Historic site in Hobart...The "Tench," The Penitentiary Chapel...

 Clock tower at the Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site in Hobart, Tasmania.

The concept of visiting The Penitentiary Chapel based on its historical value as a part of the National Trust of Tasmania appealed to us both. 

The view while driving toward Hobart from the south.
Tom, a avid history buff and me, the proverbial amateur photographer, found the prospect of visiting this facility located in downtown Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, befitting our combined interests.

The actual penitentiary itself, the "gaol" (pronounced jail) was torn down in the 1960's leaving only a portion of prison, now referred to as the Campbell Street Prison and Law Court which included some cells, the law court, the gallows and the chapel. 
Living for six weeks in this somewhat remote area in the Huon Valley in the town of Geeveston, we mentioned in a prior post, has a population of under 1500. Traveling the 45 minutes to Hobart makes sense considering our desire to learn more about this exceptional island and its treasures.

The gift shop upon entering the historic building.
Since arriving in Tasmania on December 3rd, and after having been aware of the fact that many convicts were sent to a variety of Tasmanian prison facilities, The Tench was on our radar. Although not mentioned in the quote below, The Penitentiary Chapel and its rich history falls well into the realm of intrigue as explained in the quote below.

The tour began with only us and one other couple in attendance in a classroom environment where our tour guide, Merilyn, explained the history of the facility.

From this site
Tasmania's convict history tells a tale of crime, punishment, hardship and survival in some of the harshest, yet most beautiful places on earth. Over 70,000 men, women and children were transported to Van Diemens Land in the early 1800s and many of the places and features they built are still standing today. (Continued below).

A replica of a punishment imposed on disruptive prisoners whereby they stood in these sectioned spaces turning a large barrel for hours at a time.
There's evidence of Australia's convict past no matter where you go, making Tasmania the perfect place to learn about Australia's early history and experience it first-hand. In fact, five of Australia's eleven UNESCO World Heritage-listed convict sites are found in Tasmania. (Continued below).

View of exterior wall of the facility.
The Port Arthur Historic Site is Australia's most famous penal settlement, while the nearby Coal Mines Historic Site was Tasmania's first mine, operated by over 500 convicts. Today, mining ruins and relics can be explored among the surrounding bush land. (Continued below).

Door knocker at the entrance to the gaol (jail) at the Campbell St. entrance.
In Hobart, the Cascades Female Factory tells of the thousands of female convicts transported to Tasmania. On Maria Island, off Tasmania's east coast, the buildings of the Darlington Probation Station date back to the 1820s and are set in a beautiful natural environment. (Continued below).

Taken from a photo of a former entrance.
And in the north, the stately Brickendon Convict Village and Woolmers Estate are extraordinary testaments to the hard work of convicts assigned to private landowners. (Continued below).

Taken from a photo of a small portion of one of the prison yards before this area was torn down in the 1960's.
Other convict highlights include Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour and the convict built bridge in Richmond.  As well as these, there are lots more convict sites across the state – in fact, a visit to just about any of our earlier towns will reveal the hard labour and skilled craftsmanship of Tasmania's convicts."

The historic court where accused criminals were processed.
Warmly greeted at the entrance office by Joan, a 20 year volunteer at the historic site, we appreciated being hosted with our enthusiastic intent of sharing this vastly interesting and significant piece of Tasmania and Hobart history with our worldwide readers. 

A portion of the facility was designated as a residence for the magistrate (judge) which later became holding cells.
Closer view of Court One where the First Seating transpired on April 17, 1860 before His Honour Sir Valentine Fleming, Knight, Chief Justice.   This was the continuation of the trial of Julius Baker, charged on four counts of shooting with intent to murder who was sentenced to death and hanged at 8 am on Thursday, May 10, 1860.
After a short wait, Merilyn, our tour guide and also an 8 year volunteer, escorted us and one other couple who joined us shortly into the presentation, on what proved to be a highly informative and professional presentation lasting for over 90 minutes.

Jury box.
We wandered from area to area at times over uneven ground, ducking under shallow ceilings and stairwells and a variety of tight spaces, all of which further fascinated our innate curiosity.

Stairway in the court that led to the tunnels where prisoners were held awaiting trial.  We walked down these steps to inspect the cells below.
Merilyn spared nothing in sharing her knowledge of the facility coupled with a strong sense of compassion for the primitive and horrific nature of the facilities which were in use until the 1980's. 

We took this photo from a CCTV of the mechanism of the historical clock which remains functional.
The town of Hobart was determined to get such a housing of dangerous convicts away from the center of the growing metropolis.  In 1960, the majority of the penitentiary was bulldozed, with only the chapel, courts, gallows and some cells remaining today as a site recognized by the National Trust of Tasmania

Bell on display with other memorabilia from 1936.
The colonial masterpiece once consisted of most of the frontage of two city blocks between Bathurst and Brisbane Streets.  Today, all that remains are the small group of buildings on the corner of Campbell and Brisbane Streets.

Organ in the chapel.
In addition, today there remains the base of the remnant of a high sandstone wall that once enclosed the Hobart Gaol on the Campbell Street side.

This bathtub was used by prisoners who bathed once a week, one after another, using the same water.
Goal cell door.
Looking back today, Hobart may have benefited by keeping the entire facility intact for its potential as a tourist attraction further enhancing the appeal as a destination site, generating more revenue for the entire area.

Seating for the chapel, built in 1831 and 1833 could accommodate 1500, was built over a variety of solitary confinement cells some of which were so small the convicts were unable to stand.
However, the remaining structures of "Tench" a nickname generated by the convicts for the Penitentiary in the 1800's, has a considerable appeal for history buffs.

Some crumbling cells remain able to be observed by visitors.
After the tour, one feels a powerful sense and understanding of its historical significance and the treachery of life for those who were so unfortunate to have violated the laws of the period and brought harm upon others.

The small size of the cells may be determined in this photo.

Story of a famous prisoner, Mark Jeffrey's who's cell was presented on the tour.
After the tour we lingered in the garden taking photos of plants and flowers which we'll share in future post as time and space allows.

The gallows remain today.  We stood in this area with both a sense of awe and horror.

Taking a bathroom break before our tour, Tom insisted I check out the
"Heritage" toilet.  He always teases me that he's "pulling my chain" to which
I add, "I don't have a chain!"  This is the type of chain he's referring to.
A special thanks to Joan and Merilyn for sharing this special site with us and for the opportunity to share it with our worldwide readers.  Hopefully, next time you're in Hobart, you'll take the time to visit this historic site.

Photo from one year ago today, January 21, 2016:
As soon we arrived at to our new home we began taking photos of these wonderful creatures which we thoroughly embraced over the three months we lived on the alpaca farm in the countryside in New Plymouth, New Zealand.  For more details, please click here.

Trip to Hobart on a perfect day in Tasmania...Noctunal awakening...Clarification on our "one year ago posts"...

A perfect yellow rose from the flower garden in the yard.
During the night I awoke at 2 am, wide eyed and bushy tailed.  Finally, by 4 am I drifted off awakening at 6:30.  Overall, I had about five hours of sleep.  As a result, I lounged in bed this morning unable to fall back to sleep, instead reading the news on my phone. 

The main street in Huonville as we drove on our way to Hobart, about 45 minutes from our vacation home.
In the past year I'd read several articles stating that it's in our human DNA to awaken during the night such as explained at this website as follows:

"The dominant pattern of sleep, arguably since time immemorial, was biphasic," Roger Ekirch, a sleep historian at Virginia Tech University and author of "At Day's Close: Night in Times Past" (Norton 2005), told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. "Humans slept in two four-hour blocks, which were separated by a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night lasting an hour or more. During this time some might stay in bed, pray, think about their dreams, or talk with their spouses. Others might get up and do tasks or even visit neighbors before going back to sleep."

As we drove on the highway to Hunonville, the scenery was exquisite.
Its comforting to know that awakening during the night is not unusual nor ultimately harmful.  The trick is to end up with overall sufficient sleep to function well during the day. 

There is no shoulder on the road from our vacation home to Huonville.  As a result we've had to take photos while moving, always a tricky proposition.
Last night I didn't get enough sleep leaving me to lounge in bed this morning longer than I'd prefer.   Subsequently, I didn't sit down to begin today's post until two hours after my usual starting time. 

Huon River.
Preferring to upload the day's post prior to noon (our time) I've decided to postpone the time consuming story I'll prepare and upload tomorrow regarding yesterday's visit to a worthwhile historical visit in Hobart where we spent most the afternoon.

Huon River through the trees.
After the enjoyable trip to Hobart we're determined to return once a week, weather providing, to explore more of its wonders.  Its quite a city, unlike any other we've visited in the past. 

Cloudy and overcast views of a few boats moored on the Huon River.
As a matter of fact, Tasmania is unlike any location we've visited in our 51 months of travel.  It will be hard to leave in five weeks but then, we have so much to look forward to in the future.

More sailboats moored on the river.
A point we wanted to discuss today, is the "year ago post" at the bottom of the page on each day's post.  Most of our posts reference a particular activity on which we've embarked as a result of an experience of a prior day.  Thus, when we display the "year ago photo," it was actually taken the prior day.

The Huon River is very wide in certain areas.
As an example today's "year ago photo" as shown below was taken on January 19, 2016, not on January 20th which it is today on this side of the International Dateline.  This further adds to the confusion for our readers in the North America, Europe and South America where today's date is January 19th, not the 20th as it is here.

Calla Lily growing in Anne and Rob's flower garden.
To sum this up, the "year ago photos" are generally taken the prior day or during the prior few days. We attempt to stay as current as possible in all of our posts.  If you have any questions regarding the time frame (or any other topic) for any of our posts, please feel free to contact us.

This flock of pelicans and other birds appear to be standing atop of the water when there actually standing in shallow water.
Today, its raining again and we'll stay indoors simply enjoying this lovely property, our gorgeous surroundings and each other's companionship.  Its a good day!

May you have a good day as well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 20, 2016:
Although far and few between, we stopped at a few scenic overlooks in the rain on the drive from Auckland to New Plymouth, New Zealand, where we were staying for three months on an alpaca farm.  For more details of our arrive and a few kinks we had to adjust to, please click here.

A world of wonder in the backyard...Who knew?...Fabulous meals in Tasmania...

My dinner last night, a chicken stir fry made with vegetables (not including the carrots and raw nuts) from our landlord's garden right outside our door, ours for the picking.  (Tom's meal is shown below).
Yesterday morning, once the rain stopped and the sun peeked out, we took a walk through the substantial grounds for this lovely property.  As was the case when we rented the vacation home in Trinity Beach (near Cairns), Queensland, Australia beginning in June 2015, this rental is large house with a full sized apartment.

Decorative item in Anne and Tom's garden.  Anne and Rob spend considerable time each day caring for their extensive garden.
 As in Trinity Beach, the single apartment is comparable to a house.  Its not a "basement" unit but has full sized windows throughout.  Also, this "apartment" in the Huon Valley has a lower level with a second bedroom.  The owners live in another "wing."

With high prices for many rentals in Australia, this type of accommodation, works for us when its more within our budget than an individual house.

We were impressed by the huge garden.
In Penguin, we had a private house to ourselves but this lovely property provides ample privacy and comfort befitting our needs and wants.  The only issue is the "shared" Wi-Fi which presents a problem for our needs, which was the case in Trinity Beach and most recently in Bali when two villas, next door to one another also shared a Wi-Fi connection.

An antique apple press in their garden used for making apple cider.  Apples are
commonly grown in Tasmania and a popular fruit for locals and visitors alike.
There are other benefits to this type of housing situation and yesterday morning as we wandered through the enormous grounds, we discovered a most exciting perk we had no idea existed...Anne and Rob's huge garden which they both laboriously tend to each and every day.

Our basket of veg began with these zucchini known as courgette in this part of the world.  As we wandered about the garden Rob added a variety of greens, cabbage, broccolini all of which I used in making my dinner.
Rob encouraged us to stop by anytime and pick whatever we'd like.  In the next few weeks, the harvest will become even more abundant during these summer months.  Of course, we won't take advantage of this kind offer. 

Celery, one of our favorite crunchy vegetables for salads.
After all, Tom only cares for a few vegetables beside salad ingredients, mainly green beans  and carrots.  Occasionally, we'll visit the garden to stock up on a few items for me.  The remainder, we'll purchase at farm stands or organic grocers. 

Soon, we'll purchase avocados and use a bunch of this cilantro from the garden to make guacamole.
Not only did we take the photos we've included here today but many more from their exquisite flower garden which we'll soon post.  Anne put together a small bunch of gorgeous roses which I placed in a vase on the dining room table as shown in this photo below.
Roses Anne picked for our dining table. 
Back indoors after it had again begun to rain, I considered what we were planning for dinner and how I could use these freshest of vegetables for last night's dinner.

Tom prefers beef more frequently than I.  As a result when he's having beef or pork, I'll have chicken or seafood.  I never mind making two different meals since I usually plan to incorporate many of the same ingredients in each. 

Also, since Tom can eat more carbohydrates than I, adjustments are easily made to accommodate each of our tastes and needs.  In all, I don't usually spend more than 30 minutes a day preparing our varying meals.

Tonight's dinner will include this cabbage for salad.
Also, we still only eat one meal a day. Tom may have cheese, olives and sliced ham as a snack if he's hungry. However, with my low carb intake I'm rarely hungry.  If I feel like something to eat, I'll have a small snack.

Sure, I know many of our readers prefer not to read about cooking and food.  We get this.  When we've mentioned this, we receive many email messages from readers who do enjoy food photos and discussion. 

Figs, not quite ripe for picking.
For those of you uninterested in the nuances of our dietary adventures, please bear with us. Tomorrow, we'll be on to other topics. 

As for the plate of food shown as my meal, the recipe simply consisted of chicken breast meat cooked in coconut oil, butter and fresh garlic and then removed from the pan while I cooked the vegetables. 

A perfect apple.
In the same pan, I stir fried the fresh greens and other vegetables (any type) with a little more coconut oil, butter and fresh garlic, seasoning them with organic wheat free soy sauce, sesame oil, Himalayan salt, fresh ground pepper, and whatever spices we had on hand. 

A lemon yet to ripen.
I'd precooked the carrots (frozen carrots may be used, if preferred) adding them to the final toss when adding the chicken back into the pot.  When done, I topped the dish with organic raw nuts.  Both of our meals were delicious and satisfying.

Tom's dinner consisted of a taco salad (grass fed mince in on the bottom).  He'll eat all of these salad vegetables but few others.
Soon, we're off for a visit to Hobart.  Although we breezed through the beautiful ocean city upon our arrival a few days ago (and on a cruise one year ago), we decided to return for a better look especially since its a sunny day, albeit a bit cool.  Tomorrow, we'll share our new photos.

May your day be fulfilling and meaningful.
Photo from one year ago today, January 19, 2016:
Last year we were walking in the rain in Sydney when I took this photo of Tom which is now my favorite. On this date, we disembarked that cruise which ended in Auckland, New Zealand, making our way by rental car to New Plymouth where we blissfully lived for three months.  Included in the post are the final expenses for that particular cruise.  For more details, please click here.