One Day in Hobart

Sunday, May 29th

We weren't supposed to figure out what to do in Hobart today.  Nope.  Today, we had a tour scheduled.  The goal was to figure out later tonight what we were going to do in Hobart tomorrow.  But our plans shifted on a dime.  The tour company said the weather was suspect today, but not tomorrow.  If we wanted to change our tour date, we could do it without a penalty.  Just like that, we had a free day.  And we were going to make the most of it.

The skies were definitely ominous.
Laundry Time!!

Yeah.  We were going to make the most of it after we did some laundry.

Let's be honest.  We'd been going for a week and a half at this point.  And our clothes were a bit suspect at this point.  The good part was that we were in a new temperature zone.  So our warm weather clothes, which had seen better days, weren't needed for the rest of the trip.  But undies and jeans were due for a wash.  And just like that, our roles were defined.  Mom was in charge of the laundry.  I was in charge of figuring out what to do.

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Down the street from our hotel was the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.  The price was right (FREE!!) and it was a good first stop.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is Tasmania's leading natural, cultural and historical institution.  We arrived during Family Day (or some other sort of nonsense) so there were a ton of kids milling about.

What did I learn??

I learned that Aboriginal people were treated really badly in Tasmania.  I learned about how Tasmanian life was in the 20th Century (complete with videos of Children's Television Programs).  I also saw taxidermied Tasmanian Devils.  We didn't stay too long, honestly.  The art section was on the second floor, so we missed out there.

The museum was really well done.  And it was also a great place to go for some light shopping.  We wandered the gift shop both before we started touring the museum and after we were done.

Raspberry Fool

As we walked into the Central Business District, we noticed one thing.  It was Sunday.  And man, Sunday in Hobart (in the Central Business District) was dead.  We walked by all kinds of places that were shuttered for the day.  But we found a Target.  You know, Target, Target.

I didn't tell anyone of my plan for why we were walking through the CBD.  It was for food.  It's always for food.

Raspberry Fool was one of the places on my list.  It's a little cafe nestled in the CBD, close to a Sunday afternoon Farmer's Market (which ended right as we were finishing lunch).  The cafe is very small and definitely funky.  They have a takeaway area, where people can order coffee and treats.  And they also have an actual sit-down area, which is where we parked ourselves (with good timing...five minutes later there were no seats left).

Because oatmeal works for any meal.
Pumpkin soup.  The bread in Australia has been extraordinarily good.
We ended up with a random assortment of food.  I had oatmeal.  Mom had pumpkin soup.  Elias had...I seriously don't remember.  We all enjoyed ourselves.  So much that we ended up getting desserts too.  I mean, if you're at a place called Raspberry Fool, you have to get a dessert treat of some kind, right??

Raspberry and Lemon Muffin
Salamanca Place

Where the CBD was mostly closed, Salamanca Place was pretty open.  The rain that had kept us from our morning tour had kept mostly out of sight.  Unfortunately, as we walked into the market, the skies opened and we had to seek shelter.  It also gave us a minute to understand what Salamanca Place was.

Rabbitgirl and Dogman
Salamanca Place is where the Salamanca Market lives.  But it lived there the day before we arrived.  Vendors line the streets selling food, art and crafts.  So it's kind of my perfect place.  My perfect place being a market with all of these fun things where I look around but never actually buy anything.

On non-Market days, it's a bit of a shopping district.  Unlike the CBD, this area has bigger restaurants for lingering on a patio and funkier shops.  The Targets, chain stores and malls fade into the distance and in its place are the art galleries and jewelry shops.

I still didn't buy anything.  I rarely do.

St. David's Park

Mom was ready for a break, so we began our walk back to the hotel.  As we walked, we came across a picturesque small park where Autumn had vomited all over the place.  This might have been my favorite place in Hobart.

Not quite in St. David's Park, but a block or so away.
Gasworks Cellar Door

Across the street from our hotel was a wine shop.  As we left for our "tour" in the morning, I noticed the building touting "Wine."  It was closed in the morning.  And it was Sunday.  I didn't imagine it would actually be open (because of church or whatnot).  So when we got close to our hotel, I was happy to see a big "Open" sign by the entrance.  I asked the workers at the hotel about the shop and honestly, they didn't really know what to say.  Maybe they didn't drink??  I sent Mom and Elias up to their rooms.  And I walked across the street.

Gasworks Cellar Door is both a wine shop and a kind of museum of Tasmanian wine.  You can walk through the different rooms of the shop (which are adorable, yet I didn't think to take pictures), or you can walk right into the area with the tasting.

For AUS$10, you had a choice of three different types of tastings.  You could try 12 wines, six wines, or three wines.  The woman at the counter greeted me and I asked what she would recommend.  She said to go for the six wine tasting.  "Quality over Quantity"  Done.  I tried three reds and three whites.  And I learned a bit about Tasmanian wine.

Tasmanian wine is not distributed.  Almost anywhere.  The woman said occasionally you might find Tasmanian wine in Sydney, but definitely you won't find Tasmanian wine any further away.  So if I found a bottle I loved, I was going to have to buy some before I left the island.

If you're going to a tasting at Gasworks Cellar Door, know a tasting will take about 30 minutes.  Maybe more if you are by yourself and you get to chatting with the staff.  Happily, I got to the store at a good time.  I was the only one there and they were closing in 30 minutes.  So it was a perfect stop for the day.  And of course I ended up buying a bottle of Tasmanian Riesling.  It wasn't even a question.

I think this is the newspaper building
Mures Upper Deck

The food situation in Australia has been a little trickier than in trips past.  My "normal" food consumption wasn't going to work with this crew.  There were three other people that don't necessarily like all of the food I'll gravitate towards.  Or at least the timing doesn't always work between the four of us.  Someone is always hungry when the rest of the crew isn't.  But there's one thing we all agree on.  We needed one nice meal on our trip.

Now I can't lie.  Mures Upper Deck wasn't our first choice.  But it ended up being the best choice.  We were a little underdressed but it didn't matter (my belief is that even if I'm underdressed, my money is still good).  It was a time for us all to sit and relax.  Where we could talk about how amazing it was to be traveling.  Where we weren't racing to figure out our next step.  And where we had some really tasty food.  I had a smoked fish chowder that was super cozy.  Mom had fish and chips that we knew immediately was her favorite thing ever.  Because she finished the whole plate.  Which isn't something she normally does.  Even now, we talk about how much we enjoyed the meal.  That's a good sign.

Our day in Hobart ended with a scoop of ice cream on the ground level of Mures.  We were all pretty tired.  It was an early morning today and it would be an early morning tomorrow.  And there was plenty of food in our future.


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