Saturday, October 15, 2016

Launceston

It must be a sign of old age and advancing decrepitude that I somehow got us on an evening flight back to Sydney instead of the morning flight. It meant that we had a full day to spend in Launceston which gave us a chance to explore.


We left the Airbnb which most quite comfortable and parked the rental car just outside the parking meter area. Launceston did not experience the same growth that happened in Hobart and other larger Australian towns and cities so a lot of the nice old buildings survived.



The street we walked down to the down town area. It was Spring and the leaves were coming out.



To be frank, this building puzzled me. It appears to be a former church that is in private hands but the outside paint seems to have been deliberately allowed to weather and peel.



Granted it would cost a lot to paint, but if you bought such a building you would have taken that cost into consideration. Having done a bit more research it appears this building was a former Presbyterian  Church which has been bought by an architectural company. They have transformed the innards but left the outside as is. Read more about it here.


It's now an office but would have been a lovely residence.


Milton Hall. There is an interesting blog entry about it here.


Princes Square Park. It used to be a brick field for the construction of nearby buildings.


There is a story that the fountain was ordered from a French company by Launceston in England but it got shipped to Launceston in Tasmania.





The local Synagogue.


Downtown just before the shops opened.



The Brisbane Arcade. Most major Australian cities have at least one arcade. They are a good location for smaller specialty shops that could not afford the rent of a larger shop on a main street.





One of the few umbrella shops in Australia. It might be the only one left.






Porridge purveyor.


We wandered into the City Park.





Launceston became a sister city of Ikeda City in Japan who gave Launceston a bunch of Japanese macaques which appear to be monkeys.



It was interesting to watch them groom each other.



The Conservatory.




The Jubilee Fountain.


Bandstand.


Even a Russian cannon from the Crimean War. 



No chance of my ashes being stuffed up the barrel here.


Yes, definitely Russian.



Support structure for an old gasometer. Young people today have no idea what this would have looked like.


There is a long wiki article about this gasworks which makes interesting reading.


The Albert Hall. It's used as a convention center.





Launceston is situated at the junction of the Tamar and North Esk River. This is the North Esk which we crossed on the way to the Launceston Tramway Museum.



Launceston had trams and they were removed in 1952 to be replaced by buses.





We wandered into the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. It is the largest in Australia in a non capitol city.

 

Part of the Museum is devoted to trains.



I wonder how life would have turned out if I had become an engine driver.


An old Holden from 1958. For much of the latter half of last century, Holdens were Australia's most popular car.



Guards van.


Most old guards vans in Australia had a dog box.



A very narrow gauge steam engine.



Who was Neil Burrows?


The usual collection of large bones for some dinosaur. You can't be a real museum without a dinosaur.


An old caravan.



Somewhat plain inside compared to today's luxury.






More about the beer here.

It was quite an interesting museum.


Yet another interesting building on the way back to the car.

We then headed off to the Cataract Gorge which is the subject of a separate blog entry.

I am still puzzled how I booked the incorrect flights but now I am glad I made the mistake. I quite like Launceston and it was a pleasure to visit.





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