Monday, July 11, 2016

Hobart, Tasmania

From Melbourne, we traveled across the Bass Strait over to Hobart, Tasmania, which is the big island underneath mainland Australia. The high temperatures were in the 10-12 degrees C range (50-53 F) and lows hovering around 5 degrees C (41 F), just above freezing! Fortunately it was mostly sunny and not very windy, with a couple light rain showers. That made traveling in winter a lot more tolerable.

flying in to Hobart
Hobart was home to some interesting artsy pieces in seemingly unlikely places. And we arrived on the final days of one of the weirdest events, their annual Dark MOFO festival (an abbreviation of the Museum of Old and New Art [MONA] and Festival of Music and Art [FOMA]), which is a wintertime week-long festival. Sunday evening there was a large procession of people walking in the central city with a couple floats, one of which -- the ogoh-ogoh creature -- was to be burned (to dispel the bad spirits?). We waited around but it was freezing and there was no indication that the chanting and drumming were actually leading to something, so we gave up and left. Apparently a couple hours later it finally was burnt. It was one of the strangest things I've been to and confirmed that I was not interested in going to the MONA museum, even though several people in NZ had recommended it. We're not that into modern art, and we didn't have extra time in the schedule to take the ferry out to it.

close-up of the ogoh-ogoh (looked like a dragon)

the procession of the ogoh-ogoh through the city's edge

The conference over the next several days went well, and Hobart had some beautiful (albeit very cold) nights, being on the waterfront with the moon rising.
Fish Frenzy's fried food was just average, though the
Caesar salad was good.

Tried a Panookie (cookie in a pan with ice cream and marshmallows)
at an all-day dessert restaurant

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