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Monday, 30 January 2012

A cyclist’s comments about Tasmania…

Interesting question, about rating Tasmania.
Weather is just ideal, and I am certainly enjoying the biking here.
I'm a bit disappointed though, about how few other cyclists I see here, and the dominance of the automobile culture. In that respect, some other places, like San Diego, are far better.

Also, most roads tend to be narrow, with little or no shoulder for bikers to use. Worse, when there is a shoulder, it's often made using inferior paving material, which is too rough for the narrow high pressure tires of racing bikes. That forces bikers to ride on the wrong side of the line marking the shoulder, which makes us look like kamikazes....

Having done just about every road in the Devonport region (that is not a dead end), I am more selective now, using only those circuits for training where there is very little traffic. Drivers are generally courteous, but it only takes one careless driver to ruin everything....
Still, there are many more roads to choose from, than around San Diego, for example.

Most of southern Europe is too cold to bike in winter, and I heard that Hawaii is not that great for biking either.  Some friends go to Guadeloupe during the winter, which is said to be great for biking - but only early in the morning, because the rest of the day is too hot and humid. I might try it at some point anyway, just to see for myself....
The main thing is that I'm getting into great shape and a good sun tan as well... That's what counts !

My last blog, the pictures were of Launceston, not Devonport.

All photos belong to Jaro Franta.   

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Meet a Canadian in Tasmania now…..

After I started my blog, Discover Tasmania facebook picked it up for a few days to show the Australians.
A Canadian, Jaro Franta, contacted me.  He came from Montreal to Devonport, Tasmania, and arrived here about the middle of December.  I asked him why he picked Tasmania, and here is his response.

Several reasons I picked Tas: all of them have to do with bicycling :)
However, it only became feasible this year, because of my early retirement, last September... I feel it only makes sense to go this far (and this many $$ for the flight) if it's for an extended period - rather than the usual 3wk vacations one gets when employed. The extended stay also allowed me to rent an inexpensive studio apartment, which costs a small fraction of a hotel room ( I can do my own cooking, to avoid restaurant bills)
Also, I have had some good information from friends who visited, as well as acquaintances on the GardenWeb forum, to which I subscribe (I'm an avid collector & gardener of dwarf conifers, as you may have noticed in some of my FB photo albums....)

My next blog, Jaro's comments about bicycling. 

All photos belong to Jaro Franta. 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Queen Street going down to the Derwent River, Hobart...

I lived on Queen Street, and would often cross Sandy Bay Road, walk down Queen Street and along the Derwent River to the Casino.   

Queen Street is in an old part of Hobart....

And the houses do not have big yards.

Duplex - good street appeal.

This is an old factory still being used  - gives a nice view of Hobart.

This house had lemons for sale - fifty cents - on their porch.  You would go in, put the money in the basket with the lemons, and continue on your way. 

Photos belong to Dorothy Lloyd

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Salamanca Square and around the Dock, Hobart.....

Salamanca Square is an assortment of restaurants and tourist shopping.  At one corner, there was a restaurant/laundromat.  There was also a stage where you could get up and sing, play an instrument, dance, or even juggle.  Kelly Stairs are right behind the blue building.

I would go to the Square about twice a week.  I always had lunch in the bakery, and watched whatever was happening on stage.  And then I would take the Kelly stairs home. 

Statues down by the dock..

I always had a meat pie for lunch - hot, good, and like the Australians say, Not too dear.

And see the statues on the building...

Photos belong to Jaro Franta and Dorothy Lloyd.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Use the Kelly stairs, Hobart, to chart your progress ….

Battery Point is a historical subdivision of Hobart – older cottages, lots of flowers – this signpost is in Battery Point, and you would be taking the stairs down.
I lived on Sandy Bay Road, and would often walk downtown.  This would take about 35 minutes, and then take the bus back.  But at least twice a week, I would walk across from the docks, go to the bakery for lunch, and then take the Kelly stairs home.     

Recycling was in progress - the stairs were cut from the cliff, and the warehouses below were built from the stones.

It took quite a while before I could walk up these stairs without pausing on the landings.   But remember, it is hot out and I have a backpack with either library books or shopping.  But lots of walking, so after about a month or two, no pauses.

And, of course, a hill at the end...

Photos belong to Dorothy Lloyd.

Downtown walkaround, Hobart...

You have to admire the architecture and the history.

Because you are walking, you have the time to see each building.


And, don't forget, you are still walking uphill and downhill.

 This was a store with apartments over top...

Like every other city, there are For Sale signs and construction.

  Photos belong to Jaro Franta and Dorothy Lloyd.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Japanese Gardens - Botanical Garden, Hobart....

It is quite the walk from the entrance gate over to the Japanese Gardens.  But you will be rewarded with the views... 

I noticed lots of baby and bridal showers being held here.
What a truly beautiful spot....

This part of the Gardens appeared to be always busy.

You have to look twice.....

Photos belong to Jaro Franta and Dorothy Lloyd.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Sub Antarctic Plant House and the Catcus house - Botanical Gardens, Hobart...

These sunflowers are at the end of the veggie garden, going into the Sub Antarctic Plant House. 

The bubbles on the pictures are water vapour, that was going all around the room.  There were paintings of arctic scenes on the wall, and you could hear the sounds of the animals. 

Hobart is a port destination for ships (usually painted red) going to and from the Antarctic.  Also, the ships from Whale Wars use Hobart as a port destination. 

Even the entrances are all fully planted.
Catci must grow very well here - the bottom row of windows were usually open, I guess to control humidity.  

Photos belong to Dorothy Lloyd.