Today, it is one year since the horrific bushfires known as Black Saturday swept across Victoria in which 173 people died and devastated the country side, National Parks and many towns - Marysville, Kinglake, Flowerdale. So many who were with us that day are no longer here and those who survived have faced a long battle. The temperature on that day reached 46.4º, today a year later the expected temperature is 29º - that's 17º cooler.
I have been back several times in those areas and on my first trip back to Marysville, I almost got lost - I didn't recognise anything - all the "landmarks" were gone.
Photo taken 2nd May 2009
On my last trip it was just before New Year and there was a feeling of festivity in the air - trees were decorated with Christmas decorations, and the supermarket had re-opened at its new home on Saturday 5th December - five months after the bushfires.
This once glorious tree stands at the corner of Pack Road and Murchison Street
The steps and handrail leading to the footpath is between Fraga's and the Bakery Cafe in Murchison Street.
Uncle Fred and Aunty Val's Olde Style Lolly Shop was a wonderful world of goody-num-nums at 8 Murchison Street. Julia Harris re-opened on the 10 July 2009 in a tin shed on the same site. My favourite fudge was sold out as had bread, so I contented myself with Orange fudge, aniseed bulls eyes and inch liquorice.
We sat outside under the shade and had afternoon tea. A pot of tea for me (made 4 cups), coffees for the others and an assortment of delicious cakes.
Outside Hooker's Real Estate to the right of the Village Walk.
Fraga's Cafe at Shop 1, 17 Murchison Street decorated with flags, tinsel and baubles.
Even this old teapot has a "Christmassy" feel to it!
Bruno's Sculpture Garden at 51 Falls Road Marysville which brought joy to many was damaged in the bushfires, but around 60% of the sculptures survived and the garden re-opened on 29th November 2009. Although Bruno's home and art gallery were destroyed in the fires, he has decided to stay in Marysville and rebuild his home and restore the gardens.
The new Foodworks supermarket re-opened on Saturday 5th December on the site of the former car museum at 49 Darwin Street.
The Marysville Motor Museum Shopping Centre include FoodWorks Supermarket, Bendigo Bank and other specialty stores.
Visit Marysville Tourism for information about things to do and how to get there and accommodation.
Steavenson Falls ~ after Black Saturday
Although I have been back to Marysville several times since that fateful day in February 2009, this was the first time I have been back to the Falls. I felt saddened and a sense of something lost. I filmed this on Sunday 7th November (2010) and as the area re-generates, will film that too.