Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Trip to Hobart, Part Five: A Hobart Miscellany and Last Orders

After checking into our hotel on the first day in Hobart, Shane and I went for a walk to get our bearings. An exploration of nearby Victoria Docks proved to be extremely fruitful. We bought advance tickets for MONA (see Blog Post Tuesday, September 22) and also discovered the Bruny Island Tours booking office, where we decided to book passages on the cruise that was documented in my previous post.

Shane studies The Bernacchi Tribute - Self Portrait, Louis and Joe (detail) at Victoria Docks. See also plaque below.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery from Victoria Docks

Gratified that our trip was already starting to take shape, we stopped for a drink at the Hope and Anchor, directly opposite the docks. Its name seemed to be a positive omen. (Regular visitors to this blog may remember that an anchor tattoo is the leitmotif of Inking Up, the current exhibition at Castlemaine Gallery and Historical Museum, that I have some works in). As it happened, we discovered yet another connection with tattoos. We got talking to the young barmaid, who told us that she and her boyfriend had first called into the pub late one night some months back, after other hotels had refused to serve them because of his tattoos. She fell in love with the upstairs rooms, which she likened to a museum. In fact, she was so impressed with the pub and its friendly landlords, she asked for a job there. On her advice, we climbed the stairs and were similarly enchanted by the eccentric, eclectic collection, which was spread over several rooms.

The Hope and Anchor 

Above and directly below: upstairs rooms at the Hope and Anchor

I’ve never associated Art deco architecture with Hobart, but we discovered some striking examples in our immediate area:

Colonial Mutual Life Building

Headquarters of the Mercury Newspaper

The T & G Building is minutes away from Hadley's Orient Hotel, where we were based

It’s always hard to relax during the last day in another town, especially if you have a plane to catch. We were fortunate that our final day was also market day (as mentioned in Part 1 of this five-part series, Salamanca Market was a short walk from our hotel). It was a perfect way of whiling away a few hours. 

We called into Colville Street Gallery and had a coffee in the gorgeous little café outside the Peacock Theatre before taking on the market. 

Shane at Salamanca Market, Saturday, September 12

Some seriously talented makers (and, as shown above, others who are not quite so serious) sell their wares at Salamanca Market; it is every bit as colourful and lively as we remembered it. Better still, we found a stall selling insect specimens, where I discovered an absolute treasure - the exquisite leaf insect pictured below. I’ve been searching for one of these for a long time. On the rare occasions I have come across examples in Melbourne, they are always prohibitively expensive.

Leaf insect - a lucky find at a Salamanca Market stall

With some time still up our sleeves, we decided to end our trip much as we’d begun it, with a drink at the Hope and Anchor. Here’s to you, Hobart, and to our speedy return.

Above and directly below: last orders at the Hope and Anchor