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Adelaide

Our second stop in Australia was Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Adelaide is on the south coast but because the coast bends around a corner there, the Southern Ocean, or more precisely, the Gulf of St. Vincent is actually to the west, not the south.

Adelaide has a large central square, Victoria Square. It’s really an oval. That sounds a little odd but Philadelphians don’t think it’s odd that Logan Square is a circle. The population of Adelaide is listed in various sources at about 1.1 million. One wonders what they’re counting because the maps show Adelaide to be only about one square mile or so with other little towns around it. Maybe I’m reading the maps wrong. We walked around much of Adelaide and North Adelaide in only a couple hours. It seems like a sleepy place but very warm and cozy. There are lots of homes that one might find in Florida, one story places with no basements.

There is a large festival center here and it’s used frequently. The festivals seem to happen almost back to back. For example, there’s one for "V8 supercars," a music festival, a bicycle race through city and country roads, and more. We discovered we had just missed Pat Metheny at one festival and we were also just ahead of Mandy Patinkin at another.

On this, our first trip to Australia, we didn’t get to Ayers’ Rock, the famous monolith in the center of the country not too far, relatively speaking (280 miles), from Alice Springs. We did, however, get to Ayers’ House. The house is nice but I suspect the rock is much more impressive. Henry Ayers left England for Australia at the age of 19 with a brand new bride in 1840. He made a fortune in the copper mines. He went into politics and was the premier of South Australia for several years. Because of his support of the exploration of the interior of the continent, the rock was named for him. Of course, the aborigines had another name for it, Uluru, and it is usually referred to by that name now.

We stayed in a beach town called Glenelg about six miles south of Adelaide.  The town looked like something out of the 20s. There is a streetcar of that era that goes to Adelaide and the stores along the main street also fit that period. The main street comes to an end at the gulf and that’s where the town hall and the old hotel are located. It’s a pretty nice place to spend a couple quiet days.

See all my pictures of Adelaide.

See a video from Adelaide.

 

2008 Rick Wexler   last updated February 21, 2008