Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 6 Friday 15th

Our intention today was to check out Glenelg and catch the tram to the city to have a look around and then back again. I hoped to be able to get the bus to Glenelg first, but some funny bugger has been messing with roads and bus routes. Ah well, we will drive and hope we can find a parking space in Glenelg for the day without too much trouble. We did and it was only a ten minute walk to Jetty Road, the main tourist street in Glenelg, and the street Adelaide's sole tram route terminates before the sea.

But before we went, we booked a tour for Monday at the office of the caravan park with a 20% discount. The buzz in the office was how cold it had been overnight, 1 degree in places. We knew. We turned the air con unit off overnight and by morning the inside of the cabin felt like 1 degree. With no ceiling space and a pitched roof, it was a hard place to heat. We subsequently left the air con on permanently, only turning it down when we were out or overnight.

Adelaide has three different types of trams. Technically their specifications are the old trams, the older new trams and the new new trams. Soon there will be four types with newer still new trams which were appearing at the docks as we were there. They are needed as the Glenelg service was busy enough mid winter. I can imagine it gets packed in summer and only a fifteen minute service is provided to and from Glenelg, with shorter runs by extra trams near the city. The old trams are no longer used and have headed off in a few directions. The used to be fun, because there were two trams linked together, like a train. Actually the Glenelg tram runs rather like a train and barely interacts with motor cars.

There was this strange person on the tram, a conductor, who sold us our tickets. This explains the lack of ticket information at the terminus. Seniors can travel for free between 9.30am and 3.00pm and rather than me pay $8.80 for a day ticket, I was advised by the conductor it would be cheaper to buy two single tickets if I intended being back on the tram by 3pm. It is quite a decent trip to town and we stayed on to go out the other side of town to see how far the new extension to the line went. While I knew where it went on a map, I was surprised how far out it went. The Entertainment Centre is its terminus. Travel on the tram from there to the southern side of the city is free and there is a $2 park and ride scheme that seems to a victim of its own success with motorists having to get there early to find a car space.

The tram waited for about ten minutes before returning to the city. We alighted at Rundle Mall as had most of Adelaide before us. Yes, school holidays. We found a toilet and somewhere to eat. It was a vibrant area and like Melbourne, its once quiet lanes are now well used. I especially wanted to see Adelaide Arcade and while not quite up there with Sydney's Queen Victoria building, it was very nice. It had its own small museum dedicated to the building's history. We left by a side door and headed towards the Adelaide Market on foot (we meant to take a tram, but we became a bit lostish. Not really lost, but we weren't sure where exactly we were. Had to get the phone out to pinpoint our location) We liked the market, perhaps better than our own Queen Victoria Market. On the southern side is Gouger Street where the small Chinatown area is. There were many nice looking eating places and many dining at the odd mid afternoon hour.

Time to head for the tram and home. The tram was on time, but so busy. My feet were killing me and I had to stand until the stop before the terminus. As we returned along Jetty Road, we were looking for an Asian restaurant to dine in that night. We didn't see any. We went back to the car and found the Glenelg Woolworths, which became our shopping centre for the rest of our stay. Of course it had a liquor outlet.

Some internet research once home turned up a highly awarded but inexpensive Thai restaurant in Glenelg called by the ever so original name Phuket. We ate there that night. It was ok. I think we get better value in Melbourne Asian restaurants, although of course it was in a prime tourist location. So that was our first full day in Adelaide and it was full enough.

Glenelg Town Hall. It doesn't lean in real life.

An Adelaide tram validator, rather low tech in appearance compared to Victoria's but they seemed to work well enough.

The old new Adelaide tram we travelled on to the Entertainment Centre.

A nice building, taken from the tram.

Anyone guess where we had lunch?

The Regent in Rundle Mall, I assume an old picture theatre.

This brat spoiled my pig photo.

I liked Oliver.

Adelaide Arcade.

This amused me. There used to be a pet shop in the arcade and police rescued the animals when a fire broke out. "A detective was bitten by a reluctant parrot and a police sergeant was kicked by a kangaroo." Some pet shop.

This fountain had seen a few locations before it was finally placed in the mall in time for the mall's official opening in 1976. In true Dolly Dunstan style, the then Premier had champagne flowing in the fountain for the opening.

The sign says Adelaide Market. I believe it was indeed.

The ubiquitous Chinatown arch. Rather a good one really.

Our transport home, a new new tram.

Why oh why can't Melbourne's public transport have a no eating and drinking rule. I did not see any rubbish on the tram floors or notice the overpowering stench of McDonalds.


  1. Egads!
    NEW trams?
    How is it the trams don't mingle with cars - what is the set up?
    Goodness, one might stupidly think if one state capital can manage it then *ahem* other state capitals have no excuse...

    Love those buildings, the architecture is delightful :)

  2. 'the brat' ha ha
    I love the pigs, love Adelaide, hate pet shops, and yes it should be illegal to board transport carrying stenching SoCross Hungry Jacks fare - the Vline to Ballarat in particular is 90 minutes of stinking horror.

    Did you see The Gouger Cafe gorgeous deco shopfront?

  3. The pigs are great! Adelaide looks like fun.

  4. Hello Andrew:
    Some excellent images of Adelaide. The new trams are very similar to the new Budapest ones, made in Austria, but only running on one line only!

  5. Very nice review of my home town. Thank you. I remember sheltering under that side verandah of the Glenelg town Hall once when it suddenly rained. The Regent Arcade is still home to cinemas, there's a Hoyts complex in there, up some stairs, I think 4 cinemas.
    The pigs are a huge favourite with just about everybody, it's REALLY hard to get photos of them without kids climbing on or off.
    I'm glad you enjoyed Adelaide.

  6. Pretty revolutionary hey Jayne. The extension and through the city is isolated from cars except at cross streets of course, and the rest of line, bar the last 1/2 a kilometre, runs in a reservation.

    Ann, it is dire offence to consume on Singapore public transport and even in Sydney it is not permitted. Missed that cafe. I'll take a look with Streetview.

    Linda, the pigs were delightful. It is true people's outdoor art when people admire and want to clamber over the works.

    JayLa, I do actually know who made the trams. The first tram pictured is a Flexity made by Bombardier of Berlin. The second and newer one was made is a Citadis made by Alstom of France.

    We did enjoy it River. I will write a review at some point. No guess where the ceiling is where we ate?

  7. Pigs are awesome :)

  8. Touristy Marina, kitsch perhaps, but yes, they are great.

  9. I notice the new new trams were brought to you by the News.....

  10. I thought you would be impressed with the photo because there are actually people in it.

  11. Indeed Andrew, some of those photos were almost overflowing with people. Trust Adelaide to be so lively!