Sunday, July 31, 2011

South Australia

The weather in Adelaide seemed much as it is here in Melbourne. I know it gets a bit hotter in summer, and so it is not a place I would swap to live in for that reason. But as Sydney is so different to Melbourne, so similar are Melbourne and Adelaide.

I felt this is a city just like my own, only different. It is not complicated. Within the city, it lacks the natural attraction of the harbour and the Opera House, rather like Melbourne. The focus is on the man made and like Melbourne, there is much fine man made in Adelaide. Some of its buildings are extraordinary, but even basic streetscapes are good. I expect like Melbourne, streetscapes are under threat and Adelaidians need to fight against this.

I had no problem with driving in Adelaide, well apart from driving very fast down the Adelaide Hills. The drivers were not particularly aggressive, but not stupidly polite either. I think the greater city suffers from heavy policing by speed cameras as cars behaved within speed limits much as they do in Melbourne. I was amused by some road safety signs that used symbols to get the messages across. 'Don't be a ... and a picture of a door handle, a knob.

I will always remember some Adelaide roads, Tapleys Hill Road, Military Road, Cross Road, West Beach Road and another major one, Marion Road :-P.

While we did see some traffic congestion, it appeared to be nowhere as bad as Melbourne's. With Melbourne's population pushing 5 million and Adelaide's less than 1.5 million, it really shows how much our life style has been degraded by our the huge numbers who now live here.

It was 1983 when we were last in Adelaide and my memory is very hazy about our visit. I recall being breathalysed, probably in Tapleys Hill Road. We had a few drinks in a bar in Hindley Street. I was clear, but I resolved then and there to never drink if I have to drive. There was an aquarium. We did not visit it, and apparently no one else did either, so it has closed.

I remember a big wall at the bottom Jetty Road in Glenelg. I am not sure what that was about except it looked like a present day rock climbing wall.

We did not order in pizza but I did notice the pizza place Red suggested where we could get a potato pizza.

Adelaide's traffic control engineers could teach some Melbourne counterparts about clever use of red arrows to make intersections safer and work better, although the same has started here.

Public Transport? I can't speak for anything else but the tram. It was ok, but pretty busy. I felt it could have greater traffic light priority through the city. I think five minutes could be shaved off the trip with better traffic light rights.

Where we were staying there seemed to very few foreign born, but once in the city, there seemed to be many and I assumed many of the younger ones were foreign students. However, every person with an Asian appearance who we interacted with spoke perfect Australian, indicating they were born here or were here from a young age. Admittedly, the statistic sample was low, but it was just an interesting point to me. It could have just been a matter of co-incidences.

Shops? Same as Melbourne, just less of them.

If we were BP petrol customers, there was no end of places to fill the car. But as we had shop discount dockets for petrol, we wanted Coles Shell or Woolworths Caltex and they were a bit scarce.

Something I always like to do when travelling is compare the quality of fruit and vegetables to ours back home in Melbourne. Melbourne has lost out everywhere with perhaps the exception of Sydney. While not in the league of Japan, Adelaide was not an exception. The fruit and vegetables seemed superior.

And so we reach the end of our enjoyable holiday. Where to next year? A cruise on the Danube? England again? Spain? Oops, seems like there might be some running and jumping and stuffs in London. Better go a different direction. Maybe Canada? Cruise the Canadian coast? Catch the Rockies tourist train? Who knows.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    We have much enjoyed this 'tour' with you particularly as, in all probability, we shall never visit Australia nor Adelaide in particular. It is always interesting to us to gain insights, as we do through your blog, into different cultures and ways of life.

    Now, when planning the next holiday, do not rule out the Danube cruise. We shall be at the riverside to welcome you once you reach Budapest!

  2. I can't compare our public transport with any other city, but I do know that the bus system is a nightmare sometimes. Buses are late or non-existent, or you get to the bus stop with 5 minutes to spare only to see your bus already trundling on down the road. And the routes are constantly changing. You just get used to which bus you have to catch to get from A to B, then"they" change it and your bus now goes from A to K. Some routes are scrapped altogether because the buses are needed for another route. I don't see why they can't keep the routes they have and add extra to cover the newer or fuller suburbs. Sure it will cost them a bit (okay, a lot) but with more buses doing more routes, public transport usage will increase to the point where it becomes a great and useful system.
    I'm glad you enjoyed Adelaide.

  3. The Rockies train ad gets me, too, almost has me trotting down to order a passport!
    Thanks for a lovely tour, enjoyed the armchair travel with you and R ;)

  4. Anonymous9:34 pm

    Canada methinks.

  5. Please go to Canada for me.. I fear I may never get there myself, and it is a place I would love to go :) I am selfish, there I said it, lol

  6. If you are a patient person, long train trips are a fabulous way to see the countryside. I wrote up two in North America that were particularly terrific:



    But if the idea of eating on board, photographing, chatting to other travellers, visiting small towns and eating on board again seems a bit limiting, you may prefer to do travel more freely.

  7. Jayla, surely you would like to see Sydney?

    River, I just love the complexities of buses. May a tram go past you soon.

    Too kind Jayne. I expect management is going to head us in that direction.

    Scott, you have your event tickets booked?

    Dearest Cazzie, we will only touch the sides of Canada if we go.

    Hels, I faintly remember reading those posts. I will revisit them and they may have a strong influence. All of what you say sounds fine for me. I am just not sure how much money to spend when R says, we must travel while I am young enough.

  8. OMG - Can't believe the potato pizza place is still there ... haven't been down that way in ages! Loved your assessment of Adelaide - its similiar to a large country town. I think that's a good thing!!

  9. Pizza place was indeed still there Red. I don't agree with large country town. It is a proper big city, but a slightly more user friendly one than what I am used to.