The plane from Melbourne to Hobart on the island of Tasmania takes a little over an hour. I am staying at Battery Point Manor in a huge room with a view of the ocean. It’s in a quiet neighborhood where people frame their driveways with flower beds, right above Salamanca Square at Princes Wharf, a row of nice restaurants and galleries in a curving row of old houses. It’s all very pleasant and relaxed, and spring is in the air with birds singing and fragrant flowers blooming.

There are more restaurants at the piers and docks further west, and the main part of town begins right behind them. I had very fresh fish and chips there. Downtown is much busier, but Hobart has a population of only 200,000 so it still has a small-town feel. Most buildings are low and old, with only a few ugly blocky highrises marring the skyline. They have several beautifully landscaped little parks too.

Like in Melbourne, the world comes to an end every day at 18:00. Everything except a few restaurants on Salamanca closes, Hobart becomes a ghost town, and the Internet goes to sleep for another Australian night.