Sunday, December 02, 2007

Beautiful Hobart

While I was in Hobart for the funeral, I decided to get out and about in the couple of spare hours I had after the wake before the sun went down, and, again, the following morning, before I needed to head to the airport to catch my first of two flights for the day. Hobart is not so easy to get to from Canberra, having to catch connecting flights in either Sydney or Melbourne. It's a four-hour minimum trip. Not something you can do in one day really.

Anyway, I may have mentioned that is our plan to leave Canberra and move south to Tasmania - Hobart to be exact - within the next five years. We most certainly have to be there by 2013, when we have Romily booked into Year 5 of school.

Downtown Hobart

Carl has lived in Hobart before, during a two-year posting with the Army. I've not lived there, but I feel drawn to the place and every time I visit, which is usually once a year. I feel like I'm coming home.

Added attractions are that my parents are retiring to an island paradise south of Hobart in the next two years, my good friend Kate lives there, and my brothers and their families are regular visitors. Surprisingly, quite a few of Carl's oldest friends are also from Tasmania, and are frequent visitors, particularly around the holiday season when they're catching up with family.

But they're only secondary reasons, the primary being that Hobart is a place of natural beauty, history and charm - everything Canberra is not. The pace is also a lot slower than anywhere else in Australia. I am tired. Tired of working so hard, every week, year after year. I have another 30 or so years of work ahead of me, and I don't know if I can handle the constant pressure. I do know that I am a much happier person when I don't have such a burden on my shoulders. Tassie offers a kind of sanctuary in that it has really been left behind by the 'rat race'. Don't get me wrong, people work hard in Tassie, but it's just a different kind of work. It's also far removed from Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, and the further you are away from the power centres, the less you feel like a mouse trapped in a wheel going nowhere.

Property prices are lower than any other capital city. What we own here in Canberra could buy us a large house on a large block overlooking the river or the ocean in Hobart. It's also the only place in Australia where you can go from the snowfields to the beach within 30 minutes. The outdoor lifestyle is hard to beat. Hobart has some of the longest days in Australia, and is the second driest capital, so while it's chillingly cold in winter, the days are clear and pristine. It really is like a piece of heaven on earth. We are both very fixed on living there. The sooner the better in my book, but we really have to wait until we have baby #2. Then I can start looking for a job down there. We need Carl to be able to slot back into work really easily, and that just can't be done in Hobart. So it'll be a couple of years before we can make the move. It feels sometimes like we'll never get there, but every so often we manage a visit.

So, getting out and about after the funeral was a way not only to reacquaint myself with Hobart, but I also used it as an opportunity to get a better idea of where we (I) might like to live. Here are some photos I snapped as the sun went down.

This could possibly be my dream house, but perhaps I've been reading Pride and Prejudice too often!

This is its view:

And some from early Friday morning before I headed north again...
Salamanca Place

Silhouette of a memorial statue of famous early Antartic photographer Frank Hurley

Victoria Dock

The world famous Constitution Dock, the end of the line for the Sydney-Hobart open ocean yacht race

The entrance to Constitution Dock

Look how clear the water is in the harbour...
This is one of the main buildings at Romily's future school - The Friends' School. The school has strong social values and is very community focused, which we really like about it. It also offers the International Baccalaureate as an alternative to the Tasmanian Certificate of Education. I had a lovely walk through the grounds before the children started arriving for school.

I left Hobart exhausted - emotionally drained from the funeral and tired from flying - but not with a heavy heart. We'll be back for another visit in around five weeks, for our summer holiday. I can't wait.


Little Munchkins said...

The photos are beautiful. I have never been to Tassie but I would love to visit there one day. It looks so peaceful and I think I would love it.

joyce said...

Tasmania looks lovely. Maybe we should try to visit there when we go to Australia. My DD was asking if there was any particular place we wanted to visit. Hmm...

Emma said...

You take terrific photos, Lily! I hope your plans fall into place. But Canberra's not so bad!

Cathy said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Tassie is a very special place - I met my husband there and then we went back 4 years later for our honeymoon. My brother lives down there as well, as he is married to a Taswegian.

We try to get down there as much as possible - but like you say, work get s you in, and it is sometimes all too hard.

thanks for reminding us to 'smell the roses'

AJ said...

Beautiful Photos...thanks for the trip down memory lane...we took our honeymoon there almost 4 years ago...Our plan is to live there too one day...slightly longer time frame than your though....wonder if I can get DH to change his mind!

Clare said...

Gorgeous photos. It sounds to me as if your dream to move to Hobart is the same as ours and France. We did it so it is definitely on the cards for you too. I would suggest sooner rather than later before Romilly starts putting down roots and the wrench is too hard for her.

Thinking about a No. 2 eh?

Your dream house looks as if it could be in Howarth - Bronte country.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Lots to catch up on here...I am very sorry about your friend's husband, i think the memory quilt is a great idea.
i love your organisation and the fact that you know where you need to be as a person...School looks well worth the shift, as will the change of pace.
Your lunch bag looks fab! I am seeing this pattern around and thinking that looks like me...shall have to investigate further....and Romily really is clever....almost as clever as a Mum who knows when it is time to reroute!lol tracey

Laura said...

Oh Lily what a beautiful place, I hope all your future plans work out!