Welcome to the A to Z challenge, a blog post everyday of April apart from Sundays, covering every letter of the alphabet. My theme is travel, that thing that we haven’t been able to do over the last 12 months, so it seemed appropriate to reminisce about past travels we’ve taken, looking forward to when we can travel freely again.
For those of you who may not have noticed the title of the blog, I am the Tasmanian Abroad, and one of today’s places is the state capital, alongside an island that fulfilled a lifelong dream.
In the south of Tasmania is the capital city of Hobart, which is a great place to visit and has lots of culture to explore. I’ve taken my beloved there once on a trip home, and one of the things I really wanted to do was take him up to the top of kunanyi / Mt. Wellington so he could see the view – problem was that each morning we woke up to thick cloud sitting over the top of the mountain. That is until the morning we were leaving when it turned out to be a perfect day.
This is the view of the city from the top, showing the Wrest Point Casino (the only tall building on the foreshore in this picture) which, when opened in 1973, was the first casino in Australia.
Here’s a different view where, if you look closely, in the middle of the picture you can see the Tasman bridge which links the two sides of the city. On January 5th 1975, the Lake Illawarra, a bulk ore carrier, struck the bridge causing the middle section to collapse. 12 people died when the bridge collapsed, 5 people in cars that plunged off the bridge, and 7 of the ship’s crew when the bridge fell on the ship. You can read more about it in this ABC News story. The amazing thing is that one of the cars that ended up balanced on the edge, with the front wheels off the bridge, is now in the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, after still belonging to the same man all that time.
Here’s the two of us enjoying the lovely day and I’m looking slightly worried as the person we’d asked to take the photo wasn’t the most confident with what they were doing.
Things that Hobart is famous for. It’s the finishing place for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race which starts in Sydney on boxing day. There are some great museums and art galleries including Mona – Museum of Old and New Art, and every Saturday is the fabulous Salamanca Market.
The other H has to be Hvar, a Croatian island where we spent a wonderful holiday – if you’ve read my D post you’ll know that Croatia was a dream holiday for me and this beautiful island didn’t disappoint. We stayed in Hvar town which is a car free zone, which made it really lovely. The two pictures below show the harbour from the side and from the fort on the hill above.
Hvar is a really long, thin island in the Adriatic sea and the town we stayed in is popular for yachts to stop at, and when I say yachts, yes there are a few normal sized yachts, but then there are lots that you would more expect to see moored in the harbour at Monaco.
The island is a magical place to stay, and so much beautiful nature to explore. There are fields of lavender, ancient olive groves, and crystal clear waters. Hvar town has fabulous restaurants and lots of cafes which are perfect for lazy days and people watching. My beloved, who was still a policeman at that point, wanted to get a job transfer to Hvar as we often saw the local policemen sitting having a drink at the cafes in uniform.
Here we are at a really lovely restaurant – the food was amazing and the staff were really helpful and friendly.
One of the must do things in Hvar town is a visit to the 15th century Franciscan Monastery which is a short walk around the harbour. There is a museum with ancient texts, coins, and paintings, including a very large painting of the Last Supper.
We were fortunate enough that whilst we were there we were able to attend a concert in the courtyard in the monastery, so atmospheric sitting in the ancient building listening to traditional Croatian songs sung by a local choir.
When on holiday we like exploring off the beaten path, and had read about a deserted village, Malo Grablje, and decided to do the walk from inland down through the village to the sea. We asked a taxi driver from outside Hvar Town to take us to the nearest spot in the hills that he could get to for the village, but with the language barrier, when he did drop us off we weren’t sure where we were. We knew if we headed for the coast we would be fine, and somehow we did stumble across the abandoned village, and when we made it to the coast we found a lovely seaside taverna and enjoyed a much needed cold drink.
My very tanned beloved enjoying one of the many ice-cream creations we indulged in. I think because it has fruit in it he thinks it’s healthy.
One of our many perfect days was stopping at a bakery to buy fabulous pastries and a drink, and then walking up to the 16th century Spanish fort above the town where you get amazing views, and if you go early it can feel like you have it all to yourself.
Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit other bloggers who are crazy enough to be doing the challenge with me – Click Here to visit the master list of participants.
Stay safe and have a good day.
Previous A to Z posts:
2018 – H is for Hope
2017 – H is for Highland Cows
2016 – H is for Holy Island