Sunday, September 23, 2012

Broken Hill at 6am

I woke up early and decided to take a walk around Broken Hill.

We were staying at 'The Lodge' but not in this building. We were actually in a motel unit at the side of the house. It was fine and quite comfortable.

Broken Hill is one of those places where you need to book in advance. There is nowhere else to stay for hundreds of miles so it provides great peace of mind knowing that you won't have to search around if something is going on in the town and all the accommodation is taken.

The early morning light is very bright and strong. The air is very clear.

This is a mining town and here is the typical miner's cottage.

All the streets have the names of minerals.

Some of the miner's cottages need a bit of work.

Note the corrugated iron.

A miner's cottage in better condition.

Public park.

Eucalypt tree trunk.

The old YMCA building.

The hill in the background is made of mine tailings. It dominates the town.

One of Australia's most famous painters lived in the area. His name was Pro Hart and his success resulted in the area becoming popular with other artists. If you could see the early morning light here and you were a painter, you would be tempted to come here.

For the moment, long distance communications in Oz is dome using microwave towers. At a cost of $42 billion, Australia is installing a fiber optic network that will cover most of the towns of Australia. It is known as the NBN and has generated huge controversy. I strongly believe that it is necessary and if you take a look at this website you will learn more about it.

To me the technology is just part of the story. More importantly it is a debate between the principles of 'universal access' and 'commercial priorities'. If like me you don't have decent internet service where you live, blame 'commercial priorities'. Verizon and Comcast will never deliver internet service to our house because it is not in their economic interest.

The town is full of interesting architecture. 

It's not Paris but it's great to explore.

Now this is a jail.

The Courthouse. No doubt a lot of 'drunk and disorderly' cases were heard here over the years.

Like every town in Australia, Broken Hill has its War Memorial. I was reading an article today which talked about the Returned Serviceman League clubs closing down as most of the WWII veterans are now dead or close to it.These clubs were a huge part of the culture of country towns and now they are disappearing.

The Palace Hotel which featured in 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'.

One of the murals inside the Hotel. Read about the hotel and murals here.

Early in the morning the streets are deserted. It's a great time to explore a town.

The posh restaurant on top of the slag heap. I will be doing another blog about the slag heap.

Another painting in a shop window.

We ate here the night before.

We sat at these tables and had a pretty good vegetarian pizza. Food in country towns is often a hit or miss affair and this case it was a hit.

Since it was a mining town in a very hot, dry climate, Broken Hill had many hotels. With the arrival of random breathalyzer tests, many of the hotels have closed.

Tiles on the wall of the pub. Most of them had tiled walls like this.

The buildings are really quite interesting.

This service (gas) station had been turned into a restaurant. The service bay was turned into a kitchen with glass windows and you see the food being prepared. The guests sat outside where the petrol (gas) pumps used to be. The nights are usually warm so it would be quite pleasant most of the time.

This town has such interesting architecture.

Finally and old pub turned into a B&B. I liked the description -
the breakfasts taste just like Mums

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