Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Launceston Day 1

Our Dyke Friend made us most welcome for our Launceston visit. Let  me call her T and our Hair Dresser Friend who we travelled with A.  T had monitored our flight and knew it would be late. Not too long after we arrived, she picked us up in her sister's car larger car.

Now, we have been to Launceston before, but it is hard to remember. We stayed near the centre of town, I think I have worked out it was near the corner of George and Canning Streets. I remember the city area as being quite flat but also the motorway to the airport being quite steep. Let me tell you, Launceston once out of the central city area is very steep and absolutely gorgeous. We loved it. There are so many stylish old buildings, no real tower glass boxes. The housing, from the historic to the modern is stylish and well maintained. While there must be some not so nice parts, we never saw them.

In my finest stalking manner, I had looked extensively at where T lives and the area. What I could not see on maps and with Street View was the steepness of West Launceston, and really of much of the city. T has a couple of passionfruit vines and in autumn one is valiantly making a last attempt to flower.


We arrived about lunchtime and after settling in and checking out her rather nice place high on the hills of West Launceston, T took us along the eastern side of the Tamar River to where she herself had not been, Low Head. Mein gott, could the weather have not been better.


Low Head was the first area of settlement in northern Tasmania and a springboard point for explorers to prove that Tasmania was an island and not connected to the mainland. So, these very old buildings built by convicts date back to the early 1800s, but they were not for them, but the officer class. The convicts lived in timber housing. We visited the museum and the guide gave us a wonderful chat. the five dollar cost was cheap and we had the time, even though we were hungry. R had not eaten at all that day and it was around 2pm. He normally eats at about 11 to 12 in the morning. He had contracted a cold and it was really manifesting itself.


There was no wind and the sun was shining but not too hot. I never did find out what this thing is. By the time we left the museum, the cafe was only serving coffee and cakes.


A very old church snapped as we were leaving Low Head.


George Town is where we will find food, and after a little searching we did find a nice cafe in Macquarie Street.


I am not saying really, but the owner may have been a stylish slim chick dressed in black and a wearer of sensible shoes. She was very friendly and the food and coffee was good.


After the sustenance, we went to the end of the street where there are timber sculptures of the explorers Bass and Flinders, including Flinders' cat Trim.



Just so beautiful and peaceful.




From the net; in 1804, Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson took possession of Northern Tasmanian in the name of King George III. Memorial to him.


We headed back down the eastern bank of the Tamar River to where we could cross on a rather spectacular bridge. T kept having to take time to upload local football scores to a Facebook site. We were going to call into a football match, but instead we headed up the west coast of the river to Beaconsfield. The mine has closed and this is the remaining minehead.


The Beaconsfield mine has been here for a very long time. It was the site of extraordinary survival by miners when the mine collapsed in 2006, and sadly the death of miner and a respected television journalist.


It is now a museum site. Note how the building is braced with side bars and straps to prevent its collapse if there is earth movement from the abandoned mines underneath.


The town once had a train station and these railway buildings have been preserved.





We drove back along the west coast river highway but diverted off on Rosevears Drive to closely follow the river. As we were back on the highway into Launceston there were some absolutely stunning late 1900s and early 20th century houses. Launceston is just fabulous for old buildings, most repurposed. We were rather weary by the time we arrived back at T's but no time for a nap or rest. It was time for pre dinner drinks and nibbles, and how nice the cheeses, meats, olives etc were. Dinner was curried clams on a bed of mashed potato with some greens, the clams being fresh from King Island, in between the states of Tasmania and Victoria. We watched rubbish television and some football and chatted before going to bed, me and R sharing a double bed. We haven't slept together since we we were in London in  2014, but then it was in a king size bed. It was ok, and I had my earplugs in my ears. Of course I was awake early the next day, having being up at 5.30 the day before to catch our flight. I used the time to check what you had been writing about and catch up on all matters of the internet. Everyone else surfaced at about half past eight and T cooked us toast, bacon and eggs for breakfast washed down by a pot of coffee. 

22 comments:

  1. It looks delightful. And you have reminded me that a woman I used to work with moved to Launceston - and loves it. With good reason it seems.

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    1. EC, oh yes. If I was tempted away from the city....very nice.

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  2. I've tended to head straight to Hobart on my visits to Tassie and have only been to Launceston twice (the last time was in 1999). After seeing your post and lovely photos, I might have to revisit the city!

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    1. Ad Rad, it is a long time, 15 years, since we have seen Hobart, but I remember even at the time I liked Launceston over Hobart.

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  3. Even your beautiful photos get across a sense of blissful peace.

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    1. Jayne, it is blissful and peaceful.

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  4. To my shame I have only set foot in Tasmania once and that was three days, 43 years ago. I really must get there again - and for a longer visit - soon.

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    1. Victor, much to see and experience at our island state.

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  5. It's nice when visits turn out so perfectly. I've never been to Tassie, I'd like to go one day, but there's no definite plan in place. My friend J works in Launceston now after moving to Tassie four years ago.

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    1. River, yes I remember about your friend. Now if talking about hills.............well, Adelaide doesn't cut it. That is until you want to go east.

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  6. I haven't been for a few years, so thanks for the great photos. The colonial buildings are fun to examine, even if the officers lived in classy facilities and the poor convicts did not. And thankfully the churches, railway buildings and museum are also carefully preserved.

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    1. Hels, generally it seems seems northern Tasmania is very good with preservation, which makes it popular with tourists.

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  7. Nice report on the east side of the valley.
    Weather was lovely that weekend.

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    1. Margaret, don't tell me it is not always such perfect weather. T told us about frosts in winter, but I don't think Lonny is very windy.

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  8. The red and white thing is a Buoy.

    Thank goodness those convicts didn't live in the houses they'd built; they'd have half-inched all the lead off the roof!

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    1. Cro, now you mention it, it is obviously a buoy. I expect you are correct about the roofing. Convicts weren't here for no reason.

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  9. That could be one of those bouys pulled ashore.
    Love that church and the fence.

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    1. Joe, it may well be. Just checking the spelling of your name, I have realised that you are in Poona, which I know a little more about than Pune.

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  10. Your friend T sounds like the perfect host. The Tamar Valley is a lovely area. We've stayed there a few times in B&B's.

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    1. Diane, B&Bs seem to be a very big thing in Tasmania

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  11. Looks so beautiful there.

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    1. Strayer, as someone said, we don't have to travel overseas to see beauty. There is plenty here.

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