24.02.2011 - 03.03.2011 35 °C
In Adelaide I stayed with family friends Phil and Diane who live in Golden Grove, north of the city. I had met them before in the UK, and their son Shaun, briefly. However I wasn’t at home when their daughter Ainsley visited Worcestershire on her gap year, so it was good to meet her too.
On my first full day, I rode the tram down to Glenelg and the beach, where I spent most of the day. The beach was practically empty when I arrived but by midday had become quite crowded. The weather was much warmer in SA n Victoria – 35 Celsius as opposed to mid twenties – perfect for a beachy day. The sea was warm here too.
That evening, Phil and Di had got tickets for us to watch a standup comedy act at a wine bar – part of Adelaide’s annual Fringe Festival, which was in full swing when I was there. The guy had a few good lines but, for the most part, wasn’t funny. When a joke was not going down well, rather than quickly change tack, he kept pushing it – poor bloke. A couple of ladies at the back clearly didn’t appreciate his humour, so he decided to single them out in the hope of interaction. But, as Di said, audience participation only works if your audience actually finds you funny. These two ladies had left by the end. However, the thing about these festivals is that you never know quite what you’re going to get; it’s a bit of a lottery. It gives amateur performers a chance to perform to a crowd, which is good.
Another day Phil took me to the Barossa Valley, about an hour from their place, to see the various wineries the area is famous for. We started at Jacob’s Creek and tasted a range of their wines. Then we moved on to several places and sampled several wines from each. The range and variety was impressive, for an area the size it is. Sparkling red Shiraz, a wine I was previously unfamiliar with, I really liked. In one place we tasted a vintage, sweet after dinner wine at room temperature, and then again over ice. The difference the change in temperature made was quite remarkable; it brought out a whole range of different flavours.
At one winery they had a bottle of $700 wine open and, after sampling a range of wines of ever increasing price, finished off the experience with this one. I had never previously tasted wine this expensive and, needless to say, rather liked it. Again, needless to say, we didn’t buy any.
An interesting difference between French and Australian wine is the price one pays at the vineyard. In France, wine is significantly cheaper if purchased directly from the grower. However in Australia this seemed not to be the case as much.
View of Adelaide and the ocean beyond from the summit of Mt. Lofty, the highest point in the Adelaide Hills.
The city has a really laidback feel and the green areas down by the River Torrens are good for strolling in the sunshine.
The Adelaide Oval cricket ground. A gate was open so I just strolled in and had a nose about.
The university buildings and museum take pride of place along North Terrace.
Botanical gardens. (If you’ve been following my previous entries, you’ve probably gathered I like these.)
Enjoyed a few games of pool with Phil on their huge table.
Chloe, another member of the family I hadn’t previously met.