Monday, 25 March 2019

Australia Blog #8 - Launceston

Australia Blog #8 – 25 March 2019

Another bizarre Australian fact that has 
nothing to do with travelling in Tasmania:

A retired cavalry officer, Francis De Groot, stole the show 
when the Sydney Harbour Bridge officially opened on 
March 19, 1932. Just as the Premier of New South Wales 
was about to cut the ribbon, De Groot charged 
forward on his horse and cut the ribbon himself 
with his sword. The ribbon had to be retied, and 
De Groot was carted off to a mental hospital.
 He was later charged for the cost of one ribbon.

Bill and I have been travelling the last week along the north and east coasts of Tasmania, filling in areas of the map we had not seen on previous visits. As a result, I’m a little behind in my blog postings. 

I’m writing this post from Canberra. Yesterday, alas, we turned in the trusty Hyundai Elantra that we had been renting for the last six weeks and flew to Canberra. And I’m feeling separation anxiety. (From Tasmania, not the Elantra.) For the first time in six weeks, we’re not on ‘our’ island. 

I’m missing it.

Now Canberra is a fine city, filled with excellent museums and the paraphernalia of a capital city, but I’m missing the gentle chaos of Tasmania. Canberra seems a tad…um…uptight. Nothing personal, Canberra – I’m appreciating your many cultural gifts – but if we won the lottery, Tasmania would be our long-term destination.

Today’s photos come from our trip north to Launceston (aka "Luannie"), a city of 66,000 people in the north-central part of the state. The city has worked hard to preserve its architectural heritage and is a regional hub for the arts, education, and business. And it has some of the steepest streets I’ve ever encountered. I swear the street we stayed on had a 45 degree slope! There were even railings to steady yourself when descending and to drag yourself up when ascending. In retrospect, it was all great fun. A the time…well, there was a lot of huffing and puffing.

I hope you enjoy these photos of Launceston (plus one made on the drive to Launceston). Not sure when I’ll be posting again because life is suddenly getting busy. We take the train to Sydney on Thursday and then fly back to Toronto on April 2. Our idyllic five weeks in Tasmania’s Huon Valley have spoiled us.

Until next time.

Launceston Streetscape

Launceston Architecture

Launceston Streetscape

Royal Park Croquet Club
(You've got to love a city that 
has a fully equipped croquet club!)

Sunset from our balcony.

Australian-made Devaux at
the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania

Hauntingly beautiful Tasmanian Tiger sculptures 
on a pedestrian mall in central Launceston.

Rainbow flags at a Launceston yoga studio.

Bushfire north of Bothwell on the way to Launceston.

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