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Adelaide

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

For those who don’t know, Adelaide is a small city in South Australia. It is the dream place to live for someone who loves the outdoors—parks abound and the streets are very bike friendly.

I visited there a few months ago, with my then 16-year old daughter. We hoofed it around this small city (population around one million) in one day, which is about the right amount of time, when you’re with a teenager, unless there are specific purposes for being there.

Tourist Information
The people at the information center on Rundle Street were extremely friendly and helpful, giving us great ideas for our Barossa Valley excursion (planned for the next day). And, they confirmed that the Central Market, in Adelaide’s city center, is a good place to eat. Yum. My daughter had potato piroshki (pirogi) and I had a chickpea salad and fresh beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger juice. Later, we bought fresh feta, bread, goat’s cheese, a banana, and one slice of banana bread. I’m confident you can find just about anything you want to eat at this market.

Rundle street itself is a pedestrian only thoroughfare. Though there’s quite a bit of hype about it, isn’t anything special, in my opinion. It has what seem like the normative arcades that exist in other Australian cities, but is mostly compromised of modern shops, such as Myers and The Body Shop. If you’ve been to Melbourne, Perth, or Sydney, it’s just not as interesting. We did make a special effort to stop at Haigh’s Chocolate shop—there are two on Rundle Street—they are one of the only chocolate maker’s in Australia that still makes their own chocolate (they don’t source the chocolate from other places). I especially recommend a visit to their factory for a very quick and interesting tour!

We spent about 30 minutes at a café looking over our maps and planning the Barossa Valley trip, without being able to get a cup of coffee. I don’t know if the waiters thought they were being kind in letting us use a table or they just couldn’t be bothered to serve us—there were only 2-3 other tables with people at them…who knows? Whatever it was, we were simply ignored:-(

Accommodation
We stayed at the Hotel Minima, which was underwhelming to say the least. I thought it would be a cool place to stay with my teen, because it is touted as being modern and chic and it’s located in North Adelaide, which is a great area for shopping and eating. However, I would NOT (repeat NOT) recommend this hotel. When we arrived, to this supposedly self-service hotel, we found that the check-in kiosk was down and we had to walk to another hotel to check-in. So we put all of our bags back in the car and headed over to the other hotel and checked in. Then, we found the elevator wasn’t working. So we diligently looked around for the stairs to walk up two-flights to our room. A man in a suit was looking for the stairwell too. We finally found the back emergency stairs and lugged all of our stuff up the two flights of stairs only to find that the door was locked, so then went back to the front of the hotel where we found another business man also looking for a way up. Luckily, he’d parked his car in the garage, so knew the stairwell was accessible via the garage—yep, we walked down the ramp to get to the stairwell and finally found our way up three flights of stairs—the doors were all propped open and the top floor had a chair holding that door open. Classy (not).

Dinner
We ate at Bocca the first night in Adelaide, and we really enjoyed it. The wine was excellent too. Although I can’t remember exactly what I had, the dessert stands out in my mind: some moussy-chocolate thing…and presentation was great!

Architecture
I noticed that the buildings in Adelaide were quite different from buildings in other Australian cities that I’ve been too. The predominant difference, from what I’ve seen, is the abundant use of stone, combined with the Victorian style of architecture created something quite unique and pleasing to the eye.

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Travel Recommendation?
Definitely see Adelaide, and prepare to spend some time visiting the surrounding area. This is not a place for high activity in terms of masses of sight-seeing, but it’s great if you want to meander around on foot. The many parks and interesting architecture will stimulate your aesthetics and make you wonder why there is such a dearth of these features in modern American cities.

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Categories: Adelaide, Australia, Food, Travel
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