Saturday, July 12, 2014

Adelaide Snapshots

The first half of the year has been quite a busy year work-wise. Although Hubby & I promised ourselves we would take a break over Christmas and New Year, we both ended up working. So we decided to take a break in Adelaide, away from home, to ensure that we wouldn't work.

Unfortunately, telecommuting capabilities meant we could work and we both did - me more than Tony. I had a deadline to implement membership renewal forms for a professional organisation by the start of May and Adelaide was so quiet over the Easter weekend there was plenty of time to work.

The immediacy of social media makes this post seem like very old news. It's been over two months since we returned from Adelaide and while we were there we posted highlights and observations to Facebook, food photos on From Deb's Kitchen Instagram feed and a couple of yoga-inspired photos on my Learner Yogi feed.

In and around Adelaide

We arrived in Adelaide late in the afternoon of the Thursday before Good Friday. We knew that Friday was likely to be quiet so we planned to check into our apartment, find a supermarket, and purchase food for Friday. Bread, fruit and vegetables shelves were almost bare and the store was packed with people stocking up for the weekend.

Sunday found us back in Glenelg after almost 10 years. This beachside suburb is where we based ourselves the last time we visited Adelaide.

Back then, Holdfast Shores Marina was a recent and controversial addition to Glenelg, providing ocean views to those few who could afford one of the apartments in this complex. Today Marina Pier at Holdfast Shores is also a busy retail and restaurant complex contrasting with the quiet, bare buildings we remembered.

We lunched at a fish and chip cafe that we enjoyed 10 years ago, and then took a walk south of the jetty. It was a beautiful day - there were so many people on the beach enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Browsing the web for things to do over the Easter weekend I stumbled onto the Semaphore Kite Festival or more correctly, the Adelaide International Kite Festival.

Semaphore was another suburb we visited last time we were in Adelaide. I have vague memories of a very quiet town with historic buildings lining the street. It looks like Semaphore has been spruced up and, because of the festival, the pavements started teeming with people as we got closer to the beach.

We climbed the stairs to a lookout to view the foreshore. What a sight! Kites flying overhead; stalls and rides set up along the foreshore; people milling around the stalls, the jetty, the grounds.

Walking past the kite flying area we were able to access the beach to obtain a clearer view of the kites (and to video them).

The Tuesday after the long weekend we hired a car so we could explore some of the towns outside of Adelaide.

Murray Bridge is named for the road and rail bridges that span the Murray. The first road bridge to span the Murray was built here in 1879.

Not far from Murray Bridge is Monarto Zoo, the largest open range zoo in Australia. We arrived a little late: only had time for a tour on the shuttle bus, a couple of walks and a quick lunch. Most of the animals we saw were from the bus.

The meerkat enclosure was close to the Visitor Centre bus stop so there was plenty of time to take photos of them.

The zoo is located on old farm land. One of the walks took us along the trickle of a creek.

Hahndorf is Australia's oldest surviving German settlement and nearly every tour that heads south-east out of Adelaide seems to stop in Hahndorf. We've visited Hahndorf twice before, both times as one-hour stopovers on tours. It was nice to have more time to wander up and down the main street, exploring the shops and sampling the apple strudel!

The following day we visited the Barossa Valley. We started out later than expected and on arriving in Tanunda, our priority was lunch. After that, we really didn't feel in the mood for wine tasting. We spent most of our time in Tanunda exploring the shops and Seppeltsfield Road visiting a couple of wineries and Maggie Beer's Farm Shop.

We arrived too late at the farm shop for the cooking demonstration but there were plenty of wares to sample and buy, and outside, a couple of short walks around the farm to view the dam and the olive and quince groves.

Maybe it's because we live in a city that the South Australian skies seemed so wide and open, stretching on forever, producing these wonderful skyscapes. Our apartment faced West so we saw some magnificent sunsets - although I have just noticed that the photo shows the same sunset from the parklands where Tony was walking and from the balcony of our apartment where I was doing yoga. Jet streams seemed to be a common feature in the skies - the photo shows a jet stream taken from the summit of Mount Lofty towards the Gulf St Vincent.

Adelaide also has a lot of street art. Our apartment overlooked a building site that had a mural of faces on the adjoining building wall. Walking to Port Adelaide from Semaphore, a crocodile languishing among the lilies covered a large portion of a fence. I really liked the totem-like mural we found at the entrance of a car park and pedestrian thoroughfare.

The three F's

The three F's was an idea touted by Tony on Facebook after an unusual morning.

The day we visited the Barossa Valley, we were woken by the fire alarm. After a quick dash down the fire stairs, we shivered in the courtyard with fellow guests as we waited for the fire brigade to check the apartment block. While we gathered below someone finished their laps in the pool (the pool had a glass bottom that jutted out the side of the building) and another couple leisurely took time to finish breakfast on their balcony before wandering down.

The night before Tony had noticed that the tyre on our hire car was a little flat and we had planned to change it in the morning. After pulling out the manual and all the gear, we discovered that the spare tyre was not suitable for speeds over 80km/h. So we packed up everything, returned to the rental company and was given a new car.

That's when Tony queried our Facebook friends for a third G-rated 'F'.

It was at Heritage Wines that we met Poppy, the black labrador. She bounded over when we arrived, demanded tummy rubs and pats, and promptly settled down behind our car. She remained there even when we got in the car and revved the engine. Tony ended up having to call her away from the car and pat her while I backed the car out. To fit in with the 'F' theme, I decided on the alliterative 'four-legged friend or foe'.

Where to next?

Not sure. We have nothing planned except some vague idea that we need to get away and not work!

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