Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunny Days at the Beach

Welcome to the seaside! We took the train to Port Adelaide and had a wander around the streets. It was rather strange because the area had very few people out and about due to the holiday weekend. I felt a little creeped out by the lack of fellow adventurers. 

There were more people along the waterfront, and next time we visit we might go on a dolphin watching trip. The big sailing ships were very interesting. 

The Port Adelaide Maritime Museum had an exhibition of ship's surgeon's items and information. Of course we couldn't possibly walk past that! I'm really glad I never emigrated from foreign lands on a sailing ship. All kinds of things went horribly wrong. My big problem would be sea sickness, and I'm sure it would all go downhill from there. The Maritime Museum is well worth a visit, whatever the special exhibition. It is really fascinating. Apologies for the murky photos- the light was rather dim. 

Johnny was lucky he didn't get harpooned.

After that happy morning beside the sea, we decided another watery adventure was a great idea. We took a tram out to Glenelg, which was a much busier place. 

There were families, dogs, sporty types, swimmers and even people setting up for three different weddings. It is a beautiful spot. We even saw a dolphin. 

We walked to the end of the jetty, then I took my shoes off and paddled along the beach in the waves. The water wasn't warm, but really pleasant on a hot day. The sand is soft and there are lots of shells to look at. 

Yes, I'm wearing my orange dress again. I purchased three of these floaty vintage-style dresses from Ezibuy recently and they are so fabulous to wear. No ironing required, so perfect for travelling.

This amazing house was situated right on the waterfront. Maybe it isn't a private residence, but I'd move there in an instant.

There were rocks with interesting creatures living among them, so I spent some time peering into cracks and crevices. Not very practical in a dress, but I didn't care.

There's a great little museum at Glenelg, right near the jetty, which is free to visit. It is well worth taking the time to have a look around.

The public transport in Adelaide is fantastic. You can get a pre-paid card just like they have in Melbourne, and then jump on and off the trams, trains and buses. In the central city you can easily walk around, but it is easy to go further afield too.

Next time we are taking a day trip out of the city.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Adelaide Botanical Gardens

 Botanical Gardens are one of my favourite places to visit. I was determined to visit the Adelaide Gardens and managed to have two prowls around. Once with Johnny, and then by myself (because I felt like we had missed some good bits).

The gardens are very elegant, and are a combination of the old and the new. There are huge trees lining wide paths.

The wisteria walkway was simply stunning.

The fragrance was incredibly intense.

The garden is both exotic and familiar.

 This restored Palm House is very special.

I love the glamour and detail in the architecture.

In contrast, there is an enormous modern tropical glasshouse, which is also stunning.

It seems to be pushing its way out of the earth like the spine of some amazing creature.

There are walkways that curve up and down among the plants. 

The mist adds to the tropical atmosphere. The plants reach up high, and I guess they will grow to fill the space with a canopy of green.

These two photos captured the mist beautifully.

Another total contrast - the rose gardens. The roses were starting to come out. They are earlier than here at home. Mine are getting underway now (making me very happy indeed). 

I'd love to return when the roses are in full bloom.

I'm definitely returning to the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, because I'm sure there is more to see, plus we didn't have time to explore the garden museum and shop or the cafe. 

Another great place we visited was the State Library. There is a lending library, which we didn't enter, but we enjoyed a fascinating photographic display from World War One. We actually saw several very interesting displays of World War One items and images during our holiday. I didn't take photos. I did (try) to take some photos in the stunning historical library (The Mortlock Wing). The light was very dim, and I avoid using the flash in public areas or in museums. 

There was a gallery space on the bottom and two floors of really old book collections. I could have lurked among the shelves for days. I wanted to move in. 

There were students quietly studying. The top floor was a special science book collection, I believe.

I was also very fortunate to visit the Art Gallery of South Australia, which is a stunning building that makes you feel very special, and houses a collection well worth a visit, if you enjoy art. Sorry, no photo. Not sure if you are allowed to take photos, but I would feel rude taking photos in an art gallery.

Finally, for today's post, we visited the Migration Museum. This is located in a group of buildings that have a ghastly history. It was a "native school" where Aboriginal children were educated away from their families to "civilize" them. It was also a destitute asylum. I enjoyed seeing the displays, but I actually felt a big sick being there. Not sure if it was just because I knew it had been a place of utter misery, or whether my imagination was running wild. I didn't take any photos - it just didn't seem right somehow. Am I weird? (Yes, is the right answer to that question).

I'm enjoying revisiting Adelaide. What a wonderful place it is. If someone said I had to move to Australia, it would be top of my list currently. Next time, we're off to the beach.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Time Passes so Quickly

Where have I been?
Well, we can't get Solo lemon fizzy here in New Zealand. That stuff is good! Over the holidays we took a jaunt to foreign lands. Here's another clue:

And a new friend!

I LOVE visiting Australia. We went to Adelaide first, because Johnny went to a conference.

Adelaide is such a beautiful city. It is not huge like Melbourne, but has lots to see and do.

Rundle Mall is the central city shopping hub, and there was a celebration on while I was there, with activities for children.

The Torrens River is beautiful.

We visited the Museum of South Australia. What a fascinating place!

I would love a mineral collection like this one:

The Adelaide Zoo was a real highlight for me. I had a special experience visiting the pandas before opening time, and it made such a difference quietly enjoying them (and having a bit of a chat with them) without the crowd. I was so lucky because I was the only one who booked for the Panda Experience, so I had the lovely Rob all to myself, and he told me all sorts of things about the animals living at the zoo as he took me on a tour.

The pandas are just divine. No, they are not cuddly. They are very large and strong creatures, so are treated with a great deal of respect by their keepers. Wang Wang is the male, and Funi the female. Hopefully next year's breeding season with be successful. There is a very small window of time for breeding activity, and even though Wang Wang performed admirably, he didn't quite get the job done. Apparently panda ladies like strong, dominant gentlemen callers, and Wang Wang is still young and is learning the ropes. The capybaras have no such problems. There seemed to be hoards of perfect miniature capys, and I read on the Adelaide Zoo website that a new litter of babies arrived recently. They are like enormous guinea pigs, without the variations in colour and fur length. I desperately want one.

Well, that is plenty for this post. Gosh time has passed so quickly since my last blogging session. I just didn't feel much like blogging for a bit, and sadly, we lost our dear doggy, Miss Dog, to liver cancer. I named the blog after Miss Dog (Poppy) and my mum and dad's darling yellow Labrador, Daisy. They are both gone now. For a while looking at the blog was just a bit too sad. I guess the lovely thing about blogs is that we can look back and remember our special friends if we write about them.

Check in soon for more about my adventures in Australia!