Ed and I spent the days between Christmas and New Year’s in Adelaide and some of the surrounding region. We really enjoyed experiencing this part of Australia. Adelaide is the 5th largest city in Australia and the capital of South Australia. It was founded in 1836 as a planned capital for the freely settled British province – rather than a city evolved from a penal colony (which is more typical here).
Adelaide CBD is easy to get around as it is based on a 1 mile square grid with wide boulevards and lots of green spaces. In fact, the CBD is surrounded by even more green space. We were able to walk everywhere that we wanted to go within the CBD. It was a great place to explore, with historical architecture, memorials, shopping on Rundle Street Mall and the wide North Terrace walkway. (Look for another post describing all the interesting things along North Terrace.) Although there certainly are taller buildings, mostly one gets the impression that everything is on a lower scale, with many buildings being not more than several stories high.
Because I mentioned architecture I want to show you this picture of a modest house, but one that has 2 important features. One is the iron scrolled railings, which are very indicative of quite a few Australians homes, and the other is the stonework, which is iron and bluestone, which is indicative of this region.
The CBD is right next to the Torrens river, which has a lovely walkway that goes on for miles. Our first morning in Adelaide was spent walking along the river. Quite by accident, we accessed the walkway from the new, and very stylish, Riverbank Bridge. We also crossed this bridge to explore the newly renovated Adelaide Oval – host of many sport (mostly cricket and football) and concert events.
As well as being easy to navigate, Adelaide is a pretty and easy going city to wander through, with lots of green spaces and even duck crossings.
Adelaide is known as the city of churches, and you can see why. Everywhere you look steeples surface through the skyline. This isn’t surprising since Adelaide was established as a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution. Today, Adelaide falls below other locations for those holding a religious affiliation…
Adelaide is known for it’s love of good food and wine. We were looking forward to dining at many of the well known local eateries, but were very disappointed to learn that most of them closed shop for summer holidays during this time of year, and they were not due to re-open until mid January. I still can’t seem to connect Christmas with summer holidays. Still, we managed to find a few decent spots.
There was a couple of days in which the Central Marketplace was open, and it was only a block away, so we popped in for some delicious foodstuffs. I have to say that it is one of the best markets I have visited, and if I lived here, you would find me here on a regular basis.
Haigh’s chocolates are very popular here and we liked it too. We even went on a factory tour, enticed by a little free chocolate. The chocolate reminded me of our own Bernard Callebaut chocolate. The picture below is of the Haigh’s store on Rundle Mall. The pictures below that are of…well, you figure that out. But they are found on Rundle Mall, too. Maybe they are trying to find chocolate.
Although we walked most places, we did use the tram occasionally. It was free in the city center, but we also used it to travel out to the ocean, to a place called Glenelg… We went to Gleneg on December 31st, and it although was a touch too chilly to swim, we enjoyed the sites. Later in the evening, we returned to Glenelg to have our New Year’s Eve dinner and then to watch the early fireworks on the beach. It was a pretty neat experience to be watching fireworks with my feet curled into the sand.
I have omitted a very special segment on this post, and that is of the famous wine regions. We did visit on a couple of occasions, but I will leave that for a future post. Till then…