So..... We left Perth on Australia Day......the day when Australia celebrates the arrival of the first fleet. Aboriginals call it Invasion Day. The press was full of debate about whether Australia day is a good thing or not. A compromise being suggested is that a celebration for all Australians about being Australian could be held on another day...... Thus not celebrating the taking of land from the first peoples. It has certainly added an interesting aspect to our trip to see this being debated. It hasn't been too hard to work out which newspapers are the ones we would never buy back home, and which we would trust !
We were delighted to see this kookaburra at such close quarters....in the Botanical gardens in Perth, on our walk to the open air cinema, on our last night in Perth.
Mark, relaxing on a bean bag, designed for easy viewing of the film at the open air cinema.
On arrival in Tasmania, with tons of dirty washing, we were looking forward to using a washing machine we knew would be in our previously booked apartment in Hobart. We then discovered we had booked a hotel room in an apartment hotel...... So, no washing machine. Mark asked if we could access one somewhere in the building, and 2 minutes later we were upgraded to a beautiful apartment, with views of Mt Wellington......and a washing machine !
Hobart is lovely. Some of the older buildings are great......with ornate iron work, and beautiful Victorian facades. ( Must remember that the term Victorian, over here, means someone from The state of Victoria, I got very confused when a trivia question on the cricket scoreboard in Melbourne asked who was the First Victorian cricketer to score a century in a 20/20 match......hmmmm, I thought, surely they weren't playing 20/20 before 1901. I thought it had been invented just a few years ago. )
The Best bit of our Tassy stay was probably the boat trip we took around the Tasmanian Peninsular. The scenery was incredible...rock formations I could only imagine, demonstrating the movement of the rocks and water over millions of years. We saw albatross.......dozens of them. They are so graceful, except when they land and try to take off.....it looks impossible. So, sensibly, they spend most of their lives in the air......apparently staying on the wing for the first 3 years of their life....they sleep whilst flying, they hardly flap a wing. They took my breathe away. I made no attempt to take photos of them....I was much too busy watching them.
We saw dolphins, who were clearly playing with the boat. They were right next to the boat, closer than I have ever seen them on previous " dolphin watching" trips. As the boat was so small, we really were at their level. We also saw huge colonies of male seals......huge brutes, basking on the rocks, building up their fat layers, to be the biggest and most attractive to the females who were apparently basking somewhere else.....waiting for the fat boys to arrive.
I will return to this trip again, but before I sign off today, I just want to mention having 2 heads.
There is a wonderful art gallery in Tasmania, called MONA........containing the largest privately held modern art collection in the southern hemisphere. In the information leaflet about the stunning gallery ( architecturally, content and setting....all stunning) it says Tasmanian citizens can have free entry on proof that they are from Tassy...... Showing they have 2 heads. Apparently this is an Aussie joke.... People from Tassy have 2 heads.
Approaching MONA by boat ( called the MONA Roma )
There were 2 English heads that could not have enjoyed being in Tasmania more. Why we thought 4 days was enough, I cannot imagine.