....ohh and pencils and paper

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dreary Day Outside.

It was quite delightful to have a bit of a lie in this morning all warm and cosy and listen to the chorus of Magpies warbling and calling to each other across the park (a sound I never tire of hearing) and the waves breaking on the shore a short distance from our camp. The historic town of Hahndorf was on our agenda for today and the closer we got the more miserable the weather got but we still enjoyed the drive as the country side was lovely.
Our first stop was the Berenberg Jam factory. We discovered so many different jams and relish that we have never seen in Queensland so consequently we came out with a very heavy bag and munching on a freeze dried strawberry covered in chocolate and that kinda of set the tone for the day.

My main purpose in going to Hahndorf was to visit Hans Heysen's home and artist studio "The Cedars". I had a favourite Uncle who whilst doing his teacher training had taken Australian Art as part of one of his courses. He had the most beautiful text book with colour plates of iconic Australian Artists and one page I loved featured a painting by Hans Heysen. I think maybe that's why I love those huge ghostly gum trees that were his trademark but he also did extremely beautiful florals. My favourite though over time became "Sewing" which was a portrait of his wife Sally at her sewing machine. Funny that.
It was fabulous to see the original in it's place on the wall in his home and the place where Sally his wife was sitting sewing when the painting was done.The light in the painting is superb.
Paula the lady who took us on our tour was just lovely and so knowledgeable about the artist and his home. It was the best $10 we have spent. Gary is not really into art but throughly enjoyed the tour and was blown away by the talent of this man and the living museum his family have maintained just as it was when he lived and worked there. The house is full of original works by the artist and some beautiful examples of his very talented daughter a renowned portrait artist in her own right Nora Heysen. Over at the gift shop there was a wonderful exhibition of Nora's work from the age of 14yrs to well into her 90's. Extraordinary!
The house got it's name because of the mammoth cedars at the front of the house. You can see them towering over the rooftop.
Even though it is winter the gardens were still lovely and the camelia bush in the photo above was full of blooms.
Paula offered to take this photo of Gary and I on the stoop of the front portico where many afternoon teas were taken. The house had several bay windows with window seats and I could quite happily imagine myself sitting there stitching or reading.
I was really keen to see inside his purpose built studio which cost the princely sum of 400 pounds most of which was spent on the floor to ceiling windows of diffused glass bought especially from Paris. He never painted by anything else but natural light. The feeling I got in his studio was that he got up and took a break just before we got there. It was a beautiful space (be a great sewing room) As dust would filter down from the tiled roof he had the entire ceiling lined with the most gorgeous timber to combat this problem.

When Heysen went into the Flinders Ranges to sketch and paint he would take a purpose built camper so he could set up camp deep into the bush.....we won't complain that our camper is a bit primitive. This one is a doozey. So cool back then.
Our lovely guide suggested we go to the German Cake Shop for lunch as it is where the locals go. It was a very quaint place crammed with all sorts of bric-a-brac on the ceiling and cuckoo clocks chiming on the hour in unison. The time waiting for our meal went by so quickly as there was so much to look at.
I had a large bowl of sweet potato & pumpkin soup with warm crusty bread while Gary had a German creation called Jagebraten which was massive and very delish......I got a taste. We had ordered 2 half apple strudels to have for dessert but we were so 'stuffed' we bought them home. We had to share one and save the other for tomorrow. Couldn't believe this was 'half'!
We didn't do too much shopping as it became just too miserable. We did by some Chocolates though.....dark chocolate cherry bites. Ooooohhhh! Yummo! But this means we get to come back to S.A. and visit this lovely town again. We just ran out of time so headed back to Victor Harbour. As the rain had stopped when he drove past Hindmarsh Island we went for a quick 11km drive to check out the lookout.
Ever wonder where the Mighty Murray River enters the Southern Ocean????? Right past my head where you see the waves breaking. This is the Mouth of the Murray River.....I thought it was exciting anyway although it was so damn freezing and as my husband likes to have a person in a photo I'm it! Sometimes it looks like I have been on holidays on my own....."stand over there and I'll take a photo dear" says he. So that's why you see so many piccies of me. Can you tell I am freezing?
Another great day and really I don't mind the different weather. I always figure if you want everything to stay the same....Stay Home!
I wish everyone a lovely weekend and I shall leave you with some of the trees Hans Heysen loved to paint....not real good examples but the best I could find. I f you ever find yourself in Hahndorf do yourself a favour and visit "The Cedars" I doubt you will be disappointed.
Blessings Michelle xxx


  1. what a great day you both had,gorgeous pics Michelle.xx

  2. Another great post and I absolutely love that painting of the woman sewing , wow ! This looks like such an interesting area and yes you do look very cold :-) Thanks again for sharing your incredible journey. hugs Sheila

  3. It's a shame about the weather but it's great that it didn't stop you having a good look around.

  4. great place to visit...

  5. Beerenberg is such a great place to visit. You can get their jams at supermarkets here . Let me know if you become addicted to anything and I can send it to you.

    My friends father used to be the lock master at Goolwa and we used to go to school camps on Hindmarsh Island.

    You picked a rotten time to visit the hills ...Im sure it was FREEZING there yesterday.

  6. so many lovely things to see. Love that painting too.
    Are you upgrading to his sort of camper?

  7. Hi Michelle
    Just catching up with your last couple of posts. I am really enjoying all your photos and commentary. Much better than my travel diary when I go away as no photos in that. Rain here for the last week so hoping for some sun soon. Hugs..

  8. Sounds like another wonderful day. The strudel looks yummy. You are getting closer and closer to Victoria and am looking forward to meeting you.

  9. Pity it rained for you but looks like you still enjoyed yourselves. That's a lovely photo of the two of you together.

  10. Michelle your pictures are great. I love seeing all the places you are visiting. So glad you did not let the rain stop you.

  11. I almost feel like i'm there with you Michelle. :) Great post & beautiful photo's. Can't wait to see where you are next. Hugs,

  12. You do look very cold. I loved visiting Hahndorf last year, it was cold and wet then too.

  13. That looks like an amazing place, I love his painting of his wife sewing. Yes you do look freezing in that pic of the mouth of the Murray, brrrr. GREAT pic of the two of you on the steps, girl!

  14. One of the things we love best about traveling is finding the little out of the way places to find new food stuffs, like jams, jellies, & relishes. Great restaurants with fabulous local dishes are also a favorite.

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. We also visited Hahndorf 25 years ago, loved it. The strudel looks yummo ....


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