Down to Hobart

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The highlight of the next day in Launceston was … dinner.  And not just because most of the rest of the day was spent either trying to find someone to serve us breakfast or lying in the park reading a book.  “Lonnie” is a pretty sleepy town at the best of times, but on Sundays it seemed positively in a coma.  Many of the shops were shut and foot traffic in the central city was light at best.  A great excuse to do not much, so we took it.  Fish ‘n’ Chips (clue is in the name) was the choice of evening meal location, and an inspired one it was.  A truly excellent calamari salad, washed down by several bottles of cold Corona while shooting the breeze and sitting almost in the river.  It’s just along the boardwalk from the Mud Bar that I mentioned yesterday, and about a third the price.  If you’re in Launceston during summer, you need to check it out.

Picked Dean (brother in law) & Jake (nephew) up from the airport in the morning and after checking out the macaque monkey enclosure and playground in City Park, we headed for Hobart.  Driving down the middle of Tasmania really reminded me of various road trips in New Zealand over the years – it’s much greener here than most of the east coast of mainland Australia, with single lane highways and light traffic.  The 2.5 hours went quickly and we hit Hobart late afternoon.  Couldn’t have asked for a better location to stay – the hotel was just off Salamanca Place, which is the eating and drinking spot in Hobart, not to mention home to the famous Salamanca Markets every Saturday.  It’s a shame I won’t be in town for them. Taking the opportunity for a wander before dinner, I quickly fell in love with the area.  Gorgeous old sandstone brick buildings, an outdoor dining scene with a real buzz that rivals that of many larger cities, and even more attractive women.  I’m tempted to move here for the last reason alone…

Dinner at Bar Celona (the shared platter was good, the rest was only ok) and then a couple of pints at Knopwood’s Retreat before heading home.  This pub is apparently a Hobart tradition – it was pretty quiet when we were there, though I guess it was a Monday night.  It was noticeably busier the next night, so I’m sure it goes off at the weekends.  If I lived here, I could see myself spending a lot of time in the bars around this part of town.  I like them.  A lot.

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