City of Churches

Trip Start May 10, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Adelaide Shores Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Sunday, April 26, 2009

After a two hour drive in light rain from the wine country of Clare, we reached the capital of South Australia, Adelaide. The GPS took us directly through two or three suburbs to our caravan park where we had arranged an early booking as we wanted to park the caravan before heading off to the airport with Lesley for her plane trip to Sydney. Firstly we set up our van while we dealt with a very strong wind blowing off the ocean less than a hundred metres away. Then we went to the nearby suburb of Glenelg where we had  arranged to meet up with Lesley's friend Richard for lunch. We found a  little restaurant on the main street and ordered fish and chips, which was very nice except they supplied enough chips with every meal to feed an army. After lunch we went for a walk along the jetty to work off some of the calories that we had consumed.

The wind had increased in strength by this time and it wasn't exactly a pleasant walk but we did manage to take some photos of the foreshore, buildings and monuments that stand along the sea front. As time was passing all too quickly, we had to say goodbye to Richard and head out to the airport. With Lesley safely on her way, we went back to the caravan and settled down to a very wet and windy night for the first of the three nights we were to spend at Adelaide Shores. We were glad that we had the foresight to book an onsite toilet and shower so at least we didn't have to go far when nature called.

Monday morning came and the weather was still not the best so after eating a good breakfast, we sat and waited for the weather to clear up. Around midday we made our way to the bus stop situated just outside the entrance of the park and caught the bus into the city. Just about everything in Adelaide, with the exception of the suburbs, is found in the 1 square mile CBD. Everything is in easy walking distance and in a couple of hours we had visited buildings of interest like the main Post Office, Catholic Cathedral with the statue of Mary McKillop with her arms around a couple of children, China Town, the grand old buildings of the University of South Australia, the market and the well known Rundle Mall which is the shopping precinct with all the well known shops either situated directly in the mall or in the Arcades that branch off to the side. The city centre is surrounded by parklands which give Adelaide a real feel of openess. After a snack of a toasted cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee at the local Coffee Bean Shop, we made note of places we would like to take a closer look at the next day and headed back to the caravan on the 133 bus. Unfortunately this was the wrong bus and it didn't take us back home but terminated at West Beach which meant we had to walk across an oval and through a sporting complex to reach the caravan park but at least we didn't get lost finding our way home! Dinner that night consisted of  steak, cooked on the park BBQ and salad, washed down with a nice glass of wine. The rain started falling again as we watched the local programs on our in van television.

After breakfast the next day, we jumped into the Pajero and headed back to town to explore a bit more of this beautiful city. We decided to take the car so that we would not be restricted by bus timetables which although very good, still take up a great deal of time getting from one place to another. We eventually found a spot to park close to the Botanical Gardens, which we wanted to visit, and we set off delighting in the beautifully maintained gardens and buildings. Water features are numerous and some of the aquatic plants are the largest we have seen. It was really a worthwhile couple of hours we spent here before heading back to take a closer look at the city.  During the next few hours we wandered around the Rundle Mall, the University precinct and the various monuments that stand in the city streets

On the third day we were delighted to wake up and find the sun shining brightly though the air was still quite cool.  This was the day to head into the hills and see the countryside.  As we drove through the suburbs we saw many beautiful houses built in different styles.  Each suburb has a church with a spire or Norman tower reminding us that Adelaide is after all referred to as the 'City of the Churches.'

First stop was at the top of Mount Lofty, home of all the local television transmitters, from where we enjoyed the good view over Adelaide and the coastal plain surrounding it, with the sea in the distance. This is a popular spot for both locals and visitors to sit and take in the surrounds as they sip a great cup of coffee in the cafe that is located on the summit. After an hour or so looking around, we decided it was time to move on to Hahndorf.  This town was originally a settlement established by a group of Germans escaping persecution in their homeland and named after the captain of the boat that brought them to South Australia. Hahndorf is a charming little town with the main street lined with magnificent trees that give relief from the sun while walking around. Small shops are numerous, selling all types of typically german goods from leather work to cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest as well as german delicacies in the bakery and butchers shop. We spent lots of time browsing and purchasing a few items as presents for our friends back in Perth before heading to the local pub to enjoy a typical german lunch washed down with a good glass of weissbier.

After lunch we wandered down some of the side streets where we found The Lutheran Church and school just off the main road and which we found is well worth a visit.  We were surprised that it has such a large congregation even today when Australia is such a secular country with most people, sadly, having no faith what-so-ever. The Pastor was pleased to show us around both the original church and the new building where most of their services now take place.

Our next stop was a short drive away at the town of Gumeracha, home of the Big Rocking Horse in the grounds of the toy factory where beautiful wooden toys and of course rocking horses are produced. Although expensive these are superbly made and will last for hundreds of years with a little looking after. We were impressed with the wooden 4 wheel drive and caravan and would have loved to buy these if we had the spare cash, but travelling on a budget didn't allow for such things and they will have to wait for another visit to the area. We did however buy a couple of little toys for our Grandson Jayden from their bargain bin.

As the day was now drawing to a close, we made our way through some spectacular countryside back to Adelaide and home for the night. Having enjoyed a good lunch we ate some cheese and biscuits accompanied by a glass of wine for supper then watched a bit of telly before going to bed.  Our four nights were soon over and the next morning it was already time to move on, but not far this time, only about 30 minutes down the road to Christies Beach close to where our friends Geoff and Jean live in the suburb of Reynella. So we hitched up the van and took a leisurely drive down the coast to our new home.

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