Sunday, 8 July 2007


Adelaide…so I’m going to try my hand at writing another blog entry. Heather just does such a fantastic job…that I figure she’ll do the location better justice then I will. That’s my excuse for not writing, which isn’t a very good one. Anyways, moving one. She’s currently working on writing out the part of our journey leading up to Adelaide.

Where to begin? We arrived via bus sometime in the evening, I think it was around 630. Lynn picked us up at the bus station downtown. Now the wonderful part about our time in Adelaide was it wasn’t a place we were originally planning on visiting, until Mark (from Portage) told us his folks, Lynn and Grant, lived there and we had to go visit. A contact…we like those. So we rearranged the trip, the plans, the timing of things to include Adelaide…it ended up being one of the places we spent the most time and we highly enjoyed it. For one we got to live in a house for over a week. For most people this sounds common, but for us when we’ve been spending the majority of our time in hostels, and budget accommodations with shared facilities the idea of a house, with a bathroom, kitchen, dining room and lounge room almost all to ourselves is a rare and exciting treat. We spent our 3rd day in Adelaide entirely at home…we slept in, got dressed at 3 in the afternoon, and wrote emails, blogs, letters and read books. It was delightful. Oh and they have season 3 of Corner Gas!!! There is nothing more homey then an episode of Hank, Brent, Wanda and Lacey doing nothing in the middle of nowhere.

Our first day in Adelaide, Saturday was spent shopping with Lynn, and 2 of her friends Sue and Lisa. Lisa is another nurse from Canada working in Adelaide…first stop…IKEA!!! Lynn had never been, so the object of the trip was to “initate” her into the world of Ikea…Heather and I were the only 2 that didn’t buy anything…go figure because we need household stuff on a “budget” trip. It was around this time of the trip that Heather and I made a new rule for ourselves; for any item we buy we have to give away or throw away something we’ve got. So shopping will only be for replacement items…this is a handy rule especially with clothes shopping. We then went to the Adelaide market for lunch and hit the Asian food court. We ate Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese. Then it was off to the food stalls…oh what is it about market shopping? The stalls brim with fresh and often unique foods, drinks, breads, desserts, that its hard to make a decision. Life is tough at times isn’t it!?!?! Hehehe… after some grocery shopping it was time to have a cup of tea at the famed T-Bar. There are over 140 types of tea in this one shop, that the tea menu is a book. We went for the days special as it was a quick and easy order. The evening was spent eating and chatting with Lynn and Grant around the dining room table.

The following day was CANADA DAY!! I’ve never experience such a cold Canada Day before. It’s never required multiple fall layers and a scarf before. Non of us had anything red either, as Heather and I don’t currently own anything red, and Lynn and Grant didn’t either! Lynn found a few Canadian flag pins which we proudly wore that day. We went to church with Lynn and Grant and were greeted by the “Ladies in Tartan.” Now apparently…July 1st, or maybe just because it was Sunday, that Sundays greeters were all wearing red and tartan. I’ve told Heather that when we’re 75 and shorter with white-grey hair we too will do a “Tartan Day” and wear bright red sweaters, red lipstick and tartan scarves. These lovely ladies soon found out that it was Canada Day and that they were indeed wearing the right colours! We celebrated by having pancakes and maple syrup for lunch. Unfortunately real maple syrup is hard to find overseas. I keep looking though!

We spent the next day at home…please see above…because we didn’t leave the house the entire day! Oh it was fantastic. The following day started out similar to our previous day at home. That afternoon we decided to head to the city center. What we discovered was suburban buses don’t run like city buses making it much more difficult to get anywhere unless you leave during the am rush hour. This definitely wasn’t the am rush hour. So we went bus hunting, making phone calls to the bus info line and figured out a way to get there. We even waited for the bus and when it arrived changed our minds and decided it was pretty pointless to go all the way to the city center to turn around and come back in a short time to make it back for dinner. So to the dismay of the bus driver, and to the enjoyment of both of us we trotted back down the road to the local mall in hopes of finding a suitable place for coffee and an afternoon snack. We did at one of the local bakeries, and even picked up dessert. I think we watched Corner Gas that evening as well!

Day 5: we decided to get out of the house and the neighbourhood!!! Lynn drove us to Paradise Interchange, one of the main bus stops where the majority of the buses travel down the Adelaide O-Bahn at 100 km/hour. This is an exclusive bus route getting you to the city in less then 10 minutes. Its definitely handy. Once in the city we caught the bus headed to Hahndorf, the German town approximately 30 minutes from Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills. According to Lonely Planet Hahndorf is “the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia.” It’s definitely German. The architecture, names and the availability of bratwurst and saurkraut giving it a definite German feel! I had forgotten how much I missed smoked meat, as a typical Aussie butcher doesn’t smoke meat. So needless to say I started craving a smokie with saurkraut, onions and mustard. Oh…I cant wait to get home sometimes. We were bamboozled by a overly cheerful woman outside of the ‘Hahndorf Inn’ telling us that they were allowing tourists the opportunity to wander around the historic old building for free. Its one of the oldest if not the oldest building in town, and the ingenious owners also made it into a pub, coffee shop and restaurant bursting with savory smells of the kitchen. Oh…was this ever a good ploy to get business! We wandered, left and eventually came back for lunch. And guess what I had?!! Didn’t find a smokie, but had a foot long bratwurst with saurkraut and mustard…no onions…but I’m not complaining. It also came with a warm potato salad which was very tasty, but I wanted meat! Heather had the Aussie special of pumpkin soup and a bread roll. You can count on every Aussie restaurant, café and bakery having pumpkin soup. We brought home dinner of sausages (smoked), rye bread, and apple strudel for dessert!

Day 6: we again decided to get up early and head off to town. Varekai, a Cirque du Soleil show, was opening that evening in Adelaide and we had tickets! We headed out early to explore the city and the market, as it was Thursday and market day. We wanted to find choko’s (an Aussie vine that rows rampant in areas…maybe just around Bourke) but we couldn’t find it in Adelaide. Heather was quite disappointed as we were going to include them with dinner. We bought fresh artichokes instead and steamed them and served them with garlic butter. You then eat the artichoke leaf by leaf scraping the soft fleshy bit from the bottom of the leaf with your teeth. As you get closer to the center you can eat the entire leaf. We learnt this from my cousin Ceu 2 years ago in Quebec. After dinner! The show!!! We had phoned the bus hotline the night before to figure out the best way to get to the park. The information we had received sounded too good to be true. It was. We were told to catch a certain bus and then 10 minutes later we’d be at the park. Even Lynn and Grant didn’t understand how the bus could get there in 10 minutes. We didn’t phone back for a second opinion. We got a ride to the Interchange and were waiting for the bus which wasn’t coming. Heather then went to another bus and asked where we catch the 283. the bus driver of the 245 told her to get on as he was the 283, though until this time he wasn’t identified as such. We get on the bus and ask him how long it will take before we’ll be at the park. He gives us a rough estimation of about 5 minute before the show starts 755pm. Yikes! That was cutting it close!!! The bus ended up taking the long way to the city, and we arrived after 8 and ran from the bus to the circus tent to pick up our tickets and head inside for what was a magically inventive and creative wonder. If you ever have the chance to see a cirque show go!!! Its well worth the cost to be transported into a new world of light, colour, imagination, extraordinary human ability, music and creativity. My only complaint was intermission…it took me a few minutes to get back to reality…

Day 7 saw us again stick close to home. Hey we were leaving in a couple of days and would be on the road again. We headed back to the grocery store and bakery at the local mall with the idea of sending home vegemite. We had learnt on our Great Ocean Road tour from Bill, the tour guide, one of the amazing qualities of vegemite. For those of you who haven’t heard of the delectable spread, its yeast scraped from beer barrels and mixed with 12 other ingredients, one of which is icing sugar. It’s eaten correctly on toast with a layer of butter and then a thin layer of vegemite. Heaven forbid if you forget any one of the steps! So Bill told us that vegemite is good for any sort of mouth sores as its full of salt and vitamin B. well I had the chance to test this old wives tale, as for some reason I had bitten my lower lip and since I swelled up continued to bite it repeatedly not allowing it to heal. So one night before bed I sucked up my pride and dug around in Lynn and Grant’s pantry for the jar of vegemite buried deep in the back. Found it and applied a small amount to my cut lip. Man, did that ever sting. But in the morning the swelling and the redness went down. After a second night of vegemite application it was practically healed and I am now making money doing vegemite infomercials! Kidding, on that last statement! So we thought it’d be fun to send some home; which is what we did that afternoon. We bumped into Lynn at the post office and finished grocery shopping with her and rented a movie for that evening. It was another quiet, pleasant and entertaining evening. Dad I made Fudge Pudding for dessert! It’s quite the hit wherever we make it!

Day 8: our last day in Adelaide was spent driving around the Barossa Valley with Lynn and Grant. Earlier in the week we had collected various brochures on the famed wine valley and had marked out various places, which looked interesting to visit. First we visited the Whispering Wall, a curved dam that was built in 1902, which has amazing acoustics as you can stand at one end of the wall and whisper and whomever is on the other end of the wall, 150 meters away, can hear what you are saying. From there we traveled on to a lavender farm which incorporated lavender into everything they make; which included jams, chutneys, tea, creams, magic bags and a plethora of other items. A trip to the Barossa is incomplete without stopping at a winery. We decided on stopping at Yuldara, a winery established in the 1940’s by a German immigrant and his family. He brought along with him large oak barrels and oak barrel carvings, which decorate many of the oldest barrels containing port. We did a tour of the winery and learnt some of the basics of port…Heather’s currently giving me the details. It begins out as red wine that gets taken out of the barrel its currently fermenting in once it’s ready to be bottled as a red wine, and placed into another barrel where spirits are added to it, and its left to sit for as long as the wine maker want its too. This winery had 100 year old port that was bottled a couple of years ago and sold for about 1000 dollars a bottle with no taste tests allowed. I also learnt why I get headaches from red wine. Its from the sulfurs that are added as the preservatives. Sure enough after 2 red wine tastings I had a whopping frontal lobe headache. From the winery we found a café/bakery for lunch and then slowly made our way to friends of Lynn and Grant’s olive farm. We were headed to their farm for homemade pizza. This couple are also Canadians who have lived in Australia for 25 years. They made a total of 9 pizzas for 10 people. We took some home for food on the train, which we were going to catch the following day heading north for another unknown adventure.

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