When I last left you, we were watching the sunset over the river.
Gorgeous view, huh?
This is part two of that story… the part of walking home… the slightly spooky, moody, twilight part of our discoveries.
As we walked back from the sunset, we looked up a hill to see this sight looming in the distance:
We continued walking… but I remembered my promise to myself to be more surprising and spontaneous… so I giggled, running back up the path to find vine covered stairs up the hill. To my delight, everyone else followed.
We found an abandoned old toilet block…
Further into the long grass, we found the old church that had enticed us there… it too was abandoned, and a forest of wilderness grew inside it. It formed part of the large estate of the former Gladesville Hospital for the Insane. A rather strange story that one, without much information on the internet available on it. Walking in the beautiful gardens of a former “lunatic asylum” that is now thoroughly overgrown was a thrilling, scary, intriguing experience.
The church was fenced off, but the adjoining building was fenced off only by draping vines and a moody feel.
So I did what all good spontaneous people do. I dared everyone to go in there with me.
they protested a little, and chris asked me not to, but I laughed back:
I have to do this.
So I pushed the vines aside, walking under the veil of mystery and spiderwebs.
It was quite beautiful under there.
The roof gone, and only barbed wire resisting the greenery, it was a blend of shadows and light, structures and organic lines.
We joked as we stood under there,
if only to take the eeriness off.
Sometimes it’s good to feel a little bit afraid.
We scrambled back down the path again, and walked on, feeling a little bit thrilled,
and a little bit more ready for more adventure.
We took another path home, walking us past cottages that were well lived in. A clothes line filled with dozens of identical blue striped tea towels waving in the twilight breeze, homes all blanched in 1960s red brick. A hundred metres away, another abandoned house. As though someone had left forty years ago and forgotten to return.
The back stairs grew trees.
The front door lay covered in leaves.
Where did they go? Where are they now?
Who left this waterfront home so quickly they forgot to close the fridge door and take the forks from the kitchen bench?
I am not sure, and it’s kinda nice not to know all the answers.
Only to know that here this house remains, empty, paint peeling, and an empty presence that resists you from staying too long.
The others waited outside in the parking lot with two brides and fancy cars as we crept through history, breathing in old moments.
As we walked outside to join them, we make friends with the hugest dog I have ever seen. He smiles widely at us, nuzzling our elbows, before gaiting off with his owner onto another adventure.
As did we…
(to be continued)