We’re in Adelaide, lovely Adelaide. It really is a pretty city – the main part of Adelaide is bordered by a wide green belt of parks and undeveloped land, and the city seems to host a series of festivals and events that run into each other. We’ve arrived after WOMAdelaide (World of Music Adelaide, or something like that) and are here for The Fringe, which is sort of an alternative music festival – with random music and dramatic events popping up in various locations around the city. There are special free buses for transportation to/from Fringe events. And then tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day, is sort of the culminating event ending the series of festivals with a big parade and party.
Adelaide is also hosting the only exhibit of paintings by James Mallord William Turner, from the Tate Gallery in London. These are shown at the Art Gallery of South Australia, which is a free art museum – except for special exhibits, like the Turner show. Haven’t gone yet, but it’s on my list of must-do.
Add in a Central Market that has a late night market on Fridays and the usual gorgeous mosaics of fruits and vegetables, as well as random tile mosaic benches around the market; two major universities as well as a school of art and architecture, and another school of performing arts; a free (FREE!) bus that loops around the city and a free (FREE!) tram that goes from the city all the way out to the beach – and that’s Adelaide. Throw in another major half of the city that is separated from the southern half of the city, again separated by the green belt – add expanses of suburbs – a zoo with the only pandas in the Southern Hemisphere – and a few animal sanctuaries with kangaroos and wallabies and platypus breeding programs and koalas – and that’s more of Adelaide.
Then there are the random acts of art that pop up all over, the street underpasses that are decorated with woodland gods and goddesses as well as gorgeous trees growing up the cement columns. Metal paint sculpture dripping down the arts center building. Small sculptures atop bus shelters and news kiosks. And a rocking cat next to the mechanical rocking horse. Because, you know, sometimes you just want something different. Who wants to always ride a horse?
This is a FUN town! It’s party central, with cafés and bars and clubs. And art all over.
So we’re enjoying the city, with a lot of walking and tasting ethnic foods and enjoying people watching. We’ve been here for three days, and we’ve been to the market twice. Haven’t made it to the zoo or animal parks yet, nor to the beach – but we have another eight days or so, lots of time to fit in everything.
As well as time to relax. Because Adelaide is also a great place to kick back and sit in a park and relax. This is a beautiful little town that is often overlooked by most visitors to Australia, and also overlooked by many Australians. But it’s a charming little city, with a lot to offer. Plus it's a half hour behind Melbourne. Yup, the time zone change is half an hour. We aren't sure why, just one of those quirky things that makes Adelaide unique and charming.
And we’re enjoying as much of Adelaide as we can.