Still travelling through Stormy seas to Hobart

January 16
I have two reviews to add to my films viewed on the ship!

Yesterday’s seas were so stormy that all passengers were asked to stay indoors as the waves were regularly breaking over the passenger balconies. We listened to a couple of lectures. The first was delivered by a lovely retired teacher from Toronto who has been on 60 cruises as a guest lecturer. Her topic was The Milky Way and was absolutely fascinating. Her summer home is in Wiarton so I have invited her to come to Thornbury and lead a stargazing evening around our fire pit on a clear night in July. The next lecturer was a University history professor who spoke about the history and architecture of Hobart, Tasmania which we will be touring today.

The first film I watched was a very sweet and touching drama called Love is Strange. Starring Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a couple who finally marry after being together for 39 years. When Molina loses his teaching job in a Catholic school because of his new marital status, the couple is forced to sell their condo and find themselves homeless. Friends and family take them in, but they are forced to live apart in a ver competitive NYC housing market.This is a very moving film about long relationships and the fragility of such ties.

The second film was an enjoyable film noir called The Two Faces of January that starred Viggo Mortenson, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac. Adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel (The Talented Mr Ripley), it’s about grifters on the run in 1950’s Greece. Kind of engaging with good performances and an intriguing plot. I don’t recall it having a commercial release, as I don’t think there’s much of a market for little thrillers like this.

I competed in the Trivia Contest again yesterday and was out of the top 3 winners for the first time. Not one Arts and Entertainment question! Aargh!!

After yet another fabulous dinner in one of the ship’s two reservation only restaurants (apparently cruise passengers gain a pound a day on average) we attended a lovely classical concert in the evening. The ship’s solo pianist is from Ukraine and gave delightful yet completely unintentionally unintelligible introductions to each of his beautiful pieces. Too funny!

January 16 in Hobart, Tasmania. Our day started with a drive around Hobart on our way to a wildlife tour in a nature reserve. This beautiful city overlooks the very deep and wide Derwent River. It is overlooked by Mount Wellington, a 1271 metre peak. It’s connected from east to west by the Tasman Bridge which experienced a disaster in 1975 when a freighter collided with its pylons in a storm throwing motorists into the water and killing several crew on the ship. Tasmania is an island state covered with reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites. Beautiful countryside!

Once we reached the reserve we had the opportunity to hand feed and pet many kangaroos. We stood a couple of feet away from a surprisingly sociable koala and were able to see a guide cradle baby wombats whose mothers had been killed by traffic. The famous Tasmanian Devils were very much on display as they raced their way around their enclosures, occasionally looking up from their workouts to glance at the observers who were enchanted to be standing a couple of feet from the fabled cartoon characters. We then went to the charming little village of Richmond which featured the oldest Catholic Church in Tasmania, and a large assortment of gift shops and cafes. Onward to Hobart itself for lunch and a walk around the market and craft district of Salamanca. Finding ourselves in a downpour, we raced back to the ship for afternoon tea, trivia (placed third again!) and a spectacular exit from Hobart as we started our journey toward Melbourne, AustralIa.

I have included a couple of photos from our spectacular tour of Milford Sound fiord in New Zealand that stubbornly refused to load the other day, along with an adorable koala from yesterday. Better late than never!



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