation for the weekend. Being a long weekend, I had trouble booking a motel room for a single night; nearly all I phoned wanted a 3 night booking.. The Quality Inn Colonial took my booking without any hassles. I was expecting a typical motel room ie small and then cramped once the bikes are bedded down for the night. The rooms were large – almost twice the size of some motels I’ve stayed in, and modern. I was impressed.

More impressive was the Chinese restaurant on Saturday night, who fed us despite having just closed the kitchen. We left the velodrome, me still in my racing kit, at 10pm and headed into town for take away on the way back to the motel. The lights were on, so we ventured in, and the last customers were leaving. The kitchen had just closed, but the manager said he’d organise something “just for us”, as we had been racing. The service and food were excellent at the Toi Shan Restaurant, and I thoroughly recommend it.

I enjoy visiting Bendigo. The track is fun, although I am still coming to terms with the strategy of riding a 400m track, but I’ve nailed riding its curves! Sunday after checking out of the motel, we ventured down town. I was surprised to find many cafes and restaurants open for breakfast, very cosmopolitan. After a coffee and second breakfast in a quiet cafĂ©, we headed off to the park to get away from people and to chill out under the trees. So far my only reason for going to Bendigo has been racing, but I wouldn’t mind just spending a weekend exploring. The size of the old bank buildings (massive – in terms of weight ie building materials, and design), the centre-piece fountain (Alexandra Fountain), the huge church that grows out of the hilltop, the stately homes etc all speak of the wealth that existed, in their imposing presence and display. Each time I see that fountain, I wonder what life would have been like 150 years ago when gold was the driving force behind the town. Unlike a lot of old country towns, Bendigo has managed to retain some of the flavour of its foundation era, which presents a strange juxaposition to its contemporary aspects. It's a curious town and I am growing to like it.

1 comment:

hippy said...

My aunty just moved up there from Mildura to be nearer her grand-daughter. I had my 'family' 21st birthday at a pub there. Is nice. I like.