Life's a beach

Life's a beach
Life's a beach

Adelaide - hot, wet and a total bloody mystery

Central Market - a bright spot on a dull canvas

The decision to change our itinerary and visit Adelaide had been based on the recommendations of a number of friends and acquaintances. With hindsight I wish we had simply gone straight to Melbourne. Adelaide most definitely did not resonate for me and, I hesitate to contradict my friends (who normally have impeccable taste and common sense), left me wondering what all the fuss was about.

Thank heavens for coffee and cake to pass the time
Unencumbered by a great intellect I can often amuse myself with the smallest of things for long periods of time. (Perhaps I'd better re-phrase that. No, I'll let it stand, a little innuendo never hurt anyone. Crikey it's getting worse; you can tell I have nothing meaningful to write about our stay in Adelaide.) Just as well really, because that's pretty much all we did in the city. In fairness, for most of the time, it was either around 45c (which restricted us to air-conditioned rooms) or chucked down with rain, which kept us indoors as well.

View from Glenelg pier back towards the central
square with 'yours truly' wandering morosely
We had also chosen not to hire a car, so were limited to the CBD and wherever we could get to on public transport. This prevented us from exploring the wine regions around the city, of which there are many, unless we opted for an organised tour. It also meant we didn't get to any of the nearby seaside towns, other than Glenelg, which lay at one end of the city's only tram route. I'd like to say that the town redeemed Adelaide in some small measure, but I can't. The tram terminated in a small square on the Glenelg seafront; this well landscaped space was surrounded by down-market eateries bizarrely, the largest and the cleanest of which was McDonalds. 

We couldn't confirm, it never opened during our stay
We had an iced coffee, took a leisurely stroll along the beach, popped into a small maritime museum and toyed with the idea of lunch. Cowardice (or discretion) prevailed and we returned to the city for a late lunch of sushi in the Central Market.The market proved to be the one bright spot on an otherwise drearily blank canvas. Covered and kept cool by air con, the market catered for all culinary tastes, from the obvious to the obscure. Around 250 coffee shops, delicatessens, fruit & veg outlets and Asian street food stands jostled and competed for the attention of a remarkably laid back bunch of shoppers and tourists. Largely impervious to the heat and wet weather the market became our de facto haunt of choice.

Stuffed seal, courtesy of the Adelaide Museum
Towards the end of our week, and by now more than a little stir crazy, we hopped aboard one of the city's free circuit buses. It rained the entire time but we were still able to catch some interesting glimpses through the condensation-fogged windows. We found some elegant and well-heeled suburbs in North Adelaide, as well as an odd abundance of churches. The area also contained the Adelaide Oval, home to a different Aussie religion but one no less fervently followed. Back on the south side of town our bus wound its way around and through the CBD, revealing a clean and efficiently laid out city, before it deposited us back at our apartment.

Studded penguin, courtesy of the Adelaide Museum.
Well....what else do you do on a wet Wednesday afternoon?

On the eve of our departure, and probably knowing that we had an early flight the next day, Adelaide played its final practical joke and launched a 14 day fringe festival! In closing, and at the sharp end of a pointy finger from Fo, I'll concede that perhaps we didn't give Adelaide a fair chance to display its wares. Maybe we'll revisit one day, but don't hold your breath.

You can tell, Adelaide really fired my imagination.

No comments:

Post a Comment