Trivia time. First, what country has theTravelsketcher been to more times than any other? (Outside of the USA of course.) Secondly, where do the second and third oldest friends of mine live? The answer to both: Australia.
Australia has been my destination over 20 times. Oddly enough it was not until my last trip there that I ever saw a kangaroo in the wild. On one of those early trips, about 25 years ago, I met MaryAnne and then David, her husband . Oddly enough MaryAnne and I met in Aukland, New Zealand, though they live in Melbourne. We are still in contact all these many years later, Zooming just last week. The only friend of mine who has known me longer is Tim, we met in High School. Tricia and I have been together 33 years.
One of my favorite places in Australia is Hobart, on the southern tip of Tasmania. I still remember that first taxi ride from the airport into town. It was my first time down under, also one of the first times I ever experienced a bit of homesickness. The reality hit me two weeks earlier when I arrived in Sydney that I was a long long way from home; a three hour flight to Los Angeles followed by a seventeen hour flight to Sydney. Hobart was the last stop of a multi-city trip, I was tired and I was missing home. As the taxi crossed the Tasman Bridge over the Derwent River into town I saw the bay, and the dusting of snow on Mount Wellington; I felt like I was home, it reminded me of Puget Sound and the islands, I have loved the place ever since.
This photo was taken from Wrest Point, if you are familiar with Puget Sound and the islands you will see the resemblance.
I have been back to Hobart many times since then, and I always enjoyed the town – watching county cricket at the oval, walking along the harbor, visiting an old church one Sunday morning, and of course some really good food along the way. The best bit though is Salamanca Place, right next to the harbor and the location of a famous Saturday Market. Long before the Saturday Market and the current array of shops, restaurants, and pubs, the sandstone buildings were warehouses for the cargo on and off the sailing ships and whalers in the 19th century. Read Tricia’s blog about her trip to Hobart.
Most often my first stop, after checking in to my hotel, was The Whaler Pub in Salamanca. Established in 1829 by Rev. Robert Knopwood, it is still a vibrant place to grab a pint of James Boags Premium along with a bag of Salt and Vinegar Crisps. Unless the weather is inclement, sitting outside for people watching or sketching is the best. I do miss being there.
I did this sketch from a photo, it would be nice to get back some day.
As always keep traveling and sketching, even if its just around the block.