New Norcia Away Day
On the last day of winter, we travelled to the Benedictine Monastery town of New Norcia in perfect summer style weather with Great Western Tour Company. This was our last trip for the year, and we also welcomed some U3A North Coast members.
First up we stopped at Bindoon for morning tea in the lovely Clune Park. Along with a welcome cuppa, we feasted on homemade honey cake and fruit cake which were delicious, before heading on up the road to New Norcia, through wonderful fields of green wheat and gold canola as well as quite a few wildflowers to be seen.
On arrival we were joined by a guide who hopped on board the bus as we drove around the village buildings. First stop was the monastery and after learning about the history this was followed by a tour of the Abbey church. For those who wanted to stretch their legs we then had a short walk across too the St Ildephonsus boys’ college which as with the Abbey church, was fabulously decorated, from the very ornate pressed tin ceilings, to the altar and wall paintings.
It was then time for our “monks lunch” which was in a dining room within the boy’s college and I have to say if that’s what they have for lunch every day, they eat very well. We were served a 3-course meal with a bottle of red and white wine for each table, orange juice and water.
We then continued with our tour, and again you could choose to walk or hitch a ride on the bus, but seeing it was such a beautiful day many chose to walk. Our tour guide then took us into the St Gertrude’s girls’ college, which he described as softer and rounder, in other words, not quite as grand as the boys’ college, but just as beautifully decorated.
Our guided tour finished in the chapel of the girl’s college with our member and organiser of this tour, Kevin Gest, giving his own very interesting presentation about some ancient symbolism used throughout the chapel. There was then time to wander at leisure through the art gallery and gift shop before boarding the bus for the journey back home. It was the perfect way to spend the last day of winter
Wanneroo Visits the Chittering Valley
On the 29th of June members of the Wanneroo branch travelled by bus to the Chittering Valley for Xmas in June. After morning tea and honey tasting at the Little Eeden Farm, we travelled on to the Stringybark Winery and Restaurant for a sumptuous Xmas lunch, after which we all relaxed on the bus back to the Wanneroo Recreation Centre. A great day very well organised by Kevin and Lois Gest.