The Salamanca Markets in Hobart were on Majella’s radar from the time that she began planning this trip. They operate only on Saturday so we needed to have a large part of a Saturday available for that activity. Because Hobart was the obvious point for arrival and departure and we were planning a circuit round Tasmania the markets would need to be at the beginning or end of our trip. We arrived at 6:00 pm on our first day so the markets had to be scheduled at the end of the trip. There was the additional advantage that any purchases would not need to be carried around Tasmania for 2 weeks.
So it was that this morning we got away a little ahead of our scheduled time of 9:00 am and headed for Hobart, a bit less than 30 minutes away by van. Parking anywhere near the Hobart waterfront is at a premium most times and Saturday morning is especially difficult anywhere within easy range of Salamanca Place. We arranged an 11:30 am rendezvous by the Abel Tasman monument at Salamanca, a spot that we knew from the walking tour of Hobart that we did 2 weeks ago. Russell managed to negotiate the traffic to a point near the Salamanca Markets where we dropped Majella and the other women before driving off to look for parking. We found that some distance away on the far side of the main shopping area where there were some 2 hour limit metered spots free. By that time it was nearing 9:30 am and 2 hours suited us just fine. We agreed to meet at the van or the rendezvous point depending where we were at the time.
I had errands assigned by Majella before we parted so we attended to those as a priority. First was to check that the Hope and Anchor, Australia’s oldest continuously licensed pub (since 1807), was offering lunch today. We walked the few blocks to the pub and confirmed that it was open for lunch. I found the menu online (looks fine on this laptop but awful on my iPhone) and emailed that to Majella. It offered an interesting variety of reasonably priced meals. Second was to check the menu at Mures Upper Deck restaurant to see if that might be an option. We walked down to the waterfront and checked the menu outside the building. It offered some interesting, if expensive, seafood choices but some of us were not excited about any of the meals on offer. Again I found the menu online and emailed it to Majella. It was not until we met up later that I discovered my emailing was in vain because Majella had left her phone in our room at Richmond.
Russell also had an errand to complete along the waterfront so we tackled that next. That done, we needed coffee. The nearby coffee shops seemed full so we wandered in the direction of the markets thinking we might find something in the row of shops beyond. We walked through the rows of market stalls without becoming distracted and found the Cargo Bar coffee point on the shop front. The young woman there suggested we might be served more quickly if we went inside. We did and think we were, though the coffee appeared to come from the same place. It did take some time for all the coffees to arrive. Before we were all done Warwick wandered off to check out some wallets and I went off in the other direction to look at the variety of stalls. By the time I got back the others were gone but no matter, we had 2 rendezvous points arranged.
I wandered the length of the market without finding anything to really distract me though toward the end I spotted a sign that I wished we had seen earlier. The markets are always well patronised, but the addition of 2500 passengers from the recently docked cruise liner certainly added to the throng. I was not very fond of trying to move through the crowds that were dawdling more slowly than I preferred and occasionally stepped to the outside of the line of stalls to make progress. Just as In arrived at the end I chanced upon Majella and a couple of the others. It was then that I found she was not receiving email because her phone was left behind.
After that I wandered through the central city shopping area but found nothing I wanted or needed to buy. I made it back to the van a few minutes before our agreed time of 11:30 am and was waiting when the other men arrived. We found our way to the rendezvous point, narrowly averting tragedy when Jim luckily warned Russell about a woman who was stepping into his blindspot and was in danger of being run down. We were barely moving at the time but she looked as though she was aware she had a lucky escape.
Once the women were aboard we headed back toward the Hope and Anchor. Russell and Warwick went to park the van while the rest of us went in to arrange a table. The young woman behind the bar informed us that lunch would begin at midday, about 10 minutes away, and that she would arrange a table for us upstairs. We waited a while and were then taken upstairs where we found a table set for 10 in a large dining room decorated with a variety of memorabilia – mostly weaponry including old rifles, swords, and halberds but with several mounted heads of deer. We settled down to look at the menu and ordered soon after Russell and Warwick returned from parking. They had to go some distance to find a spot.
The menu offered plenty of variety. Majella had already had her long awaited scallop pie in the markets so settled for a small meal of abalone with a Pagan cherry cider. I opted for the chicken jalapeño burger with chips and a pale ale. The burger had just enough jalapeño to give it some zip. Everybody found something to their taste – mostly the roast pork special – and the plates finished clean. The food was good and the decor historic. The service was also excellent and the ability of the young woman taking drink orders to correctly remember all 10 of them caused some amazement.
At the end of lunch we agreed to remain in town until 4:00 pm when we would meet at the top of the Elizabeth Street mall on Liverpool Street to be collected by the van. Russell and I walked back to the van to sort out parking and then back to the mall. From there Majella and I walked back to Salamanca where I had found there was a Kathmandu store. I picked up another pair of trousers with my preferred assortment of pockets. We had coffee at Salamanca before walking back to the mall where we met the others.
They were ready a bit earlier than arranged so Russell and I walked up to get the van and collect them. We drove back to Richmond where we later met in one of the rooms to eat a simple meal from the various treats our shoppers had brought back through the day. There was some reminiscing about the past 2 weeks. All agreed they had enjoyed it and were surprised at how much we had managed to do. It’s all over now except the trip home. We fly out at 10:30 am tomorrow and will be home late in the afternoon.