Cemeteries - Fascinating Places to Visit

st paul cathredral cemetery  

I have a fascination with cemeteries. Do you? Whenever we're in a new port, I specifically try to locate the local cemetery and we make time to visit. I like wandering through the rows of gravestones, reading the epitaphs.


cemeteries_recoleta buenos aires argentina


When we visited the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, I was amazed at the size and grandeur of what can only be described as a city of the dead. Huge, ornate mausoleums dedicated to generations of families who have lived in the area and have been buried here. Dead family members lay waiting for the living to join them at some point and I ponder whether they all got along amiably when they were alive because they're certainly in close quarters now.


puerto williams cemetery


In Puerto Williams, Chile, at the bottom of the world, a peaceful cemetery overlooks the Beagle Channel.


New England cemetery


Weathered, gray gravestones from the 18th and 19th centuries, some toppled, some leaning precariously, mark long forgotten graves in the lonely burial grounds that dot the New England countryside.


port arthur tasmania


Gravestones on the Isle of the Dead at the infamous Port Arthur Prison in Tasmania reflect only those people fortunate enough to have their graves marked. Hundreds of prisoners were buried in unmarked graves.


cook island cemetery


Because of the high water table and low altitude, Cook Island graves are all above ground and located noticeably close to their families who seem to visit often.

I think I prefer the simple gravestones in old country churchyards to the grandiose monuments in upscale cemeteries. Perhaps the fascination is not so much with the dead, but rather the way the living in each place remember those who have lived before them. All that said, the Egyptian pyramids are definitely on our bucket list.

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Top Things to See and Do in Tasmania - A Circumnavigation

As we sailed into the south end of the Murray Channel and into Deal Island's East Cove, we completed our circumnavigation of Tasmania. It took a year, almost to the day, but hey, we're slow sailors. It gave us cause to sit back one evening, while sipping our congratulatory cups of Tasmanian wine, and reflect on the highlights of our time in and around this very special island. We readily admit we missed a lot...like most of the interior (no car) and all the north coast (no time). We would have loved to linger in the Furneaux Island Group and explore Flinders Island (bad weather). Though we try, we just can't do it all. These are our picks of the top things to see and do in Tasmania.  



Our first port of call along Tassie's wild west coast the entry through the infamous Hell's Gate into Macquarie Harbour. The tiny town of Strahan was picturesque and a calm respite from the west coast's churning waters. We sailed up the Gordon River, explored the convict ruins at Sarah Island and traipsed around the bush at Kelly's Basin. It was spectacular. You can reach Strahan by car and take tours of the harbor and the river.


port davey

Port Davey

Approaching Breaksea Island, knowing we needed to skirt behind it to find the calm waters of the Bathurst Channel took a leap of faith. Rollers crashed and the craggy shore looked uninviting and ominous. But the chart and hundreds of mariners before us assured us there was peace behind those ragged spires...and there was. We hiked to tops of hills and mountains for glorious views and took the dinghy up the Melaleuca River to areas originally inhabited by Aborigines and rarely seen or visited by modern man. Part of Southwest Wilderness National Park, this area is only accessible by boat, on foot or by small plane. It's unbelievably and wonderfully remote.


bruny white wallaby

Bruny Island

A world unto itself, the island offers history, spectacular vistas, beaches and diverse flora and fauna including rare, endangered birds and white wallabies. Reach the island via a tour, your own boat or the car/passenger ferry at Kettering.


cygnet swan boat


This was our favorite little port on the east coast. It's friendly, tiny and a bit Bohemian with a cafe and boutique-lined main street. Drive there or sail there. It's worth the trip.



Hobart Town

An historic, must-see seaport with so much to do and explore. See our Top Things to See and Do in Hobart for specifics.


port arthur

Port Arthur

Re-live history here while meandering through the remains of this substantial, well-preserved convict site. Take a tour, drive there or sail there.



Maria Island

Another of Tasmania's national parks and historic convict sites. View remnants of the convict colony and the past settlement at Darlington or hike for miles enjoying the natural beauty of the Painted Cliffs, sharing the experience with kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and hundreds of birds. Access via passenger ferry from Triabunna or your own boat, of course.


deal island lite

Deal Island

Magic in the middle of the Bass Strait. Climb the steep hill to the small complex of historic lightkeeper's buildings, visit the tiny museum, hike the path to the lighthouse and climb its spiral stairs to the top viewing platform for unsurpassed views of the Strait. Cape Barren geese, wallabies, butterflies and birds galore keep you company. Part of the Kent Group National Park and accessible only by boat.


Get to know the locals. They're warm, friendly and knowledgeable. Thanks to Ian & Wendy, Craig, Marcia & John, Tony & Mary Anne, Reg, Anne & Phil, Gerry, Jack & Jude, Jim & Anne, Bob the octogenarian kayaker, Jackie, Mary & David and Tom, Maree & Floyd. If we've missed some of the many people who showed us kindness and friendship, we humbly apologize. As always, it is the people who enhance our lives and give us a better appreciation of the places we visit.


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National Lox and Bagel Day
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National Read in the Bathtub Day
Hmmm...IF I had a bathtub, I'd consider this.