Shaking The Tree 2005
Hi All I love flying into a new city, wondering what awaits you outside of that little oval of plastic. When you walk down those steps what will great you? Will it be a warm breath of air, or a blast from a sunbaked oven or will it be the cold hard slap of winter. Either way you perch on the edge of your seat with excitment. The descent into Hobart did not disappoint, it was breathtaking. The clouds parted enough to reveal olive green hills and a carpet of moss coloured fields. Flecks of white on a mountain and lakes that glowed gold in the setting sun. Welcome to the Wilderness State! As you fly in you catch sight of Hobart nestled agianst the moutains, as if it is sheltering from the elements. But hang on, the pilot flies straight past the city and you head out to the bay. I was left wondering if I had missed the sea floats attached to the A320 when we left Melbourne. At no point had I spotted the airport, then you bank right. The wing tips of the plane almost touch the ocean, and you spy a clearing in the forest. Out of your window you can not see the usual urban sprawl of an airport, just trees. You are landing in a forest. As you touch down the small airport comes into view, single storey and tiny, and you know that there will be no sky bridge and you will go down the steps straight onto the tarmac. I love that, your first connection with new soil. I was not quite as theatrical as the pope and did not kneel down and kiss the ground but I virtually skipped to the terminal building I was so excited. There is only one baggage carousel and it delivered my luggage quickly. The airport shuttle was waiting as promised at the door of Arrivals. All too easy ! Even though it was rush hour the traffic was light, and for the first time on my trip my hostel was the first drop off. It was smack bang in the centre of Hobart, although she had to shuffle my room around so that I was not directly over the Karaoke section of the bar downstairs. The evening was fine and the nip in the air, made me walk briskly to Sirens, for a slap up veggie meal. Top recommendation from the girl at the Hostel. Grilled Halloumi with lemon, olive oil and black pepper, and a risotto ball stuffed with smoked cheese and deep fried on a bed of celeriac - YUM! I have been really lucky with the weather so far, clear crisp days with endless blue skies. There is something familiar about Hobart. I think it is the abundance of sandstone Victorian buildings, cobbles and flagstones. It is Australia's second oldest city and there is a strong British flavour to the place. The houses up at Battery Point cuold be from Richmond Guildford (both of which have namesakes here in Tassie). Salamanca Place is right by the waterfront, and has row after row of sandstone terrace warehouses, now housing galleries and gift shops and cafes. A fantastic spot to have brekkie and watch the world go by. The trees have all shed there leaves and aer now coming into bud, daffodils are out and the grass is green and soft. I hate to sound like a typical pom, but there is something comforting to be in an environment so reminiscent of home. The people are friendly, and there is a slightly bohemian feel about the whole city. It is no bigger than Guildford or Exeter and so it is easy to get around on foot, 10km walking the first day! Saturday mornings the whole of Hobart is at Salamanca Place for the markets. This is no ordinary market it is part farmers market, craft fair, second hand clothes and books. Real crafts - handmade -original. If I was coming home soon I would have stocked up on jams, chilli chocolate, cheese, beer, jewellery and pictures ..... Instead I have made do with a 2 balck and white photograph of pandanees (cactus like plant indigenous to Tasmania) covered in snow. The clouds are coming in now and there may be some rain this afternoon, which I will use as an excuse to sit in a pub by a fire and read my book. Tomorrow I will be off to collect my hire car, another bargain from standbycars and will be off in search of platypus, tasmanian devels, wilderness, wineries, cheese and solitude and maybe snow! Tonight I will hopefully be on a ghost tour! Good luck to Tom who starts school this week and to Rachel, Jake, Jordan who return to school too. Much Love to all Lynne xxxx PS Went into a department store yesterday for a browse, and had to leave the cosmetic hall as it felt all too claustrophobic and I needed fresh air - what is happening to me ????