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.
“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”
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.