March 24, 2015

Hobart & Ararat summary

Tasmania done. starting today i have full week of holiday and we will go to Sydney for a long weekend. yesterday i worked my ass off, in a good way, a clients website is going through some changes and i always love those, a testers paradise. actually im really bummed that my holiday is right now, if i had known much earlier, i wouldve wanted to be there for the rest of the week too. im just a little obsessed that perhaps some bugs will make it to production because i wasnt there. maybe thats a little too narcissistic view...

so we were not too happy with Tasmania. BUT i totally recognize that if u have a car and a week or so, and maybe love hiking/trekking, and prepare for windy weather, it could be pretty awesome - the nature is obviously impressive. this was not the case with us and i take partial responsibility for going to places where maybe i shouldnt go. next time ill google before buying flights? :D but im still entitled to an opinion. i dont regret going but the one word i have is 'meh'. bloody cold freezing wind, empty center (because car city - ppl live in suburbs), nothing much to do, expensive. we thought about going on a tour to an animal sanctuary but they mostly just host the tassie devil, and maybe a couple marsupials... overpriced tour to see a black rodent like animal with a funny name? yeah no. of course once i gathered that im not fond of Hobart i was psychologically preconditioned to dislike everything, im still interested in going to see the animals in sanctuary near Melbourne. but honestly, kangaroos and koalas win tasmanian devil any day.

enjoying a wine INSIDE in a WARM cafe by the docks, planning our Hobart days.

a free concert at a small courtyard next to the arts center, every friday. it was very cute. but again, we were freezing.

Tasmanian art museum was actually more like a history museum, or perhaps we just saw that part. but it was free entrance and very nice! educational regarding Tasmanias history (TL;DR the british and dutch settlers came and killed all the locals and populated the island) and with a small natural history museum with local animals etc.

the art museum courtyard.

the botanical garden was huge beautiful . getting back frm there to the city...not so great, walked on the side of the highway forever and then waited for a bus for nearly half an hour. freeing, naturally. fuck that shit...

asian food in Hobart. i was lucky that the only restaurant open at 7pm on a sunday was an asian place.

rules for home delivery :D i DO understand why these things are so "difficult" in countries like australia or finland, but its still an amusing comparison to istanbul. the latter obviously has its benefits, from a consumer perspective anyway, maybe not the delivery guys'...

okay then, we stayed in a motel slightly outside the center. good quiet sleep and nothing special, fine. interestingly the place was full of asians. like, fully booked full, i didnt know they had so many rooms full. when we arrived before check-in, we sat in the lobby just watching these people come out with their luggage, and then more came, and more, and it didnt end. obviously a group that were all departing that morning. and why does it matter? it doesnt. they couldve been bikers or scandinavians. just an odd feeling watching what seemed in the end like hundreds of people belonging to a 'specific' group, walk past with almost identical luggage (the big hard case type). we thought maybe they walked out and then to the back of the building and kept coming out again, in a circle...  (okay we were tired from the travel, it does not seem as amusing now as it did then).

finding a cafe or a place to eat in the weekend especially was hard, all the places were closed. shops and bars there dont even display opening hours on the window, and i came to understand that its probably useless as they are almost never open anyway. otherwise it would say something like "open from 2pm until late". asking one of the places about late, they estimated 8pm.

center of Hobart:

the week before, me and doctor made a day trip to Ararat. a real aussie small town. wayyyy smaller than Hobart but we still had a great experience. but the day was warm and we had zero expectations. and it was  a DAY trip after all.  

i think i also understand why the town got so overweight - there are practically only unhealthy options for eating out. and while the park was beautiful (like all parks weve seen here!), i dont think there is anything that motivates people to exercise outside. i know small towns must mostly be like this, a couple of chinese places, a burger-cafe-deepfriendstuff-place, a restaurant cafe thats open sporadically and maybe one italian. most of these were not open on the sunday we visited, anyway.

the cafe-fast food joint. not very busy (a few teenagers were sitting in a remote table, they left soon after we arrived).
there was a vintage car & rock festival though (Jailhouserock festival). meaning a field next to the park where people gathered to listen to rockabilly music and look at old fancy cars. we visited. i think (ok, i know) there was an entrance fee of 25 aud, but we approached the area from the park and just walked over a knocked down fence. there were other entrances too, but the ticket booth was by a road entrance where you enter with a car. this city was NOT for pedestrians, we were most of the time the only people around by foot.

(people dancing to rockabilly in the tent)

the people i talked to were not somehow happy about the Biggest Loser past of the town, they seemed uncomfortable with the whole thing. i tried to make them feel better by saying it was quite inspiring (which is true), but it didnt help.

Ararat art museum was for some reason open on a sunday, and free entrance (okay there are 2 rooms, i dont know how many people would pay for that). anyway saw stuff by local and non-local artists.
Ararat town hall! i remember seeing this on the show :)  hah

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