14.12.2012 - 18.12.2012 20 °C
Adelaide was a shock to the system after our road trip! Suddenly there were people, traffic jams and multiple options for places to eat. Our first job was to go and see a couple of cars that James had been looking at online- the urge to buy a Skyline was overwhelming, so we made that our task for the day. Navigating around Adelaide was an interesting experience as we had opted out of having a sat nav, and had chosen instead to use printed maps. Having not used a map properly for a few years, it took a bit of getting used to but really helped in the long run- over the next few days we got to know Adelaide really well and were able to find our way around with few problems.
After looking at the potential new cars, we headed south out of central Adelaide to a suburb called Happy Valley (yes, really) to stay with some of James' old friends from Alice. We had a great evening with them, trying out their pool and enjoying a few bottles of wine before crashing out in their living room and waking up at an obscene hour of the morning to watch multiple episodes of Peppa Pig with their two young daughters. Having had our fill of Peppa, we opted to spend the day looking around at the McLaren Vale wine region, which is further south and slightly to the west, closer to the coast. It was a terrible day in terms of weather- very grey and drizzly, but it felt very much like home! It would have been absolutely stunning on a clear day, as the area is much more hilly and scenic than the flat expanse of vineyards that Coonawarra sits on. We also managed to find the elusive wine barrel chopping boards- a cause for much celebration.
The weekend was James' mum's birthday celebration, so having picked up several family members we started the celebrations by heading out to Glenelg for an art workshop. Glenelg is a very trendy area a 30 minute tram ride away from central Adelaide, with lots of galleries, boutique shops and restaurants with a lovely beachfront. Having completed our resin paintings we set off for a leisurely stroll along the main street, mixing window and real shopping and stopping for lunch at a noodle bar. Our tram ride back to Adelaide was livened up by a stag party playing miniature golf along the length of the tram, to the great amusement of the rest of the passengers and the annoyance of the conductor. In the evening we had dinner at the hotel and then set out to visit the casino for a few drinks. We had a lovely time and ended up seeing the stag party again, who seemed to have lost their clubs but not their spiffy socks and jumpers.
On Sunday we went to see Cirque du Soleil- an incredible experience, and one that I'll hopefully repeat in the future. We had fantastic seats with great views of everything that was going on. I can highly recommend seeing them if you ever have the chance. We spent the late afternoon at a small festival in a side street- there were lots of different dance and music acts, and interesting stalls with different foods and Christmas gifts.
We spent Monday having a stroll around the shops to finish the Christmas shopping and a visit to the cinema to see the latest Bond film. Adelaide to me feels the most like home of all of the places that we have visited- the climate is more British than most places, and the main mall area could be just about any of the cities in England. It was also a novelty to have late night and Sunday shopping again- Sunday shopping seems pretty rare over here, and in Alice all but the food shops close at about 1pm on Saturday until Monday morning- not ideal if you like to sleep in at the weekend and have something you need to get!
More on Adelaide soon.