Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back from Tassie

We returned from Hobart last night after a couple of great days.

This was kind of a test run for both of us to do a reality check that we really want to retire there and also to learn more about the place. The short result - we both love it in Tasmania. Amazing land- and seascapes, great food, and a terrific balance of being big enough to have most everything we like to do without being so big that it's a pain - and expensive - to do them.

Being serious foodies, we were excited that Tasmanian scallops were in season and on just about every menu. They are smallish and very sweet and a real treat, and we both ate them for lunch every day. We had them pan fried on a Greek salad Monday, then deep-fried with chips (fries to you Americans) the next day. Yesterday we had them pan seared on a bed of cauliflower risotto. Needless to say the fried with chips were easily the best, even if the least healthy.

Because we had large lunches, we went to a deli and skipped dinner and had cheese, sausage and pate in the room. I am pretty sure I would have eaten a lot less if we had gone to a proper restaurant, but it was all good.

The weather was beautifully sunny and crisp (not all that cold), and we took a few drives. We went to Huonville one day, and the views are just spectacular. The picture at the top of this post is of Sleeping Beauty, a mountain on that route, about 20 minutes from where we will live.

We also went along the tourist drive up to Richmond and Sorrel and saw an entirely different landscape, one where inlets from the ocean have created gorgeous views of rolling farmlands reaching down to the water's edge.

This area will be fun to visit again once we move there, because it is also home to lots of wineries. Unfortunately they were closed during the weekdays in winter. But not that unfortunate since it gives us a ready-made trip when we're there.

So many of our friends have asked us if we are sure we want to move there. I think they are worried we will be in the back of beyond with nothing to do. Fact is, there is plenty to do, and driving along Kingston Beach - which is where our house is - there were so many people just having a stroll and a chat that I look forward to joining them ourselves.

And I think we can convince our friends from Sydney to make the short flight down. Even though the temperatures are starting to slide down, I strongly recommend visiting us in June, when the scallops are at their best. And we will definitely have chips with them.

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