Sunday, December 18, 2011

Now We're in Launceston....

My husband and I were finally able to allocate a weekend to just getting out and shopping for Christmas. Mostly just for his family (and a bit for each other) since at this point it will take far to long to ship anything to my family in time for Christmas, and we'll be seeing his ON Christmas. So... we did what we did. But he took me out of our usual areas of shopping in Devenport (small city 30-40 minutes away, depending on who's driving) to the bigger city of Launceston, about an hours drive.

 I've only been there driving to or from the airport, and once when we went to Cataract Gorge on one of our dates. We didn't do much other than that. Phillip's description of the city as "nothing but hills" and "just a hole" come more from his job as a furniture removalist (mover, for American speakers) than looking at what the city is actually like. It is, literally, in a hole. It slopes down, many many hills, towards the sea. And it's an older city and port than Devenport, so there's more old buildings, plantations, and cobblestone and brick streets and walkways.

While Devenport is nice and close for shopping, and I'm sure has some quaint little areas we just haven't visited yet, Launceston was just... pretty. And it was nice to get out and see something different. And to be in an actual city again. And oh the little shops that were there! So many tiny boutiques with pretty tempting things...

We only visited a small part of the shopping centers (apparently there's a high mall and a low mall, or something like that, I honestly wasn't paying much attention when it was explained to me), but the shops that we did go in (aside from the big chain ones that were there too) were just adorable and feminine and... old-ish. And, like I said before, Launceston is an older city. So I got to look at some quaint old buildings, alleys, walkways, and courtyards, drifting in and out of my little bookish fantasy world that I sometimes drift to that is full of Secret Garden, Narnia, and all those other childhood favorites. Thankfully, I've been blessed with a husband who likes to do the same thing.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and only had my phone with me.

Christmas sales, even down a well-lit back alley

We stopped for lunch, late, and pretty hungry, at a random take-away/sit down place that served Souvlaki. I had no idea what that was, and Phillip tried to explain it to me as "meat and stuff that's kind of served in something like a tortilla." Turns out, what they served was pretty much a gyro. And, not knowing what I was getting, I ordered the beef (you could choose between lamb, beef, and chicken) since I've discovered I'm not a big fan of lamb here in Australia. That was kind of a mistake. The beef was just minced up and resembled Taco Bell meat in texture and flavor, though I almost think Taco Bell would have tasted better.
Not that the meal was bad, it was just... not as good as it could have been. I'll get lamb next time.

Best part of the meal? The fries (chips as they call them here) drizzled with gravy. It's an option nearly everywhere you can get chips, and it is wonderful, and fatty, and hot, and delicious.

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