I am fortunate to live in a part of Hobart with daily views of the Derwent River. Travelling to and from work in the city, I bus over one of the river’s main bridges the Tasman Bridge. In these ways, I see the wonderful watery play of the moods, colours and water traffic across the Derwent River.
Since many people from around the world now read this blog I am reminded of the watery views near some of those readers. Most recently, the blog statistics indicated I have some Greek readers.
A few months ago I visited Greece, and while I am probably one of few travellers who did not ferry around the islands, from the mainland I did look out at the glorious expanses of the Aegean Sea and marvel at the islands in the distance. The joys of discovery were not limited to searching in the distance. Sometimes, as I found, you can enjoy the sea even more because of structures on the land – you can see through them and they create frames for seeing other landscapes. South-east of Athens is a ruined temple, the Temple of Poseidon. Almost picture postcard imagery. I had to keep pinching myself. I was there. I smelled the freshness of the wind. I tasted the salt on the air. I felt the sparkle of the sun in my eyes. I heard the passing of seabirds. And I touched the remnants of the workmanship of creativity from over 2000 years ago. And there below and spread out into the distance was the deep blue of the water capped by the blue of the sky. The gods certainly found one part of paradise.
The photo shows the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio/Sounion located south east of Athens, Greece. I hope you can you feel the sun in the air.
As expected, the early morning (number 640) Metro bus arrived from Hobart at my eastern shore bus stop, and once on board I settled down ready for the new experience of Stage 2 of my walk along the Derwent River. After charging along Cambridge Road, the bus turned left at Bellerive village and commenced the long haul along Clarence St. It occurred to me that the houses along both sides of the road represented many vintages of free-standing suburban house architecture for this part of Hobart. I was surprised to see Wunderlich panels of decorative pressed metal in the frontispieces of some houses in the gable beneath dual pitched roofs, indicating an architectural age of early in the last century. There were the flat roofs of houses that had more in common with Tasmanian shacks of the 1950s, the three fronted brick veneers, the fashionably rendered homes in tones of dark beige with their black roofs, the remnants of rural cottages from a time before the city sprawl had moved to fill the land on the eastern shore of Hobart, substantial pretty weatherboard family homes, and much much more. If your experience is of the repetitive rows in London streets, the towering repetitive apartment blocks of Moscow, or the repetitive white family group block houses of Athens, then the sight of the houses along Clarence St will be a revelation. Somewhat puzzling but fascinating nevertheless. You will not be familiar with the diversity of free standing houses with their own front and back gardens that so many Australians take for granted, and accept as their right. One family to a large block of land is a situation more prevalent and typical in Hobart perhaps than in other Australian capital cities and it is one of the features that attracts me to this beautiful and interesting city.