Sun, 23 Oct 2005

Sunday in Adelaide // at 23:59

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Around and around we walked this morning, back down to the street with all the cafés from last night, then back up the side streets, then up the main road through the centre of town — not a single place seemed to be open, not a chance of getting breakfast. It seemed to be some sort of joke: “Sunday morning, Adelaide is closed.” Around the block again, we were just about to give up when we found a poky little place on the ground floor of some serviced apartments. Bacon and eggs and a coffee; nothing special, but by the time we located it we were ravenous!

Then up to the north end of town and almost immediately we seemed to come across streets full of shops, café's with tables out on the streets, people everywhere having late breakfasts! The fun of being in a new place!

Tried to visit the migration museum, but it wouldn't open until 1pm, so onwards over the river to walk on up to North Adelaide. All the while we were holding our hats on in the wind, and keeping a careful eye on the weather.

North Adelaide seemed very reminiscent of Carlton in Melbourne, lots of shops, cafés, restaurants and people. Stopped in for a good coffee in Café Paesano, being packed with people was the best advertisement of all.

Back down towards the city along side-streets towards the river, admiring the architecture, the stonework of all the old houses. Unlike Melbourne it seems that timber was in short supply, so nearly every old house is made of stone and looks set to last another few hundred years.

Rain and icy winds hit as we were just north of the zoo, we sheltered for a while under a tree, then half-walked, half-ran over the river to hide in a fortuitous doorway.

This latest bit of rain blew away, so we decide d to have a quick look around the Botanic gardens — a quick look that ended up taking four hours or so!

Annoyingly, my digital camera went suddenly flat as soon as I pulled it out of my pocket — seems to be a feature of the IXUS 700, very little warning, just a flash of a red battery logo and it turns itself off. I was still carting around the old APS camera so I took quite a few photos with that.

Fascinating herb gardens, and the “economic garden”. I'm not sure why its called that, something to do with all the plants being of some value perhaps? Many herbs and plants that I've seen before, all labelled, half of them caused me to have an “Aha! So that's what that is called. Unfortunately I didn't write these down, so I've promptly forgotten the lot!

The cycad collection, with weird enormous and oddly coloured seed pods, then run to the shelter from the next shower in the palm greenhouse — now given over to a spiky collection of plants from Madagascar.

Back outside and stumbled upon a group of five greenhouses; cacti, bromeliads, ferns, magnificent giant water-lillies and a collection of various other hothouse plants.

Jo in the Adelaide Rose Garden
Jo in the Adelaide Rose Garden

A brief visit to the gift shop to shelter from another shower turned into a half-hour stay. Browsing through the books and gifts, doing a little pre-emptive Christmas shopping. Outside and through the “classground,” a working part of the gardens where new plants are experimented upon — to see whether or not they are suitable for South Australia's climate — then on to the rose garden. Wow! What a surprise. In the dull light under the cloud-grey sky the roses looked brilliant — and so many of them!

Also surprising was the “Bicentennial Conservatory,” rising like a weird spaceship in the middle of the garden. I'd seen it marked on the map, but hadn't realised its size or uniqueness! The door charge was a little steep, so we contented ourselves with the view from outside, and an hour or two in the roses.

Three o'clock and we finally decided that we'd had enough and were in need of lunch! Left the gardens and found a café on East terrace and had a very enjoyable — if slightly late — lunch while watching and faintly hearing the jazz in the park over the road.

Back on foot via Rundle street, ducking here and there into all the outdoors shops to look at boots and clothes and things that we'd realised last week that we needed — no success, so back to the backpackers' for a short nap to recover our energy!

We'd arranged to go out this evening to a bar at Henley beach, Sandy had told us all that Bacchus bar was a great place on a Sunday evening with a great rock'n'roll band, good crowd, and magnificent views out over the sunset and the water. The howling wind and stormy seas greeted us when Jo and I arrive in the car, but the pier was there so we had to walk out along it — it seems to be a universal law of piers! Hands firmly holding hats on heads, we made it to the end and back, then hurried into the bar for a drink!

Dave, Cornelia and Monika, all turned up, but Sandy never showed. I think she probably took one look at the weather and sensibly stayed inside! I'm sure it's what I would have done if I hadn't been visiting Adelaide today!

A couple of hours and a couple of drinks, the wind howled and beat on the awnings and tarpaulins, driving rain in through the gaps and up under the tables from ground level! We sat around talking and catching up and listening to the band, then in a lull in the weather sprinted back to the car and drove back to the city and to bed!

Where?

Adelaide.

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