A couple of weeks ago, my mum and I took a trip together to Hobart, Tasmania. I figured I'd better write a blog entry about it now, while I have access to a working computer :). I've also uploaded some pics to my Flickr account.

We had a slow start, with fog in Melbourne delaying take-off for almost 3 hours. But happily that did not foreshadow any further problems! We stayed at Hadleys Hotel in Hobart's CBD. This historic hotel was built in 1834 by convict labor, and we found it to be well located for sightseeing in the city and the nearby waterfront.

Our first full day in Hobart began with a trip to the Cadbury chocolate factory. Unfortunately the famous ‘Cadbury cruise and factory tour’ no longer involves a physical tour of the factory (the cruise part is tenuous too, what with catching a bus to and from the factory and then doing a river cruise afterwards). Instead, we were held captive in the Cadbury merchandise shop for half an hour – long enough that a chocolate block-shaped luggage tag started looking attractive, yes I bought one! Then we watched a video about how chocolate is made, before being ushered into the chocolate shop to go nuts on cocoa-related products. The 5kg boxes had several takers. I restricted myself to a couple of blocks each for Tim and me.

The Cadbury visit was followed by a pleasant cruise along the Derwent River. We saw remnants of Hobart's original vegetation along the riverside. We also saw remnants of the river's industrial past, such as the zinc refinery and catamaran building facilities. The captain told us about the dreadful accident in 1975 when the Lake Illawarra crashed into the bridge, taking down two pylons, killing 12 people (including passengers in cars that were crossing the bridge at the time) and splitting the city in half for 2 years.

Tasman Bridge

Mum and I then spent the afternoon exploring Hobart's CBD. We visited the State Library of Tasmania and its lovely Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts. And we fit in a bit of shopping, including the first of many secondhand bookshops :). Dinner was by the waterfront at Mures. Mum enjoyed her first taste of Tassie seafood. I was underwhelmed by the vege burger. The cider was great though!

The next day was a Saturday, and of course it was the occasion for a visit to the famous Salamanca Markets. I spent all my cash. I purchased a new bag, a silver cutlery windchime, some nice ceramic pieces, more chocolate, some yummy cheese and some fridge magnets (I can't help it!). We then hiked up some steep hills to admire the quaint houses of Battery Point and Arthur Circus. And clambered back down again to do some more shopping in the Salamanca Place area. I was getting a bit silly with the book buying by this stage ;)

Salamanca Markets

After all that walking, we didn't want to wander too far for dinner on Saturday night, but it turns out that Hobart's CBD is devoid of restaurants - much like Melbourne was 10 years ago. So it was back to the waterfront, where we discovered that Hobart's pubs and waterfront seafood restaurants aren't too fussed about providing vegetarian options. In the end, we found ourselves back at Salamanca Place for a late dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Oops, it's past my bed time - I'll pick this up tomorrow for Part 2!