I've got a treat for you today. Today's guest hardly needs an introduction here, most of you know my fellow history buff from across the pond, Hilary. She's has agreed to not only guest here today, but is also guesting at the A-Z Challenge Blog. These topics are linked. Don't miss the other one. It's about dragons...
Great Ocean Coast Road, south Australia …
"Great Ocean Road carved from the bare rock"
Art, Science, ‘Down Under’ and bloggers … Tina of Life is Good asked if I’d do a guest post for the A-Z blog and as a guest blogger on her blog … theoretically these might have been on Vikings (these will follow) – but as is the way with my eclectic brain I’ve settled on the Great Ocean Road, south Australia and the Weedy Seadragon.
I expect many of you will have seen or heard of the BBC tv programmes ‘Coast’, where Neil Oliver, archaeologist, historian, author and broadcaster, tells us about Britain and Europe …
… he has now moved to Australia (well perhaps he’s travelled there for the programmes!) – this is where these two ideas stemmed from.
The Great Ocean Road ties in with the Great War: the First World War, which I will be writing about, but I have just posted an A-Z on the recent D-Day commemorative events for World War II.
"The Hitchcock Memorial at Defiance Point - in the 1920s"
One thinks about the armed forces and their lives after having spent four or more years at War, probably in another country fighting for our and their own freedom, seeing their comrades fall, be injured or as most would be desperate to be home with their loved ones.
400,000 Australians enlisted for World War I, with appallingly 60,000 paying the ultimate sacrifice … however the work to which some returned to simply cannot have been any better, and may have been worse … I don’t know – I don’t like to think about either much … hanging off a cliff, or fighting in the War …
… less than 10 months after War finished, three thousand servicemen went to work on the construction of the new coast road … hewn from the cliff face using explosives, pick and shovel, wheel barrows and some small machinery.
Anecdotal evidence suggested that the workers would rest detonators on their knees during travel, as it was the softest ride?!
They were paid 10 shillings and sixpence for eight hours work a day, also working half-day on Saturday. They had tents for accommodation, a mess tent for meals with food costing ten shillings a week?!
They did have access to a piano, gramophone and records presumably, games, newspapers and magazines … and when in 1924 the steamboat, Casino, was forced to jettison 500 barrels of beer and 120 cases of spirits – there was an unscheduled two-week long drinking break!
Howard Hitchcock, mayor of Geelong, wanted to create the road as a Memorial to the Servicemen killed during World War 1 … the road is the world’s largest war memorial … and in building it – it would open up a fairly inaccessible part of south-eastern Australia.
The route winds 243 kilometres (151 miles) wending its way through varying terrain, incredible scenery and past several prominent landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations … the road is now an important tourist attraction.
"The limestone stacks, known as The Twelve Apostles"
Also seeing this part of the programme reminded me about my recent Aspects of the British Coast, that I wrote about in this year’s A-Z Challenge … where sea stacks were meant to be mentioned in greater detail – but ended up with a brief mention under my W post – the wind erodes … these Australian stacks put my ‘weedy’ post into perspective!
The Australian coast looks just beautiful and that road trip, carved out of raw cliffs nearly 100 years ago, is a sight to behold – and one that is definitely on my bucket list.
It is full of sea stacks that are constantly being worn away, or being created … some wonderful and amazing geographical features … it must be just dazzling, raw and stunning …
So the Weedy Seadragon in my other post at the A-Z Blog ties in to some degree with this post, as do other posts I have written recently or in the A-Z Challenge in April …
Here the art is photographic images of magnificent natural scenery, the science that of geology, we are posting on blogs about that place that is down under …
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Photo credit:"Great Ocean Road carved from the bare rock"
Photo credit: "The limestone stacks, known as The Twelve Apostles"
Don't forget about the dragons over at the A-Z Challenge Blog. These topics are linked.