Outta Town 1: Sassafras & Olinda

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My first weekend was a quick trip to a “magical place” in the the Dandenong Ranges. After organizing  the trunk to fit in the picnic-must-haves, we drove out of the city and into glorious view of endless emerald. We could not resist winding down windows to breathe in the fresh, crisp mountain air. So therapeutic!

On a well-worn road we scooted to Sassafras, a small town that has retained its original charm since it became a popular destination for city folks in the 19th century. My friend couldn’t stop praising the famous tea room called Miss Marples:

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Really can’t miss  Miss Marples. Off to the right of the first T-junction in town… and don’t be misled by the absence of a queue to get into this tea room…

 

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We arrived Sassafras close to lunch time, but our “explore” mode was too strong and we decided to check out the area first before enjoying those scrumptious scones and other delectable morsels in the tea room.

So off we went on a photo shoot rampage…

(In the meantime, for those who have Jedi powers, you may already sense the outcome of our decision to postpone our lunch @ Miss Marples Tea Room…)

We happily browsed in the antique stores and local specialist shops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We walked back to the car and noticed there were a few rows of shops on the opposite side of the junction:

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ImageOhh!  This entrance looks promising!

 

ImageWall-ful of P.O. Boxes

 

ImageCould not have guessed All Of This was hidden behind a row of shops!

 

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Did not get to roast any marshmallows that day 😦

 

ImageThe famous Dame Zara Dollhouse: Wait till you see the interior!

 

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These are miniature fittings! Look at the jaw-dropping details!

My mind was still reeling from the astounding dollhouse I just drooled at. How long did it take to complete it? How in the hey did they make all those tiny fittings and accessories?

During my childhood years, dolls were not really the top stars in my treasure trove. Back then the Super Stars were my awesome collection of original Star Wars figurines by Kenner (you fanatics would know what I’m talking about) and the various-themed Playmobil (r) clans. What adventures we had in the living room playing with my Dad’s collection of cassette tape covers!

Left Sassafras for a sec to drop by Olinda…

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Unbeknownst to me, Olinda is well renowned for its collection of craft and antique shops, boutique restaurants and cafes which can be found at either of its two commercial areas. The Dandenong Ranges National Park covers a significant area of Olinda, and offers visitors many walking tracks, BBQ and picnic facilities. Seriously, this place injects vitality into your spirit as your daily city-life stress melts away…

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Just realized I took only one photo in the area of Olinda! This little boutique has immense treasures inside!! 🙂

Why? How was it possible to take only ONE photo?

  1. Distracted by a quaint white store FILLED with stationery.
  2. Hunger pangs blew into a maelstrom by then so we headed off to Sky High Mt. Dandenong for picnic…

After much deliberation at Sky High, we found just the right spot to set up camp and appease our growling tummies. Thank goodness it was a Brilliant day to spend time outdoors! 🙂

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BURP! <excuse me> Those mini burgers disappeared in a FLASH!

With a heavy heart, but lifted spirits, we packed up and began our slow journey out of the Dandenong Ranges and into the daily grind of city life…
well, not too bad for me since I was still on vacation! YAY!

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