You’ll Wish You could Stay Just a Little bit Longer in Nundle

 

If you’re looking for sheer beauty amid peace and quiet, then the gorgeous little town of Nundle will enthrall you like it did me. Its a town in New South Wales and the New England Highway has many road signs pointing you to this town. The town offers everything you want went it comes to small town hospitality and you won’t find a shortage of some good accommodation. The fascinating thing about Nundle and Hanging Rock, is that even though there is just 10km between them, the landscapes and even the climate are quite different. Both the Nundle and Hanging Rock communities are friendly and they invite you to not only explore the beautiful area, but to slot in with any event and gatherings as if you’re an old friend. You should try and visit during their Great Nundle Dog Race

The Great Nundle Dog Race

For a most scenic country road to delight, the turn off from Wallabadah on the New England Highway and which takes you through exquisite farmland, will simply have you wishing you had much more time here. Everybody who loves the outdoors will want to be here for weeks or months instead of days, and every landscape in Australia is found in this area, offering rock climbing, hiking, fishing, kayaking and awesome bush camping.

New England Skiing

Hitting the slopes comes sooner than you think to New England, with the hard core skiers having their ways of staying on top of which mountains are opening first with up to date weather conditions and predictions.

New Englander´s old and young live by the Farmer´s Almanac. An annual publication each year since 1792.

2016 Farmers almanac

There´s a tough and ruddy Vermont saying, “Mad River Glen, Ski it if You Can.”

“Ski Magazine” once wrote of Mad River Glen as being one of the most challenging terrains in the eastern United States.  Modernized like every other bit of information these days ski apps are where it´s at.

Aside from Vermont´s infamous daunting trails at Mad River Glen at least 10 other resorts are as appealing in Vermont alone. If planning an average family winter holiday one must consider aspects such as housing, pricing, lift tickets, lessons, dining and children´s activities. Some of the more family oriented resorts are Killington, Stowe, Smuggler´s Notch, Sugarbush, Boltan Valley and Jay Peak to name a few. And these are in just one state in New England. Folks tend to focus on Vermont as their destination when vacationing for skiing, however New England is more than Vermont and just across her borders are the White mountains of New Hampshire with great skiing further south at Pat´s Peak and Mont Sunapee. North and at the tip of New England Maine is known for it´s annual loyal white powder fan club at Sugarloaf Mountain and Big Squaw.

Here´s to a happy head start to all you ski bums out there, Happy Trails!

Poets of New England

A poem by Emily Dickinson 1830-1886

I have  mentioned before how New England is home to famous authors and poets some my personal favourites; I thought it might be a good time to review who they were.

Leading the poets for me would be Emily Dickinson, a reclusive and eccentric lady who lived 1830-1886, a lady way ahead of her time. The amount of poetry she wrote was not known until after her death although she did publish while she was alive. Due to her often unconventional presentation of her poetry, at least in those times it was frequently altered by the publishers. Her poetry was unique in those times for not following the rules, mostly focused on death and immortality it often used slant rhyme. This also known as half rhyme is where the end consonants will resonate but the vowels don’t and while classed as a poetry device it can be seen in some hip hop music. You can find an example of Emily Dickinson’s slanted rhyme here. My favourite is one of her nature poems, ‘The sun just touched the morning’.

Galway Kinnell, 1982 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry and Poet Laureate for the state of Vermont was born in Providence Rhode Island as a child he was drawn to the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickinson. Galway was vehement Vietnam protester and 1968 he signed the Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, refusing to pay tax as a protest against the Vietnam War. The ‘Book of Nightmares‘ is a book long poem that draws on his experiences as civil rights protester as well as his experiences protesting the Vietnam War.

Galway Kinnel activist and poet, Putlizer Prizr winner of Vermonts Poet Laureate

Galway Kinnell’s’ Book of Nightmares’

Beauty of Autumn in New England

Beautiful Autumn

I fell in love with New England because of the fall. I’ve even heard that people from across the United States travel to New England states, from Connecticut to Maine, just to see the changing of leaves in October and November. I don’t blame them, it’s a truly fetching sight.

Boston is known for being the largest most thriving city in New England, mostly because New York City doesn’t quite make that regional boundary. Today, Boston is filled with universities and intellectual prowess, some of the worlds finest hospitals and shopping thoroughfares tied perfectly into the brownstone streets that once housed America’s founders. It most certainly offers insights into the tumultuous past that it once had. There are districts relegated to ethnic immigrant backgrounds, from the North End (vastly Italian neighborhood) or Southie (predominantly Irish). There’s even a neighborhood, Beacon Hill, on which all of the original law makers from the state house resided, and you can still see the rich legacy it possess. For instance, current US Secretary of State John Kerry has a property on “the hill”.

See blog for insider tips to Boston!

There’s really no shortage of sights in Boston. I find most of its beauty laden in the insights each street corner has to its past. From blue collar working class neighborhoods and their tenement housing, to the prestige and class offered in the upper class, it’s easy to see how this city might have worked before. As a tourist, it’s easily accessible with a wide variety of historical tours and university tours, with the main attraction being Harvard University located just beyond the limits over the Charles River in Cambridge.

 

Exploring the alcoholic heritage of New England

I’m a huge fan of exploring places in a way most others would not. Of course, places and monuments are just as important as anything else, but there is something uniquely exciting about travelling a state, following the carnivals, or following a band. There is something unique about exploring the heritage of a country, or a state, purely through alcohol.

New England has it’s fair share of breweries and wineries. I have been planning an elaborate trip of the breweries and wineries in New Hampshire over the past month and I’ve loved what I’ve seen. I’m extremely excited about the places I’m yet to visit too. Over the last one month, I’ve visited the Anheuser Busch plant at Merrimack, and the Redhook Ale Brewery in Seacoast. I’ve plans to visit the Jewell Towne Vineyards and the Moonlight Meadery this month. It’s not entirely cheap, but I cannot say the trip has not been exciting.

Breweries in New Hampshire

It takes a little bit of planning to execute this- I first focus on the town where these vineyards and breweries are located, to see if there are any other places of interest around where I will be going. I’ve also been relying on tips suggested by my friends and residents of New England. The New Hampshire tourism website has also been quite helpful. This is brand new grounds for me and I’m certainly highly excited about exploring these places more!

Goodbye, Danvers State Hospital

There are some places that deserve to be torn down because their walls have seen too much suffering. Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts is certainly one of them. Don’t let the name fool you- this was not a normal hospital. It was a “mental asylum”. It was opened in 1878, so you can imagine exactly what kind of asylum it was too. The place is rumoured to be where the practice of lobotomy started.

Danver State Hospital

So, I’m rather glad this place is not around to sully the reputation or the beauty of New England any more. However, I wish I had one opportunity to see the place with my own eyes. After all, it’s the perfect haunted mansion. It has been featured in a number of horror films even. It was also a perfect spot for urban exploration- and it would have been a million dollar experience (after all, it would have been the creepiest place I would have set foot in).

Creepy interiors of Danver State

Danvers State Hospital was actually the indirect inspiration for the famous Arkham Asylum that keeps turning up in the Batman universe. It was actually the direct inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham sanatorium in the short story “The Thing on the Doorstep”, which is where DC drew it’s inspiration for Arkham from.

Inspiration for Arkham

The existence of Danvers State Hospital is sort of a reality check for me- such ugliness can and did exist in the middle of New England, which is certainly one of my favourite places in the world. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Trick or treat?

It’s that time of year again, Halloween. In Australia, Halloween is a fun thing to do occasionally, but it doesn’t really have much merit, however as you would expect in America Halloween is taken seriously, and especially in New England – this is the home of the Salem Witches after all.

carved pumpkins are traditional at Halloween

My first experience of Halloween was when I was driving through a sleepy little town in New England one year, stopping for some lunch. As I sat in the window of the cafe, lines of schoolchildren dressed up in all manner of costumes where being paraded around town clutching little buckets in their hands. They were taken, in their lines, from one shop to another on some sort of trick or treat procession, each time they came out they would gather around showing off their treats. The whole town was spooked up, window displays, carved pumpkins, hanging skeletons. In my mind New England is one of the quintessential places to really enjoy Halloween, you’ve got this brilliant mix of medium sized towns surrounded by country side, which gives perfect opportunity for Corn Mazes, Haunted Hayrides and, of course, pumpkins in abundance. So, if you want to give your children a real treat one year, head over in time for Halloween, do a tour of the best haunted towns!

See this website for New England Halloween tips