Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tasmania Adventures: Day 3, Launceston - Hobart

After a long, long ride on the bus, we finally reached the charming village of Richmond. We visited the oldest church in Australia, St. Johns - built in 1836. After visiting the church, we walked across Australia's oldest bridge to the heart of Richmond. It's a small town, but there's something so magical about it, with old English buildings that you feel like you've stepped into a street in England in the 1800s. I had the most delicious pancakes there, topped with berries and ice-cream, finished with a raspberry milkshake.

Next destination - Port Arthur.

I had been really looking forward to visiting Port Arthur, and I was just in awe of the land. Despite it being a prison, it had really open and picturesque scenery. I had researched Port Arthur for a Geography class,  one thing I learned is that you can read as much as you want off the internet, but coming to the place is where you learn most. We had a tour around the land, and was told of some of the famous and not so known histories and stories. After the tour, we were free to roam around.

We took the opportunity to visit the museum and Separate Prison. Separate Prison is a prison of punishment cells where prisoners are, yes, you know it, confined to a closed cell each to themselves, and not permitted interaction with other prisoners. Many prisoners became insane after experiencing this. We, as humans, we're not built to be alone. We're not built to isolate ourselves from the world. Looking at the cells, I couldn't imagine what it was like to live in a closed cell, surrounded by just bricks with no windows.

When we're little and naughty, adults may send us to our rooms or make us face the corner for a period of time. And even for that short period of time, we feel uneasy and a little lost. Imagine what it's like for these prisoners, who had to experience this for months and even years, in harsher conditions.

We went on a cruise on the waters at Port Arthur. It was a wonderful cruise, with really, really beautiful views. We viewed the other prison camps and was educated more about Port Arthur. One thing I cannot emphasise more is that the cruise really gives you the opportunity to take great photos of the Port Arthur's land itself, and it presents you with absolutely breathtaking views.

On our way to Hobart, we stopped by a couple of attractions, such as Blowhole, Devil's Kitchen and Tasman Arch.

After settling in our hotel, we headed back out and took a 20-minute walk out to the pier, where there was an array of seafood restaurants.  We had our seafood dinner on a small boat on the waters - fish and chips and tiger prawns. We discovered that there was also an overcrowding food festival by the pier, and after dinner, had a short walk around the festival.

I really loved today. Over my life, I've seen so many skyrise buildings and many "tallest monuments in the world" and while it's supposed to be all impressive, it's places like Port Arthur that really touch me. Today was all about the old, and I really loved that. Maybe it's because I'm infatuated with old things to begin with, but today's just one of those days where everything is just so.. perfect.

And to be honest, I haven't had many of those.

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