Just back from a week walking in Tasmania with a camera full of stories. Will try and unpack something each day.

Starting with Hobart airport – smallest I’ve landed in for some time (smaller than Granada, Spain, for example) – one baggage claim track, no buses to town, you’re kind of on your own here. A Yorkshire approach – if you don’t know your way round, what you doing here? Intrepid adventurer that I am, I made it to the city (!), which was closed – but then it was Sunday.  The centre (called CBD in Australian towns, for central business development, I think) reminded me of Preston, with its Poundstretcher-type shops and criminal concrete office blocks plonked into  old shop fronts and connected by standard issue malls. At least Preston had the excuse of being bombed. (Wait, it does get better…)

Horrid Hobart office blocks in beautiful settingHobart harbour, old and newLovely old office block

Yet the setting is absolutely lovely; Mount Wellington behind, deep harbour ahead, fringed with nineteenth century pubs and, the first building in every settlement, the customs house. Spent a great couple of hours in the Tasmanian Museum, which has the ramp from early settlement, around 1810, revealed in its forecourt, like Roman ruins. One of the oldest buildings in town, it contains both its own history and, on the top floor, that of the people the British displaced. Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples were completely wiped out as I understand it (from guides who refer to various explorers “encountering trouble” ) though their scattered descendants are now trying to reconstruct what was 40,000 years of continuous culture until a couple of hundred years ago. More on this later.

Tasmanian museum