Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cooling off in the Italian Alps -Dolomites August 2011


our one cloudy day

stunningly beautiful in every direction
mountains above colfosco
grass fed cows!

piccolo cir

piccolo cir, see climbers on right hand side
  another summer trip to the Dolomites in the area of the Alta Badia. Always green, lush, gorgeous, fresh air, cool temperatures, although this year all of Italy was under a very hot spell. Once the sun set the temperatures dropped about 15 degrees centigrade. My favorite spot in Italy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

tasmania, animal refuge center

tasmanian devil eating a piece of wallaby, the crunching of the bones was amazing. Keeper said their jaw strength is 4 times greater than that of a pit bull

cute guy

petting the koala

Morris the wombat

kangaroo everywhere

a kangaro joey

not long out of pouch

morris  and  the keeper

christopher petting wombat
back in hobart at botanical garden

Hobart bridge

at the refuge center

tasmanian devil

and another, they may look cute..

koala, wish I could do that

there were two koala who had been rescued
 We spent a great day just outside Hobart visiting a wonderful refuge center for animals. There are a lot of car accidents with animals in Tasmania and often some of these can be saved at this center. The wombat, Morris was an orphan after his mother was hit by a car, and came to the center when he was only weeks old. The tasmanian devils are on the verge of being extinguished, predictions are they will be wiped out by 2020 (think that was the year). This is being caused by a virus which causes a type of face cancer. They often, not maliciously, scratch one another's faces if one devil is eating and the other wants part of the food, and the disease can be spread this way. The center is now building a huge new area for the devils in the hopes of keeping them alive.  We learned a lot about Australian animals at this place, spending many hours in this small refuge. The keeper instructed the Australians that there were a few things they could do to help save injured animals. Rule number one was to always carry a pair of gloves in your car and if you hit an animal drag it off the road. This will prevent other animals from feeding on it which often then causes those animals to be hit. Secondly, this center operates 24/7and they will come to help any injured animal anytime. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bruny Island, Tasmania part 2

our lunch spot where we enjoyed all the bruny island products
scenery from bruny island  - we also saw albatross flying when we were on the boat

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bruny Island, Tasmania May 2011 (Part 1)

caught the boat in hobart on a sunny, brisk fall day

gorgeous scenery

"breathing" cave, hard to get shot as water hit!

cormorants on cliffs

gorgeous water and beautiful cliffs

seal sighting

more seals looking very regal

and more!
We headed out for a long day on an adventure "cruise" to Bruny Island, the southernmost island in Tasmania; 50 kilometers long and population of 550 people. There is pretty much nothing between Bruny Island and Antartica. Was a long day, nice boat, gourmet lunch on a pretty spot on the island which consisted of Bruny Island oysters (from the "Get Shucked" oyster company), cheeses, wine and fudge. Everything made on the Island. Island consists of North and South Bruny, connected by a very, very narrow strip. South Bruny is a national park with the tallest cliffs in the southern hemisphere. Incredible nature, the rocks go back thousands (millions?) of years and they have a unique type of algae which can go up to 1 meter a day! Everything felt a bit prehistoric. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hobart, Tasmania May 2011 - MONA and food

museum had great egyptian pieces (old)

colorful aborigini art (new)

MONA-museum of old and new art, nice setting on the water

tasmania food weekend and cooking demonstration with a well-known chef from Melbourne and Sydney (far right), as well as another dessert chef (middle), originally from Belgium, who has lived in Tasmania for over 20 years

water that was served at the demonstration, was actually tasmanian bottled rain water!

fabulous chocolate dessert that was served along with a delicious lunch
 Back at the museum - Black Madonna with elephant dung. Picture that was banned from a museum in New York City, was displayed calmly in the museum

 a cool exhibit where dripping water would form words. took me a long time to get this shot!

some of the "old" art

 Some of the "new" art: Sydney Nolan's (one of Australia's most famous artists) 1620 individual pieces of art
The MONA is well worth visiting if you find yourself in Hobart. At the time we visited it had just recently opened and thus was free for visitors (due to change), a very good deal indeed. Their collection was full of gorgeous old, very old pieces - Egyptian, Middle Eastern and some very creative contemporary pieces. When entering the museum everyone was given an iphone, you would click on the piece you were viewing and could get either a short or long description of the item. Was a lot of fun.

We also had the good fortune of being in Tasmania during one of their "Savor Tasmania" events. At the invitation of two Tasmanian friends we attended a great cooking demonstration: an oriental salad and a fabulous beef dish were prepared, as well as a delicious chocolate dessert. All products were from Tasmania, accompanied by Tasmanian water and wine. The meal they demonstrated was served to us, delicious.  The beef was amazing, so tender and full of taste. All Tasmanian beef is grass-fed, thus happy cows!   The Tassies are very proud of their products and are well-known for their wonderful produce.