March 23, 2019, Adelaide, Australia — Though I’d never heard of Geelong, I had heard of Adelaide but I didn’t know anything about it. Now I know it is one of only a few cities in Australia that was not formed as a penal colony.
Yes, it’s a pier parking lot... but the sunrise was pretty through the Norfolk pines.
Backing up against the Mount Lofty Ranges and with a center literally surrounded by a ‘green necklace’ (Boston’s term) of parks, it’s often called ‘a city within a park’ and Australia’s most livable city. This reminds me of a Fragonard painting...
Though I saw many rose bushes at private homes, often ‘standards’ (pruned to look like trees), this is the driest state in Australia, and many front yards are gravel or paved, not seeded or sodded.
Before it was settled by Europeans, this coast was inhabited for millennia by Aboriginal peoples and later was well known to American whalers and sealers. Britain wanted to expand its territory into southern Australia and founded Adelaide as the area’s capital in 1836. First came free Brits, followed by immigrants from Italy, Eastern Europe, Germany then later Vietnam, Africa and the Middle East. The Governor of the state of South Australia is a Vietnamese refugee. Today Adelaide is home to around 250,000.
Old wool ‘stores’ along Adelaide’s waterfront, where we were docked...
Still near the wharves, we passed many attractive stone buildings, these from the late 1800s.
In 1956 the brilliant powers that be decided to get rid of the old overhead-electric cable cars and replace them with smelly, gas guzzling busses. Now they’ve gone back to trams, or monorails.
Closing in on the modern city, there’s still a mix. Building height is limited: Our guide said 15 stories, but I counted one with at least 20.
St. Peter’s Cathedral (Anglican).
New and old university buildings...
Beautiful townhouses in this ‘most livable city’......
Proof of its multiethnic populace: BULGARIAN CLUB
I’m not likely to book a room here: SQUATTERS ARMS HOTEL
Or eat here: LORD OF THE FRIES
Or end up here: WHITE LADY FUNERALS
But I might eat here: SHESHELLS SEAFOOD
The region’s industries include opal mines (we had opal specialists at the onboard jewelry store), mining, and agriculture. The wine industry began when German immigrants brought vines from the Old World... today 50% of the country’s wine is from within an hour of Adelaide.
Like other places I’ve been, especially in this bottom half of the world, Adelaide is working to develop renewable energy, in this case, solar.
Our tour included an hour at the pedestrian-street Rundle Mall...
...where I ran into a couple from my bus at KMart. I said, ‘We traveled half way around the world to go to KMart?’ (I needed eye makeup and wouldn’t spend $58 at a store in Auckland.)
The gold man is not part of the sculpture, which our guide referred to as the Mall’s Balls.
Our last stop (‘Happy snapping,’ said our guide) was the seaside village of Glenelg, founded in 1836 and named after Lord Glenelg, British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. It is the oldest European settlement on mainland South Australia.
Next up: Albany... say ‘al’ as in ‘gal’. #