Wednesday, 8 February 2017

OUR HOLIDAYS IN TASMANIA, VISITING HOBART

Hi everyone,
Just picking up from where I left off about our recent trip around Tasmania.  If you just happened to read my blog for the first time or simply need to refresh your memory, here is the link to the first part of the story.

We drove into Hobart on the afternoon of a sunny warm day.  The town looked very green and clean, like the rest of the island and we immediately liked it.
At Hobart's waterfront
The place where we were staying, called Salamanca Inn, was in an ideal location:  we were within walking distance of Hobart’s waterfront with its beautiful marina, an array of restaurants and bars and the city centre with its green parks, graceful sandstone buildings, museums and galleries that we took a great pleasure in walking around and admiring them. 
Hobart's Botanical Gardens

Hobart's Botanical Gardens
We visited the Botanical Gardens and spent a few hours walking around
the amazing plants and flowers and had a delicious lunch with a million dollar ocean and city view.
Hobart's Botanical Gardens

Hobart's Botanical Gardens
We drove up to Mount Wellington to admire the bird’s eye-view over the city and glistening ocean sprawled around the foot of the mountain.
A view over Hobart from Mount Wellington

A view over Hobart from Mount Wellington
Our main interest, however, lay in visiting the MONA Art Gallery of TasmaniaWe had heard and read so much about it that being in Hobart and not seeing it with our own eyes would be unthinkable.  As a matter of fact, we came prepared well in advance.  Back in Sydney, a friend of ours, who recently visited Hobart, suggested that we should try and book lunch there, he also advised that in order to avoid a long queue, we should buy our tickets on-line. 

And so we did.  Not only did we buy tickets, we also managed to book a New Year lunch at the MONA restaurant, called the Source.

The story behind this place is quite interesting and worth reading about.  As a matter of fact, MONA is Australia's largest private museum and one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world.  Described by its owner as a "subversive adult Disneyland", the collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world's most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. With around 300 art works on display, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress even the most avid art lovers.  The only structure that stands above ground is the restaurant and the cavernous entrance hall to the museum.
An art structure outside MONA Art Gallery
The first thing indicated to us that we are about to have a great time was the quirky way each dining table was decorated.  From afar they looked just like regular square tables with glass tops but on a closer inspection, it was rather a box with a glass top and a solid bottom part set over table legs.  As we sat down, I looked through the glass and saw the bottom panel was all covered in sea salt with a message written by using thin dry twigs laid out in a circular shape on top of it saying: “It would only take one wave”.  The other tables were equally quirky decorated, some with feathers, some with stones but most of all we love what they did to the dining tables outside on a terrace.
Table setting at Source, MONA Hobart

Table setting at Source, MONA Hobart
Each table was covered in soil and natural grass and was bumpy as a lawn would be so the diners were looking for some indentations to place their glasses without spilling their contest. 
Table setting at Source, MONA Hobart
It looked like a lot of fun.  The food was utterly delicious, well cooked and beautifully presented, the service was impeccable and we had the most enjoyable time at the Source.
Lunch at Source, MONA Hobart
Then the time came to pay homage to the museum’s current exhibition.  I must confess I had mixed feelings about seeing it in the first place due to a lot of controversial opinions in the press, the public and the art gurus but we really liked it.  Some exhibits did not work for me, some of them I found being too twisted but on the whole, we loved it and I would recommend a visit MONA without any hesitation.
Inside of the viewing rooms, MONA Hobart

People gathered for a concert outside MONA, Hobart
And then our time in Hobart had come to the end and the next thing we knew we were on the plane returning to Sydney.

Hope you enjoyed reading my recounting of our Tasmanian trip and would consider putting it on your next holiday destination trip.  Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Until then,