Photo Journal: Tasmanian road trip – Hobart to Port Arthur

Port Arthur gained attention for all the wrong reasons 20 years ago. On 1996, it was the site of Australia’s worst massacre. But I’m not here to write about that. I want to tell you about what Port Arthur should be known for; it’s BEAUTIFUL, and the site of one of Australia’s best-kept convict colonies.

But first we have to get there. We drove from Hobart, which is only about a 90 minute away, but we decided to drag it out and stop off at as many sweet little towns as possible on the way, including…

 

Sorell
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Forcett

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Copping
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Bream Creek
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The Federation Chocolate Factory

Pirate’s Bay

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Tasman Arch and the blow hole
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Honestly, this was one of the best parts of the trip. Having the car meant that we got to stop off whenever we wanted. Any beautiful scene we drove through, we stopped to enjoy it. Yes, you can absolutely get there quickly; hell, you can even do it as a day trip from Hobart if you want. But why would you when you can take the slow path and enjoy every step?

Milton Lee Olive Park, Chicago

It’s incredible how well hidden this park is in plain sight… It’s not like it’s particularly small, and it’s right near Navy Pier, yet when we visited, we were the only people around; it was completely deserted.

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Located just north of Navy Pier and just west of the purification plant, Milton Lee Olive Park is a beautiful little urban paradise. It’s the perfect spot to escape the city craziness of Chicago, while simultaneously enjoying one of the most beautiful views of the city over the water. The sand of the beach was spotless, the bare trees were beautiful in their own skeletal way, and the water was the most gorgeous shade of icy, winter blue.

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It always amazes me to find such perfect little paradises like this so empty and barren… I guess it just goes to show that city dwellers everywhere probably need to take a little more time to escape the hectic, fast paced lifestyle and take a little time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of a big city from a distance every now and then.

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Cycling the islets of Hoi An, Vietnam

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My sister and I have always been pretty healthy and active – she grew up a head taller than the rest of the kids and excelled in everything she did, particularly basketball. I’m no where near as naturally athletically gifted, but still somehow wound up with a degree in Exercise Science, a great 8 year career as a personal trainer and a black belt martial artist. After having been repeatedly told that the best way to see Vietnam was by bicycle, we decided to actually do a proper day-long tour, rather than just hiring bikes for an hour. Sib’s a good rider and really enjoys it. I can ride, but am prone to freaking out if I have to ride in traffic. We figured this lovely tour around the quiet, secluded islets of Hoi An was a good way to do it. Continue reading “Cycling the islets of Hoi An, Vietnam”

Photo Journal: Positano, Italy

This is a city perched precariously on cliff faces, with never ending stairs to climb, and the most stunning views. It’s relatively cut off from the rest of the world, therefore prices for almost everything are a lot higher than they should be, but it doesn’t seem to stop the tourist hoards from taking over in summer.

We visited just after winter, in early 2014, and it was still beautiful. The cold left only the locals; we were two of the very few visitors to the city, which made me very thankful for the ability to speak Italian – no one much seemed to be bothered with foreigners and their languages. Every day we walked until we couldn’t take another step, and would then spot a tiny little greengrocers up another flight of stairs. We’d find our second wind and take off to buy more food. There were “picnics” on our hotel room balcony, rugged up against the biting cold, giggling away as we ate our prosciutto and Parmigiano cheese, sipping Italian wine, and playing an Italian card game I quickly taught my husband. That’s living.

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014