Whistle-stop Adelaide

Trip Start Sep 28, 2003
Trip End Sep 29, 2004

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Friday, August 20, 2004

As I mentioned at the end of the last entry, because I only had two days to spend in Adelaide, I took a coach tour of the city as soon as I arrived. This was useful, because in addition to giving me an oversight of the city the driver even dropped me at my accomodation at the YHA there.

So Adelaide..... well, this is another of the places that I maybe didn't see the best of and I didn't think that there was an awful lot to it. However, it is a very pleasant, well planned city. It was planned from the beginning (in the 1830's) to have lots of parkland and to be well spaced out. Apart from very few places the original plan has been adhered too and the resulting city means that the CBD is surrounded by parks and has five squares. Space was allowed so that the 4 lane roads that carry the traffic in the main thoroughfares have fallen into the existing space. I cannot imagine ever being stuck for more than five minutes in traffic here. A bit different to Sydney!

While I was in Augusta, I had had a message from Elspith and Emily, whom I had last seen in Sydney. They were in Cairns at the time and about to fly down to Adelaide, arriving the day before I did.

So the first day I had arrived in Adelaide I arranged to meet up with them, but actually managed to bump into them before this as they were busking in a shopping mall. It was hard not to miss two girls playing violins. So we adjusted our plans and arranged to meet later on that afternoon near the main museum.

I went to the Migration Museum, prior to meeting the girls at the main South Australian Museum. The migration museum that I had read good things about, was not - to me - too interesting. However there was a school visit in progress and they seemed to be having a talk or presentation for them and I stayed clear of that area. It was actually being held in one of the main rooms of the museum so it could well be that I simply missed the best bit.

The first exhibition in the SA Museum that we looked at was a wildlife art exhibition, which comprised a number of different types of artwork including some very good paintings and sculptures. Following this we looked at the aboriginal section which has a huge range of different items.

Overall the museum did not seem too astounding, however some of the individual exhibitions were very good. Later that evening we went back to the girls' campsite and enjoyed some local beer.

The next day I made a beeline for the beach as I had not seen the sea for a few days now. There is a suburb of Adelaide called Glenelg to which runs an old fashioned tram from the city centre. I had heard that this was one of the things to do in Adelaide. True enough it was a nice little place but there was not loads to do there. However I did find myself tempted by the Rodney Fox Shark experience. This was a small but interesting exhibition created by Rodney, who became interested in Sharks after being bitten by one in a Spear Fishing Tournament. Since then he has spent his life preserving and researching Great White Sharks. There were some interesting documentaries shown about Rodney and the part he has taken advising on films and doing his own research, getting up close and personal with the Great White.

Later this day I saw a film at the cinema on my last evening in town.

On my final day in Adelaide I decided that I would take a look at the Botanic Gardens in the morning. The gardens were quite nicely laid out, some areas being nicely spaced out with others showing a variety of species in a smaller area. There were also a couple of nice water features. One of the major features of the Gardens is the Bicenntenial Conservatory which as you might imagine is kept at a dlightly warmer temperature, but this allows a range of plant species (and a few birds) from throughout Australia to be grown all in one place. When I was buying my ticket I found that I only had a $50 (approx 20) note. The lady in the ticket office didn't have enough change for the $50, and said I could go in without paying. However I decided that I would feel guilty if I did not pay, so I went to the Ice Cream Kiosk and bought an ice-lolly before returning and paying the proper entry fee (only a few dollars). I enjoyed spending a little while walking on the path through the different trees and plants.

Next I had a very nice meal in an Irish bar, I enjoyed the pie of the day and half a Guinness for $10 I think (cannot remember the name of the pub but it was on one of the town centre roads, on the edge of the town itself, nearest the gardens!). The rest of the afternoon I spent using the Internet and then getting to the Train Station from where I would get the Ghan to Alice Springs. This was to be my last day in Adelaide, although I will pass through again briefly on my way back to Sydney.
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