Thursday, March 06, 2008

Leaving Mt Stuart to Launceston

Well it has been a few months since leaving Hobart and I am slowly finding time to sort through my photos and digitally tweak them.

This is the last photo I took of Elizabeth street. Roseline and I used to walk down here all the time to buy our groceries, noodles, subway, coffees, muffins and other pastries. This photo was taken on the bus just as we were leaving for Launceston.

Before leaving we of course had to clean the unit and organise sending our 7-8 months collected stuff back home to Perth. This was hell stressful. We were cleaning the unit right up until we had to jump in a taxi to go catch our bus. Oh and the people who were meant to pick up our luggage decided that they weren't going to show up at the arranged time and were planning on getting there after we were supposed to be on the bus. We called them up and they made some excuse that they called us and left a message, which was a lie since Roseline's phone doesn't record messages and there were no missed calls. Good news is after I said to them directly "I don't like being lied to" they made sure that they were there before we had to catch our taxi.

I will miss that place. It was a beautiful home that overlooked the city, it was close enough that we never needed a car, it had a lot of space and character. Roseline and I have many good memories there such as eating noodle soup and watching 'Ulysses 31'.

We booked a room at the 'Penny Royal' in Launceston. It's quite a quaint little hotel with its European design. The rooms were all named and ours happened to be called 'Elizabeth'. We thought of this as a good omen (we would question this later in Melbourne) as Roseline created a little rabbit character called 'Elizabeth' .

I found out that my parents had stayed at this hotel and they told us that we had to check out a miniature museum that they had. We were later told at the reception that since the hotel was being managed by a Sydney company, the bosses over there did the numbers and decided to close it. It's always sad to hear that.

The taxi driver who took us from the bus station to the hotel told us that we had to check out the Cataract Gorge. Giving us very loose instructions on how to get there we decided to walk there after we dropped off our luggage at the hotel. He told us that there was a restaurant in the middle of the park so we thought it would be a nice place to have dinner. Due to the crazy rushing around we did that day, getting ready to leave and the lack of sleep from worrying, we hadn't eaten anything and we were super tired. So we weren't prepared for the 2hour aimless wandering we had to do before we reached the Gorge, and then to find out that the restaurant was booked. I was grumpy as hell and just wanted to go home, Roseline however was in awe by the gorge (which in hindsight was very pretty) and managed to take a few nice pictures even with me grumbling and hurrying her along.

Launceston was really quite an interesting city. Polar opposite to Hobart, which was like a quaint country town. It seemed to have something of a Melbourne vibe to it. There were these two interesting bits of graffiti I came across as we were walking around the town that I liked.

In the Launceston central park there were monkeys. Japanese monkeys. I thought this was pretty crazy. When we had our lunch these monkeys were running around crazy, but when we went up to photograph them they were sitting still and just sleeping. Dam monkeys.

There's also a monkey bank. People seem to throw money into the moat in the monkey cage. I can't see that as wise investing but Roseline says I'm not very good with that sort of stuff anyway.

The park was quite nice, very green and it had a lot of old sculptures and water fountains. There was an art gallery on the edge of the park that had a lot of woodcrafts in it. Probably a couple of rain forests used to produce the work, but really interesting stuff. I liked the business card holders.

One of the highlights of our trip back home to Perth was our visit to the radio museum. This was actually in the Launceston park and we were a little hesitant to go into the building but the two people looking after the museum were so friendly and they really enjoyed showing us all these wonderful old radios. I did a great job at photographing everything out of focus. Hopefully Roseline took a few good ones that she will put up soon. What was really interesting is that the radio station is still running and it is apparently in the Guinness book of records for the longest running radio station. Pretty good for a community radio station.

The final place we saw was the umbrella factory. Roseline wanted to visit this place as she wanted a locally made parasol to take home. When we arrived there we found out it was no longer a working factory, they only had a small display of antique umbrellas and when Roseline asked where one of the parasols that was available to buy was from the lady answered, "It was probably made in China". It was priceless to see Roseline screw up her nose when she said that. Now that was a photo opportunity missed haha.

Well this ends the Launceston part of Roseline and my journey back home. Next up we go to Davenport.

Oh if you haven't read it already Roseline did a nice post about a trip we did in Hobart.

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