Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tasmania, Part II

Here is a view from the top of Mt Wellington. We drove up there on Sunday. The drive took about an hour from Hobart and it was a beautiful drive. The beginning part of the drive took us through tree-lined roads through countryside; further up the mountain, the vegetation became sparser and smaller. There was snow at the top.
The water you see at the bottom is the Pacific Ocean (specifically, the straight of Tasman, I believe); the city is Hobart.

Another view from the top of the mountain. The river is the Derwent.

It was very, very cold and windy at the top of the mountain.

It wasn't actually snowing, but there was a fair bit of snow on the ground. When we first arrived in Tasmania, we were told that the road up the mountain was closed due to the snow. It was closed Saturday, as well, and fortunately for us, opened on Sunday. We didn't see any snow or ice on the road at all, but there was a lot along the side in some places.

I don't know why they were doing this, but several of the Tasmanians were stacking snow on the windsheilds of their cars and then driving down the mountain with a large obstruction to their vision. I saw some cars with mini-snowmen on the windsheild. This (above) was a small amount of snow compared to some of the cars we saw. We saw dozens of people doing this, and on the way up the mountain, saw many cars coming towards us down the mountain with the snow already in place. I did not ask why they were doing it, I just asked this family if it was alright to take a picture as they were in process of putting the snow on. The daughter didn't mind at all. The mother said to me, "Oh, you're from California. You won't have seen snow before, will you?" Her husband said, "No, they get snow up in the mountains there." I wondered how they knew I was from California (besides my accent when I first asked if I could take their picture) and then I remembered that the back of my jacket said "Palo Alto, CA" and realized that must have given it away. Actually, if I'd come to Tasmania before moving to Colorado when I was 18, I might have seen snow only for the second time in my life, but moving to Colorado took all the mystery out of snow for me. =)


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