Salamanca Markets

But wait, the day is not over yet…

After viewing the mountain in all its glory we head back down to Hobart.

A stop in a small rest area for a coffee from the thermos brings an unexpected encounter. A group of 3 couples have a cosy fire going on the BBQ plate and the smell drifts across to us. I smile and say “Hello”.

The immediate response is “Come and share our meal.” They are very insistent and we love meeting people so we join them. They are international students, 2 couples are from Iraq and the third couple from Libya. Their English is good and the conversation is lively, sharing our opinions and questions and answers about our different cultures. It is interesting to hear an inside description of these volatile regions.

That is what we love about travel, the people you meet. We drive on discussing the conversation we shared. Suddenly I spot something I must take a closer look at. It is a bus stop, but not an ordinary bus stop. Just take a look at this….

This day is getting more and more interesting. What will we see next.

Jack is very fond of looking around op-shops and in South Hobart is a tip shop extraordinaire we have been told about. We detour to take a look.

Re-cycled art

 

Re-cycled art

 

Now this we simply must see. It is displayed in the art gallery at the Salamanca Markets.

It is almost 3pm and the market folk are packing up but the galleries are still open. What an amazing collection of creations. The imagination of people of all ages is unbelievable. What a challenge that so many have risen to. These are only a very few of what filled the gallery.

As we leave the gallery it is getting dark. Across the road we see people clustered around drums of fire. We must investigate.

Hobart is holding a winter festival called “Dark Mofo”. It is based around art and the MONA art gallery  (We visited this amazing place, click on the link to visit it again). Part of the festival is a medieval feast that is held in the warehouses on the water front. The gates have just opened and the crowds are pouring in. We join them. Inside on an elevated stage a group of 3 musicians are playing medieval type music, “Green sleeves” and similar. Long wooden tables and benches stretch the length of the building. The night chill has settled in and every one is wrapped in warm winter clothes, scarves, gloves and thick jackets are the fashion. The atmosphere is jolly, the noise level is high and the caterers are under pressure. I love being swept around, past the tempting array of food and drink, absorbing the atmosphere. Jack is in his element taking photos of the people.

All the following gallery of photos were taken by Jack.

Well what a day it has been and we haven’t left Hobart yet. We still have another 6 days of adventure and exploring this great little state.

Watch this space….

Categories: Australia, Dark Mofo, Hobart, photos, Salamanca Markets, Tasmania | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Saturday is Salamanca Market day

Bellerive beach

Henry          Saturday dawned fine and sunny, the rain had cleared a

perfect day to visit Salamanca markets.

But first to take the dogs for their morning run along the beach.

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“Set on Hobart’s historic waterfront, Salamanca Market is  Australia’s biggest, brightest and best outdoor market. Every Saturday, the Georgian warehouses of Salamanca Place look down on a bustle of colour and music, as visitors and locals come to meet, eat and pick up a bargain or two. Market stalls and vendors sell everything from hot baked potatoes to antiquarian books, from hand-carved craft in Tasmania’s specialty timbers to sheepskin boots. The fresh fruit and vegetable stalls are simply superb – this is the place to grab the makings of a perfect Tasmanian picnic. Buskers entertain the crowds – on a typical day you might hear blues guitar, barbershop quartets, Irish harp, classical violin and the music of the Andes. Open 8:30am to 3pm, the market is an outstanding cultural experience”

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Well that is what the web page tells you.

It was on my list of must do while I am here. I love all types of markets, craft markets, farmers markets, flea markets, car boot sales they all have an appeal and charm that I cannot resist. Salamanca Markets are said to be the biggest in Australia with over 300 stalls, spread out over one kilometre, surrounded by mature plane trees, that at this time of the year are clad in glorious autumn foliage, in front of the beautiful sandstone, Georgian warehouses that also house craft shops, art galleries, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops.

I hopped aboard the local bus in anticipation of an interesting and photogenic few hours.

As I followed the crowds all heading in the direction of the markets it started to spit with rain.

Oh no! The morning had been so fine and with a clear blue sky I had expected a sunny day. I had not brought an umbrella with me.

The rain increased and I discovered that the awnings outside the art galleries and restaurants  had heaters under them. So I stood and dried off and warmed up with a crowd of other people who had also forgotten to bring umbrellas.

Gradually the rain stopped. The distinctive sound of bagpipes from nearby  drew me out from the heat of the awning. A very energetic and talented mother and daughter were giving a spirited display of sword dancing to the drone of the pipes.

So my market experience started.

The market is huge. Despite the rain the crowds were large. I can only imagine how crowded they would be in the tourist season of December to March. I enjoyed the people watching, listening to buskers, admiring the many and varied stalls, walking through the warehouses looking at the art and craft, some paintings I liked, some I really wondered if any one would buy them. I wandered around eating hot chips from a paper bag. The sun stayed hidden behind threatening grey clouds but the rain stayed away for the rest of the day.

 I did enjoy the markets. Even on a grey and overcast day,  with every one dressed for the cold it did not dampen spirits and the music and buzz created that distinctive atmosphere that I so love about markets.

I did not see all the stalls, so I have promised myself that I will visit again and try to go on a sunny day.

I walked back to the bus through the historic St. David’s park. The autumn leaves are falling rapidly now and soon the bare branches of winter will be here and all that glorious autumn colour will just be a memory in my photos.

Historic St. David's park

Historic St. David’s park

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

Categories: Australia, Hobart, photos, Salamanca Markets, slide show, Tasmania | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

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