Cider, dancing and live music… A weekend in Hobart did not disappoint.
My best friend just moved to Hobart, Tasmania. That is a total of 1,595.8km of land and sea between us. However, that is the closest we have been in years. For many years now we have been on different timezones in life but despite the distance we have remained the closest of friends.
I had just hit the 7 month threshold in Sydney and I needed an escape so with no doubt in my mind I decided to spend a f*#king cold weekend with my favourite person in Hobart.
It had been snowing the week prior to me leaving so I was a tad scared I would return with frostbite but the warmth of the Tasmanian people kept me sane. Yes, they refer to themselves as “Tasmanians” as though a completely separate nationality from Australians. I giggled and made brexit jokes.
(Pic: funny looking cows fighting – it looks like Scotland and England)
For a cold city I never expected to see so much life and activity. On Friday night we encountered an impromptu street gig at The Cove with open-air fires, Saxby’s ciders and a full Jazz/Rock band. Follow the gig we spent dinner eating the most tastiest of local produce and an all you can eat sides bar followed by more live music.
I woke Saturday to a somewhat warm sunshine and ventured down to street for the famous Salamanca markets. The rumours are true! Hobart is one very creative hub with every store featuring some unique piece of art or craft. I ate everything in sight as I meandered along the paved street only to reach the end and desperately wanting to start all over again.
On Saturday night we don leaf crowns on our heads and painted our faces with sparkles as we prepared to venture out for a night of jumping in the mud. Just outside Hobart in the Huon Valley is an apple orchard and every year in Winter the people from the community put together a festival. But this is no ordinary festival.
We arrived to discover a place bursting with energy. There were tents filled with storytellers, crafts, food and more importantly locally made cider. I was in heaven. It was as though we stepped into a celtic fair. There were people dancing to their own beat, others in outrageously interesting costumes and an air filled with some very gaelic inspired music.
Did I mention they were serving potato gems covered in bacon? Yes, there was food to tantalise all your taste buds.
Towards the middle of the night a parade of dancers, storytellers and general folk marched into the middle of the field. Holding hands they danced and sung to the apple orchard, “Old apple tree, we’ll wassail thee…” To my amazement I learnt that this was a festival dedicated to blessing the apples for the upcoming harvest.
I would never have imagined my Hobart adventure would lead me to worshipping apples let along dancing knee deep in mud to some metal rock gaelic music. To end the night the self proclaimed chainsaw folk band ‘The Crooked Fiddle’ took to the stage with an overly ecstatic performance. From crazy violin-solos to a moshpit like no other this band rocked and gave the best performance of the night to a very rewarding crowd.
As the night came to an end I had the biggest of smiles on my face. Yes I may have enjoyed a tad too much cider but having shared this wonderfully weird experience with my best mate was to best gift I had ever received. We left our stomachs filled of cider and our hearts filled of love for the unique individuals whom put this together.
Tassie for as long as I can remember has always had an interesting reputation. While the mainland refers to Tassie as the crumb of Australia I will always remember it for the talented individuals that keep it a thriving tourist destination.
My time in Hobart was short and sweet. It will not be my last visit though as I have already booked tickets for the summer. So until next time may for the grape picking season.