Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tasmania Part 5: A Day at the Royal Botanical Center and Back to MONA

Today was the most perfect day we could have asked for, and certainly the best we have experienced with the weather.  A bright sunny day with light wind, temps in the 60's.  A perfect day to wander the Botanical Garden.
I have just begun reading about the history of the garden.  Officially founded in 1818, the garden was actually started by an ex-convict who was granted some land to develop.  It sort of sounds like it was taken away from his family when the garden started looking nice.  I need to keep reading, I guess.

The garden seems quite large,(14 Hectares, if that means anything to you) larger in area than the San Antonio Botanical Garden (which is my point of reference).  We really enjoyed our time in it.  There was a beautiful Food garden, an orchid house, and even a sub-Antarctica garden display.  The Japanese Tea garden was beautiful even in mid-winter.  One can only imagine what it must be like in the fall when all the trees are in color.
Impressive entry gate to the garden.

This is a giant rhubarb plant.  It was an alien-looking thing, for sure.

A pink magnolia.

Part of the Japanese garden.

The tiniest of pine-cones.

The beautifully maintained food garden.

Here is a pano of the food garden.

And a wonderful cactus display.

I swear this is a cactus. See above.

This is an Empress Tree.  Here are images of such a tree in bloom.

Eventually, we drove back out to MONA and decided to have lunch outside one of the restaurants.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch and accompanied it with a glass of the Morilla sparkling wine.  The Morilla vineyard is on the property of the MONA museum.  Their pinot noir grapes are grown on property.  The other grapes are grown elsewhere on the island.  The pinot is quite good.

And because we could, we stayed and watched the James Turrell installation, "Amarna", 
through its sunset illumination.  Sigh.

Here are the (curly) heads of my daughters as they attempt to figure out which planet
we are seeing through the opening of the installation.  (Jupiter)

We were further rewarded with the most stunning moonrise over the water.
It was HUGE and bright yellow-orange.  Just a spectacular evening.

Tomorrow I made reservations for the family to fly over to the southwestern part of Tasmania.  There is a World Heritage site over there and I am psyched to spend time in it.  Stay tuned!  xo L

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