Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Night, Oct 5th, Hobart


“Nature, history, art, and culture – all in one day”, said Pat while we had dinner at a small café tonight.  We had been to the top of Mt Wellington in the morning, to the Cascade Female Factory around noon, and the Museum of Old and New Art in the late afternoon.  All of them the providing premier experiences in three-hour bites.  

Mt Wellington is one hell of a rock, towering above the landscape.  From its peak, you can see snow-capped peaks 150 kilometers away.  You can also be blown off your feet, and required to hold on tight to anything bolted down.  The 22-kilometer, narrow windy road which climbs up from town, gives no indication of either the power of the views or the strength of the winds.  Both leave you breathless.

The Cascade Female Factory Site in South Hobart helped 25,000 British women criminal deportees during the period from 1828 to 1853 become convinced they should work for Tasmanian farmers, merchants, and mine owners.  Today, we visited the facility in which they were imprisoned, and learned more about who they were, and how they were convinced.
Three cheers to Judith and Chris Cornish of Live History Productions, who played all of the characters in the re-enactment within the walls.  Their talents brought the whole thing to life. 

Finally, we descended three stories into a solid rock hill below a winery owned by a professional gambler who developed a system used to bet on horse-racing and other sports.  Sinking (literally) $75 million into one of Australia’s most popular tourist attraction, and the largest private museum in the country, he admits it was mostly to relieve his guilt for having done nothing he felt was valuable.  Located on the Berriedale peninsula in South Hobart, David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art(MONA) is full of the most surprising, and moderately outrageous, art I’ve ever seen.  Pat and I raised our eyebrows quite a few times as we moved throughout.  What we did like, however, was the information tool given to visitors to access content about each piece of art.  A modified cell phone using blue tooth, it not only brings all the relevant photos, video, and text about all art within your vicinity, but charts you access and movement in an online 3D schematic, providing data on all objects in the museum.    
Here is a link to the photos we took today.

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