Adelaide and Environs

Friday, 12th May, 2017
Saturday, 13th May, 2017
Sunday 14th May, 2017 (Mothers' Day)
Monday 15th May, 2017
Tuesday 16th May, 2017
Wednesday, 17th May, 2017

Friday 12th May, 2017

Drop Cap e docked at Mannum at 0900. It was freezing cold, only four degrees! We have had a wonderful cruise, weather fabulous, scenery stupendous and the other passengers generally friendly and cheerful.

River Scene photograph

The Torrens Riverfront, Adelaide

Drop Cap fter fond farewells to Kyra and Leigh and Raisa we separated and boarded our respective coaches. Back at the Mercure Grosvenor we were able to access our room straight away, always a bonus. It is a more spacious room than formerly, and since we are here for four days, not just a night, that is a good thing.

Water Jet photograph

Water Jet Fountain

Drop Cap e unpacked and went out for a salad sub at Subway for lunch, then walked to the river and the Popeye Cruise boat. We had to wait half an hour for it and the sun was burning hot, such a change from this morning at Mannum. We had a pleasant although quite short tourist cruise up the river Torrens, along to the weir, past the Jet d'Eau type fountain and up towards the Zoo and University campus.

Boathouse on Torrens photograph

Boathouse on the Torrens

Bridge on Torrens photograph

Bridge over the Torrens

Torrens River photograph

Torrens River

Drop Cap t was very pleasant and it would have been good to go further up but the captain said that although the river was navigable further up there were no places wide enough to turn around safely. Still, it was enjoyable on the river.

Botanic Gardens photograph

At the Botanic Gardens

Drop Cap fter our return we walked along to the Botanic Gardens. This was a very green and shady park with water features, lots of trees and spectacular greenhouses. We were a bit late to see much but we enjoyed what we saw.

Botanic Garden photograph

At the Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens photograph

Fallen Fruit At the Botanic Gardens

Drop Cap here was a tree, I never really noted what it was, which had fallen fruit all over the ground around it and the area cordoned off with a notice warning to beware of falling fruit, like Mitchell's Pass warning of falling rocks, I mean what could you do about it if you were directly underneath and something suddenly fell?

Ayres House photograph

Ayres House

Drop Cap e had coffee and muffin here then walked back to the city. We passed a beautiful old home on North Terrace which has some lovely buildings. I think it was Ayers House which was open to the public at certain times but otherwise was a wonderful events venue. We kept on walking, although our feet were starting to feel it. We have clocked up nearly seven kilometres on my pedometer today!

Drop Cap n the way back we passed an Argentinian Grill sort of place and booked in for dinner. The food was delicious but huge portions. We had bread and dips to start and it was enough to finish on! We saw one order go by which took two men to carry, it looked like half a cow!

Phoned Geoff when we returned, all is good.

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Saturday, 13th May, 2017

Glenelg Tram photograph

Glenelg Tram

Drop Cap nother brilliant sunny day! We walked across to the station to find out how the transport system works. A very helpful young man in the Information Office issued us with seniors tickets, valid for ten days, for free transport on all metro trams, trains and buses. Just validate it in the machine inside the vehicle and go. Free AND easy!

Glenelg Pier photograph

Glenelg Pier

Glenelg Beach photograph

Glenelg Beach

Drop Cap e caught the tram to Glenelg, the beachside suburb where SA colonisation began. The trams run every ten minutes and are very well patronised by the locals, not just tourists. At Glenelg we walked along the jetty and up one side of the lovely sandy beach, covered with rocks and seaweed. The turning tide had left a lovely pattern of ripples along the sand which looked like water but was just its image.

Glenelg Beach photograph

Glenelg Beach Ripples

Glenelg Beach photograph

Mac on the Rocks at Glenelg Beach

Drop Cap fter exploring one side we then returned and found a Vietnamese Restaurant called the Green Tea House, for lunch. There were so many cafes and restaurants that choice was the hardest thing. We enjoyed our meal, sharing a beef stirfry and a crispy pancake with shrimp and pork and a steamed rice, washed down with 5 Seeds Cider. Fifty dollars all up, not bad and very enjoyable.

Glenelg Beach photograph

Rosemary on the Rocks at Glenelg Beach

Drop Cap hen we walked along the beach on the other side of the jetty until I got very tired walking on sand so we came back to have a look at the Glenelg Museum in the lovely old Town Hall. This was very interesting with some quirky and historic exhibits. In their coffee shop we had coffee and shared a muffin, then headed back to the tram.

Glenelg House photograph

Historic House at Glenelg Beach

Drop Cap oming home the tram was very full of scarf wearing footy fans on their way to the AFL match at the Oval. I think we will leave going out for a meal until they have started the game. As an afterthought, it shows the general attitude of Adelaide when, after having lost the game, the fans good naturedly wandered the Mall as we did, no fighting or larrikinism.

We wandered up Rundle Mall looking for somewhere to eat and ended up at Oportos, where we had their tear and share platter, very nice, then home. Over six kilometers today.

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Sunday 14th May, 2017 (Mothers' Day)

Metro Train photograph

Metro Train to Port Adelaide

Drop Cap oday we took the train from the station opposite our hotel to Port Adelaide, the once bustling dock and trading area of SA. We caught the first train of the day, which was pretty empty and enjoyed the trip, past some older suburbs, some rather scruffy. It was quite a long walk from the station to the river docks which are the main area of Port Adelaide.

Port Adelaide photograph

Port Adelaide Institute of Arts and Sciences

Drop Cap ort Adelaide is a bit rundown but has some lovely and impressive buildings from the early days. We called into one of them, once the Police Station and Courthouse, which is now the Tourist Information Office and picked up some maps and brochures.

Lighthouse photograph

Port Adelaide Lighthouse

Drop Cap e passed the Customs House (massive and being converted into offices and flats) and the beautiful Institute of Arts and Sciences. There are museums of Marine, Railways and Aviation and an old red lighthouse set in the middle of the dock area as a focal point. There was a bric a brac market going on in an old warehouse but we resisted any purchases.

Port Adelaide photograph

Port Adelaide Graffiti Wall

Drop Cap aving found a flyer at the Tourist Info Office we went for a "Dolphin Adventure Cruise" up the river towards the sea, boarding the boat opposite the displays of graffiti (urban art?). The dolphins are known as the only urban dolphins in Australia, living in the very busy industrial river, and not in the sea. We saw a total of three dolphins, those on the other side of the boat saw lots more, however, we did see some.

Port Adelaide photograph

Port Adelaide Docks from the Boat

Port Adelaide photograph

Port Adelaide Industry

Drop Cap e passed lots of very large instalments, huge container depots with ships alongside, enormous silos of grain and minerals, and the vast hangars where the Navy's latest air warfare destroyers are being built. We saw the HMAS Hobart, which is nearly finished and two others out of the water being built.

Port Adelaide photograph

Schooner City of Adelaide

Drop Cap ack at the Port, we saw a sailing vessel called "The City of Adelaide", which the commentator on our boat said was older than the "Titanic" but in better condition.

Drop Cap fter the cruise we walked around for an hour looking for somewhere to get a light lunch, eventually opting for a Greek Restaurant called the Argo, heaving with happy Greek families celebrating Mothers' Day.

They found us a table and we ordered salads, a medium Greek salad and a small beetroot salad. The medium salad proved to be absolutely enormous, enough for a large family and they served it with warm pita bread brushed with olive oil. It was a delicious but very large meal. Not as light as I had hoped. But a nice little Greek man gave me a long stemmed rosebud and wished me a Happy Mothers' day.

Drop Cap e trained back to Adelaide and the hotel. At the station a rather sweet Asian lady asked if she could take our photo, Mac's hat and my rose she found "beautiful". She thanked us and wished me a Happy Mothers' Day. For people who don't do Mothers' Day generally, we celebrated it anyway.

We had intended to have dinner at the hotel restaurant tonight but were too full of salad! So we shared a sandwich from the convenience store with a hot drink in our room.

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Monday 15th May, 2017

Zoo Sign photograph

Adelaide Zoo Sign

Drop Cap e started today with a decadent pancake breakfast at the Coffee Club just up the road. Complete with berries, cream, ice cream and maple syrup and coffee. Yum! Then we walked it off going to the zoo. And around the zoo and then back to the hotel; a total of seven kilometers by my pedometer.

Panda photograph

First Sight of the Panda

Panda photograph


Drop Cap he zoo was great. Another brilliant day and we saw the giant pandas!!! This, of course was my object in going to the zoo in the first place. Adelaide Zoo has the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere. I never thought I would really see a panda, sometimes the animal you really want to see is hiding in its den or off for vet visits or something, but there were two of them, casually up trees, chewing on bamboo and so close we could get good photos. I was on a high all day.

Panda photograph

Best Sight of the Panda

Otter photograph

Otter at the Zoo

Meerkat photograph

Meerkat at the Zoo

Drop Cap e saw lots of other animals, too. Lions, tiger, hippos, both pygmy and normal, giraffes, meerkats, otters, capybaras, siamangs and lemurs, even a two toed sloth! It is an excellent zoo, small but well laid out. We shared a sandwich at lunch time, bought a fluffy panda for Geoff but generally walked our feet off.

Zoo photograph

Zookeeper's House

Drop Cap had intended to go to the museum afterwards but by the time we got back my feet were complaining so we came back for a rest.

Drop Cap e had dinner here at the hotel restaurant, small menu but very good, (very pricey too). We enjoyed it, then returned to pack up for leaving.

Drop Cap omeward bound tomorrow! It has been a lovely break, great company with Kyra and Leigh and Raisa from WW as well as the other people on board and the weather has been perfect. Always a bonus.
Tomorrow we catch the Indian Pacific for the last part of our journey.

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Tuesday, 16th May, 2017

Drop Cap p betimes so we could get a cab to the Great Southern Rail terminal. We were very early, the passengers from Perth were still out on their tour of Adelaide and we were a bit late boarding. Still, they brought us complimentary drinks and nibbles and we eventually got on board. The cabins have not changed, but we know what we will be getting on the IP, we have done it often enough.

Drop Cap e had a great lunch in the Queen Adelaide Dining Car and spent quite a lot of the afternoon in the lounge, talking with other passengers and reading. We arrived at Broken Hill before dinner and went off for our optional excursion. There were three choices and we picked the one called "The Big Picture". This is an incredible panoramic painting of Broken Hill and its environs and neighbouring (so to speak, within 500 km anyway) all painted by one guy in two years. It is 100 meters by 12 meters, quite enormous. It is very like the Painted Panorama at Glenbrook, which the guy here says was inspired by the Broken Hill one. There was lots of chances for retail therapy, being part of the silver mint and full of jewellery, minerals, paintings, and surprisingly chocolates, part of the old chocolate factory as well. I limited myself to a fold out postcard of the painting and a block of dark chocolate rocky road for Lorraine.

Drop Cap hen we got back to the train we had a really good dinner and returned to the lounge for a while. Then the long day started to hit us and we retired to our cabin, ate the chocolate from our pillows and went to bed.

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Wednesday 17th May, 2017

Drop Cap to a bad night, we woke quite early to watch the sun coming up over the Blue Mountains. A lovely dawn, but frosty outside, you could see it on the roofs of Lithgow as we passed.

Drop Cap elected fruit and yoghurt and toast for breakfast, must get back into the swing, I am sure we have both gained weight in spite of the walking. We have had a quite indulgent break, lots of wine, lots of desserts and lots of muffins! That is what holidays are for, and at least we know how to get it off again.

Drop Cap rriving at Central, we picked up our bags and headed off to Platform 7 and our train back up the mountains. Lorraine met us at the station and Geoff was at home (his mid week day off) putting the ingredients for home made pizza together. Cadfael seemed pleased to see us. So did Geoff. We are home.

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