Wednesday, 22 February 2017

WHAT I WORE ON A WINDY SUMMER DAY

Hi my dear readers and fellow bloggers,

I can’t believe that we are approaching the end of the second month of the new year which means that those who live in the Northern Hemisphere will soon see the end of winter while we, in Australia are about to kiss the summer good-bye.  This year it has been so unusually hot that I secretly wish it would end already.  It seems that as I get older, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep my cool under 40 degree heat especially when the humidity is as high as almost 100% which reminds me so much of Bali weather.
summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf
Speaking of which, the dress I am wearing was purchased in Bali from one of the myriads clothing stores along the hip and trendy shopping strip of Semyniak during our most recent trip to the “Island of Gods”.
summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf
Usually I avoid buying clothes in navy or dark blue colour but I was so attracted by the bright colours of the flower pattern of the dress that I decided to try it on.  The moment I slid its spaghetti straps over my shoulders, I immediately liked what I saw – how this dress with its simple shape effortlessly slipped down my body lightly following its contours without any restrictions.  It felt light and breezy and very nice and I bought it.  Surprise, surprise.
summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf
The day these photos were taken, was a warm Sunday afternoon in Sydney and my husband and I have decided to take a casual after lunch stroll around the marina. 
summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf
I smartly put on my super comfortable, if not very stylish, thick sole casual sandals but I am sure that this dress will also look good if I chose to propel myself on heels (will keep you posted on that).
summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf
Ever since I came to inherit a number of vintage scarfs, I tend to take one just in case. A girl never knows when she might need it.  As it turned out, I did use it but in rather unexpected way.  As we were walking along the pier, a sudden gust of wind swept over the harbour and gave me a great idea for a photo shoot.   My apologies for the images that are not of the best quality and look overexposed but the sun's position was really tricky.
summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf

summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf

summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf

summer spaghetti floral dress/sandals/vintage scarf


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

WHAT I WORE ON A WARM DAY IN HOBART

Hello again, everyone

Now that I told you all about our latest Tasmanian holiday adventures, I would like to share with you a couple of outfits that I wore while in Tasmania.
One thing that I couldn’t get right during our trip, was to wear clothes appropriate to the weather and for the first few days I felt constantly cold until I realised that due to the island’s proximity to the Antarctica, its cold weather adds a chill factor that could not be ignored and in order to survive, I just should add an extra layer to my outfits.  So after that, I never left our hotel without a cardi or a scarf or both.  Chances are, you would need them even on a relatively warm day.
White shorts pared with sneakers, a blouse and vintage Pierre Cardin scarf

So one day on a way for a walk to a nearby park and beyond, despite the fact than my phone told me that it is going to be a hot day, I wasn’t going to be fooled again.
White shorts pared with sneakers, a blouse and vintage Pierre Cardin scarf
I started with white shorts, a singlet and a pair of sneakers that I would normally wear on a hot day back in Sydney but sticking to my latest weather discovery, I added a light button-up blouse and tied a scarf around my neck thinking that if the weather would get hotter later in a day as predicted, all I would have to do is take off my blouse and remove the scarf.   And with that we left the hotel.

White shorts pared with sneakers, a blouse and vintage Pierre Cardin scarf
As it turned out, even when the temperature was at its hottest peak, I felt perfectly comfortable in my extra layers and had no desire to remove any of them.
White shorts pared with sneakers, a blouse and vintage Pierre Cardin scarf
On another hand, it was a perfect weather for exploring the city on foot and both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
White shorts pared with sneakers, a blouse and vintage Pierre Cardin scarf, Furla hand bag

White shorts pared with sneakers, a blouse and vintage Pierre Cardin scarf
What I wore:  shorts - Maison Scotch, shoes - Converse, blouse - Zara, scarf - vintage Pierre Cardin, hand bag - Furla, sunglasses (old) - Chanel.

If you want to know more about Tasmania and its lovely capital, Hobart, just click on the words Tasmania or Hobart and the link will take you there.






Wednesday, 8 February 2017

OUR HOLIDAYS IN TASMANIA, VISITING HOBART

Hi everyone,
Just picking up from where I left off about our recent trip around Tasmania.  If you just happened to read my blog for the first time or simply need to refresh your memory, here is the link to the first part of the story.

We drove into Hobart on the afternoon of a sunny warm day.  The town looked very green and clean, like the rest of the island and we immediately liked it.
At Hobart's waterfront
The place where we were staying, called Salamanca Inn, was in an ideal location:  we were within walking distance of Hobart’s waterfront with its beautiful marina, an array of restaurants and bars and the city centre with its green parks, graceful sandstone buildings, museums and galleries that we took a great pleasure in walking around and admiring them. 
Hobart's Botanical Gardens

Hobart's Botanical Gardens
We visited the Botanical Gardens and spent a few hours walking around
the amazing plants and flowers and had a delicious lunch with a million dollar ocean and city view.
Hobart's Botanical Gardens

Hobart's Botanical Gardens
We drove up to Mount Wellington to admire the bird’s eye-view over the city and glistening ocean sprawled around the foot of the mountain.
A view over Hobart from Mount Wellington

A view over Hobart from Mount Wellington
Our main interest, however, lay in visiting the MONA Art Gallery of TasmaniaWe had heard and read so much about it that being in Hobart and not seeing it with our own eyes would be unthinkable.  As a matter of fact, we came prepared well in advance.  Back in Sydney, a friend of ours, who recently visited Hobart, suggested that we should try and book lunch there, he also advised that in order to avoid a long queue, we should buy our tickets on-line. 

And so we did.  Not only did we buy tickets, we also managed to book a New Year lunch at the MONA restaurant, called the Source.

The story behind this place is quite interesting and worth reading about.  As a matter of fact, MONA is Australia's largest private museum and one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world.  Described by its owner as a "subversive adult Disneyland", the collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world's most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. With around 300 art works on display, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress even the most avid art lovers.  The only structure that stands above ground is the restaurant and the cavernous entrance hall to the museum.
An art structure outside MONA Art Gallery
The first thing indicated to us that we are about to have a great time was the quirky way each dining table was decorated.  From afar they looked just like regular square tables with glass tops but on a closer inspection, it was rather a box with a glass top and a solid bottom part set over table legs.  As we sat down, I looked through the glass and saw the bottom panel was all covered in sea salt with a message written by using thin dry twigs laid out in a circular shape on top of it saying: “It would only take one wave”.  The other tables were equally quirky decorated, some with feathers, some with stones but most of all we love what they did to the dining tables outside on a terrace.
Table setting at Source, MONA Hobart

Table setting at Source, MONA Hobart
Each table was covered in soil and natural grass and was bumpy as a lawn would be so the diners were looking for some indentations to place their glasses without spilling their contest. 
Table setting at Source, MONA Hobart
It looked like a lot of fun.  The food was utterly delicious, well cooked and beautifully presented, the service was impeccable and we had the most enjoyable time at the Source.
Lunch at Source, MONA Hobart
Then the time came to pay homage to the museum’s current exhibition.  I must confess I had mixed feelings about seeing it in the first place due to a lot of controversial opinions in the press, the public and the art gurus but we really liked it.  Some exhibits did not work for me, some of them I found being too twisted but on the whole, we loved it and I would recommend a visit MONA without any hesitation.
Inside of the viewing rooms, MONA Hobart

People gathered for a concert outside MONA, Hobart
And then our time in Hobart had come to the end and the next thing we knew we were on the plane returning to Sydney.

Hope you enjoyed reading my recounting of our Tasmanian trip and would consider putting it on your next holiday destination trip.  Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Until then,







Sunday, 29 January 2017

OUR HOLIDAYS AROUND TASMANIA - PART I

Hello everybody,


It has been such a long time since my last post that I almost forgot that I have a blog.  Seriously, between mid-December and the whole month of January so many activities of all kinds were crammed into a relatively short time-frame that it took me some time to get back my lost equilibrium.
Luckily, 2 weeks of holidays in Tasmania that we took over the Christmas and New Year break were exactly what the doctor ordered.  Now, I am back, rested and re-charged and ready to take 2017 head on.
Neither of us had ever been to this part of Australia which is a small island in itself about 2 hours flight from Sydney and renowned for its natural beauty.  A few of our friends went there and absolutely loved it, so we decided to give it a go.

Our first stop was the city of Launceston where we arrived on Christmas Day.  I never imagined that there would be so many people travelling on that day, the airport lounge was absolutely packed with travelers.   Anyway, we landed in 37 C degree heat, picked up our rental car and headed straight to Peppers Hotel.  During the short drive, we didn’t see a single soul anywhere, the city was totally deserted and looked rather eerie in comparison with Sydney where lots of shops and cafes were open, people milling around and the beach was full of sunbathers.
our ho lidays in Tasmania, walking around Cataract Gorge
Walking around Cataract Gorge under in the scorching heat
It was lunch time when we checked in and the lady at reception informed us that we would not be able to find anywhere to eat including their own restaurant.  She did, however, suggest that we should take a short drive to Cataract Gorge, one of the many of Tasmania’s natural wonders.
Cataract Gorge
We still had to find food so I suggested a petrol station.  There we were advised that McDonald's was open and went straight there.  I have to admit, I hadn’t been to Macca's (it is unique Australian way to refer to McDonald's) for more than 13 years but I was quite impressed by the changes.  We opted to create our own burger which turned out to be delicious.  It was served on a small wooden board with the chips placed in a small wire basket – exactly the way all the gourmet burger joints do, but for a fraction of the price.

After lunch we went to explore Cataract Gorge which I would have enjoyed much more had it not been so unusually scorching hot.
our ho lidays in Tasmania, walking around Cataract Gorge
Exploring Cataract Gorge
our ho lidays in Tasmania, walking around Cataract Gorge
Cataract Gorge

our ho lidays in Tasmania, walking around Cataract Gorge
Cataract Gorge
We left Launceston the next day and set our course to Strahan.  It is a very small settlement situated at the bottom of George River and it's main attraction being an array of water activities including boat cruises which we took the next day.  The day was warm, the air was cooled down by a slight gentle breeze and we spent most of the time sitting on the top deck basking under the sun, watching the world go by while sipping chilled white wine of the region. Despite the size of the place, they had a couple of good restaurants with lovely waterfront views and excellent food and we had a lovely dinner at one of them called Risby Cove.
Our holidays in Tasmania, on board the cruise on Georges river
On board for George River cruise
Our holidays in Tasmania, sunset over Georges river
Sunset over George river
Our holidays in Tasmania, water ripple

Our holidays in Tasmania, sunset over Georges river
Sunset over George river
Our holidays in Tasmania, Risby Cove restaurant
Dinner at Risby Cove restaurant
We spent a night in Strahan and the following morning were on the road again. I really enjoyed the pace that we had set for ourselves.  Since the major attractions of Tasmania lie in its natural beauties and fresh produce, there was no reason for us to rush anywhere in particular, just drive around stopping at occasional cheese factory or a winery for a wine and cheese tasting.
Our holidays in Tasmania
A collection of cows outside Ashgrove Farm Cheese shop
Our holidays in Tasmania

At Ashgrove Farm Cheese shop
For people like us, who live in big cities with all the consequences that come with it, the change of pace came initially as shock but over time we came to appreciate the lack of cars and traffic on the roads, the streets almost devoid of people, the absence of shopping centres and malls, how all the activities died down as soon as the sun disappeared over the horizon.  We enjoyed the fresh air, the green rolling hills, the mountain and the lakes and our lungs welcomed the clean, fresh and unpolluted air.   The only thing that we found quite difficult to adapt to was the lack of mobile coverage to a point that we couldn’t even follow the Google maps and had to rely on the road signs for directions.  Luckily for us, there is only one major highway that criss-crosses the island and it is almost impossible to get lost there.
Our holidays in Tasmania
A field of white poppies
Our holidays in Tasmania
Our holidays in Tasmania
The distances between the places that we planned to visit were no longer than 2 hours drive which is just about enough for me to endure and soon we arrived at our next stop – Cradle Mountain that forms the north end of the National park in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania and is one of the most popular natural areas in Tasmania.  It is quite a remote area isolated from everything including the mobile network so the only thing was left to do is explore it, which was quite ok with me except that the weather turned its back on us and sent us quite a bit of rain but despite it we were determined not to let it ruin our holiday and dampen our spirits, so after we checked in into our lodge at Peppers, we unpacked our rain ponchos, laced up our hiking boots and set off for a long walk into the woods.  After being in a car for quite some time, the walk was really enjoyable.  This kind of environment is totally different to the one can find around Sydney and we were fascinated by the flora and fauna of the forest.
Our holidays in Tasmania
Outside our lodge at Peppers
Our holidays in Tasmania, walking in the woods around Cradle Mountain
Walking in the woods
Our holidays in Tasmania, walking in the woods around Cradle Mountain
Walking in the woods
Our holidays in Tasmania, walking in the woods around Cradle Mountain
Walking in the woods
Our holidays in Tasmania, walking in the woods around Cradle Mountain
Walking in the woods
Our holidays in Tasmania, Dove Lake
Around Dove Lake
The next day we continued to explore the area and following the advice of friends, we took a short drive to nearby Dove Lake and take a closer look at Cradle Mountain, its jagged contours, streaming creeks and its alpine flora.  Sadly, the rain continued and the view of the nearest mountains was partially obscure by mist.  The temperature dropped and I was relieved that the time came to say goodbye to the wilderness and return to civilisation. 
Our holidays in Tasmania, Dove Lake
Dove Lake
Our holidays in Tasmania, walking around on a rainy day
Ignoring the rain
Our holidays in Tasmania, Dove Lake
Dove Lake
Our holidays in Tasmania, walking around on a rainy day
Walking in the rain could be fun
Our holidays in Tasmania, Dove Lake
Dove Lake on a rainy day
The next morning we packed our bags, got in the car and following the route which we had prudently mapped the night before with the help of the hotel staff, sped off towards Hobart where we were going to spend New Year celebrations.  But I will save this story for the next post,

Until then.....