Friday, November 21, 2008

Launceston

We're going to Tasmania. Launceston. My Livejournal friend Tracey lives there, and we're going to visit her and her lovely family. Hopefully we won't drive her family completely insane. Hopefully, she'll still be my friend after we leave. I am a bit worried about this. I am kind of getting this awful picture of them shutting the door after we finally leave and sighing with relief. Ah, finally....they're gone! Although I say that about pretty much ALL our guests--even the ones I love. I'm so relieved for them to be gone, and then a few hours later I miss them and want them to come back. Well, SOME of them....at least.

Anyway, I decided I should write about her town. I'm not going to write a lot about the tourist stuff because I am leaving it up to Tracey to figure out what she wants to do with us. I'm personally happy with anything. It's Australia. I'll be thrilled. She could take me to a parking lot and I'd sit there saying, Cool! Australian cars! Australian pavement!

And we all know my REAL purpose of going there. Jack's future wife might live in Launceston. These people whom we share Vegemite on toast with....they just might be our future in-laws. Tracey has very beautiful daughters. I think the younger one would be a perfect match for Jack.

Okay, enough. I need to stop before I start picturing wedding dresses and all that.

Let's get on to Launceston.

Launceston is on the north Eastern part of Tasmania. It's not way east though--more towards the center.

Now I'm going to talk to Lord Wiki. He says the kids should elope. Weddings are a waste of money. Lord Wiki! Really! Is that any of your business?! I just want to know about the town. Let's stick to THAT subject.

Lord Wiki says Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania. The city that beats it in that contest is Hobart....the capital.

Lord Wiki says Launceston was the first city to be lit by hydroelectricity. My eyes are a bit tired this morning and I accidentally read it as HIT by hydroelectricity. I was thinking....yikes. Sounds dangerous. I hope it doesn't happen while we're there.

Launceston was settled fairly early. 1806. At least Lord Wiki calls it early. I really don't know enough about Tasmanian history to know what's early and what's late. Well, the first fleet came in 1788. 1806 is eighteen years later. I suppose you could call that early.

Launceston was originally called Patersonia. I like that name. I like Launceston too though. The Patersonia name comes from one of the first men to settle in the area. William Paterson. He was an explorer and a Botanist. He was also governor of New South Wales for a year, but then later lost that job to Macquarie. Oh! And also, before that he was governor of Tasmania. Although it wasn't Tasmania yet. It was Van Dieman's Land.

All this name changing gets confusing.

I guess William Paterson decided he didn't want his town to be named after himself any longer, so he changed the name to honor the birthplace of another New South Wales governor.   Philip Gidley King had been born in a town in England called.....

Can you guess?

(it's Launceston if you can't)

Lord Wiki says Launceston is known for apples, wool, and wine. I like apples. Wool is too itchy/scratchy for me. I don't drink wine, but I like the IDEA of it. There's something very romantic about vineyards. I know. I'm probably just saying that because of Keanu Reeves and that A Walk in the Clouds movie.

Launceston has no high rise buildings. At least that's what I'm reading.....

Lord Wiki says Launceston is swampy. I like swampy. That sounds romantic to me too. Messy, but romantic. I don't know why. I guess it makes me think of an Anne Rice novel...probably more the witch books than the vampire ones.

Launceston has a sister city in America. Napa. I have no idea what sister city means. Do any of you have a clue?

Anyway, when I hear about Napa, it always reminds me of that line in Sex and the City. If you're tired of New York City, you take a napa. You don't move to Napa!" I miss that show sometimes. I still haven't seen the movie. I need to do that.

I'm now looking at other websites about Launceston. You just can't rely completely on Lord Wiki. Sometimes, he's really smart. Other times, he acts like a drunk uncle.

This website says the Launceston area was founded in 1805 rather than 1806. That makes more sense. Lord Wiki was a bit confusing about that. He talked about Paterson and his gang approaching the area near Launceston in 1804 and said then they came to Launceston a year later. That would BE 1805, right? But Lord Wiki says it was 1806. Although I guess if they came at the end of 1804, a year later would be around 1806.

I guess the exact year doesn't matter all that much. I shouldn't be so picky.

This website says Launceston is the third oldest city in Australia. I knew what the first oldest city was, and now I know what the third oldest city is. What's the second? Maybe Parramatta?

Lord Wiki tried to tell me that Launceston had yet another original name, but I ignored him. I'm telling you....I'm very tired this morning. But I caught the info on the website mentioned above. After I saw it there, I went to complain to Lord Wiki for withholding information for me. But I saw he had talked about it. Oops.

Anyway, the original original name was from explorers led by Bass and Flinders. They found the area in 1798 and called it Port Dalrymple.

There are a few Dalrymples in Queensland. I was wondering where the name came from. I did a little digging and it seems the name comes from a village in Scottland.

In 1929, Launceston and other parts of Northern Tasmania had a huge flood. There was a lot of destruction. Yikes.

Well, I will end now because I'm tired.