I’m about to leave Tasmania. I have half an hour to pass before checking out of the Fountainside Hotel (which I can’t recommend highly enough – if you’re visiting Hobart, this is the place to stay) and catch the ‘Airporter’ van. I thought I’d take the time to tell you about my leisurely day yesterday.
It won’t take long…
Not least because I neglected to put my camera battery on charge on Tuesday night, so I’d only got my iPhone camera to use. That’s fine, but I didn’t want to hammer it and lose its battery too.
After spending the morning in the cafe, blogging and watching the Red Sox lose to the Philies, I set off toward Salamanca. This is an area of the harbour side which once bustled with seafarers from around the globe. Today it is home to shops, bars, cafes and galleries. A tourist hotspot in other words. It was lunchtime so I stuck my nose into a couple of the bakeries before settling on the Rendezvous Lounge Cafe. I noticed their Gourmet Chicken Burger on the menu for $15.50, which led to this exchange:
Me: “Does that come with chips?”
Girl: “We don’t do chips”
Me: “What does it come with?”
Girl: “Er. the burger?” – looking at me like I’m stupid.
I had it anyway. Gourmet – Meh!
On the subject of food, I had a lovely email from Roy & Anne Burrows highly recommending Hobart’s fish & chips on the waterfront. Whilst unhesitatingly accepting Anne’s recommendation, I’m afraid that fish and me don’t mix. I prefer land based food!
From there I continued to a wander. Up an ancient (i.e. circa 1840) set of steps known as Kelly’s stairs to the Battery Point area. This was, apparently the area once known for providing, er, comfort at a price, for the aforementioned seafarers. Today it’s a charming little village within a town. From there I dropped back down to water level and sat a while in the gorgeous sunshine watching the sailing boats flutter about in the cove. To quote from Rog & Marie’s blog – in their case describing their evening in St. Tropez (!) – life doesn’t get any better.
I then witnessed something I’ve never seen before – a float plane taking off from the harbour. Not sure it’s something I’d like to do – or more to the point the landing. The forces acting on those floats, especially if the pilot doesn’t get the angle quite right, must be immense. Still, very impressive to watch but too far away to photograph. I saw the plane later ‘moored’ in the port (it’s in the background of the pic at the bottom of this page).
Back into the shopping area for a few bits and to explore the corners I’d previously missed. Hobart definitely divides into two bits; retail and tourist. The retail area has its own charm with chains which are local to Tasmania, alongside the usual Aussie chains. The touristy side, which in turn shares space with a working port, is by far the more enjoyable.
It was late afternoon so I headed back to the room to ‘regroup’ before heading out later for my dinner. A place called the Hogs Breath Cafe – part of a national chain – was located conveniently close to the hotel, and having checked-out their menu on line, I knew I was going to have the ‘mega prime rib’. Pretty damn good it was too. It was washed down with a schooner (“the largest we do”) of Cascade Premium. Despite being brewed barely two miles away here in Hobart, I fear it was everything about Aussie beer that Carl has been trying so hard to guide me away from. Still, it didn’t detract from the steak.
Next door to the bottle-o for some more (not-so-local) craft brews in 330ml bottles: 4 Pines Stout, Beach Hut (Torquay, Vic) Steam 202, MOA (Marlborough, NZ) Noir dark lager. Then back to the room.
Told you there wasn’t much to say about yesterday.
Right, I’m flying back to Canberra via Melbourne today with Virgin Australia. I’ll report on that in due course.
Edited on Friday to cure some typos and cull some exclamation marks. Note to self; stop over-using exclamation marks!!! I once worked with someone (tip of the hat to Forbes, whatever you’re up to) who on receiving an email which repeatedly ended sentences like the last one, threatened to go over and return each one – metaphorically – where the sun doesn’t shine, such was his dislike of them.