Tuesday, May 3, 2011


In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have a very legitimate excuse:  I was out gallivanting across the continent finding things to blog about!  The 10 day trip was very successful in providing many a blog topic and you’ll see the fruits of my labour over the next dozen or so blog posts.  Woohoo!

This 10 day trip started in Australia’s 5th largest city:  Adelaide!

With just over one million inhabitants, Adelaide is the smallest of Australia’s five major cities, and like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, it is one of the world's 10 most livable cities.  South Australia – the state where Adelaide is located – holds the distinction of being the only of the six colonies to not accept prisoners (just like the US had 13 original colonies, Australia had 6).  All settlers to this land were free and their criminal records clean.  And it is for this reason, I suspect, that the South Australian accent is a bit more English sounding than the generic Australian accent.  I hadn’t really noticed too much of a distinction before, but being surrounded by South Australians really helped to illuminate the difference.  “Was she British?” “No, she’s from Adelaide.”

The CBD is surrounded on all four sides by gorgeous parklands.  A separate neighborhood, North Adelaide, is also surrounded by these parks, and together they form sort of a figure 8 of parklands.  The parks and city give an aura of old England as most of the plant species were imported.  More recently, they are trying to replace the imports with native flora.  Probably more authentic, yes, but really not nearly as pretty.

The trip was supposed to be a weekend trip with friends Elsbeth and Jo to visit our friends Tara and Simon – two Sydney deserters who moved back to Adelaide in February.  But the planning phase got the best of me and before I knew it I had recruited my American girl Liz to accompany me on a road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne.

My Adelaide experience started off in true Phill style with… Mexican food!  Tara picked me up at the airport and we headed to Glenelg - Adelaide's beach area - where I quickly spotted the Mexican restaurant.  There was no discussion on other options.

Survey says:  only ok, but much better than I was expecting.  I’d say it was better than Perth’s Mexican food but not nearly as good as two of the restaurants I’ve been frequenting in Sydney.  I’d say Adelaide Mexican food is to Sydney Mexican food what Sydney Mexican food is to real Mexican food – it’s not quite the same but it does the job for a while.

Adelaide proved to be a cute city – big enough to have arts and bars and all of the resources you expect from a big city – but small enough to still have a small town vibe.  A few of the highlights:

The view from Mt. Loftus in the Adelaide Hills which lie to the east of the city.  Notice the ring of parklands surrounding the city:

Me, Tara, and Liz

The Botanical Gardens:

Rundle Street – which was sadly dead because it was a holiday and most businesses were closed:

Adelaide Central Markets:

Hungry for some kangaroo?  Take your pick!

And of course:  Haigh’s Chocolates!

Haigh’s Chocolates is fairly famous in Australia and is considered a bit upper crust - rightfully so as their chocolate is delicious (not Theo Chocolate delicious, but delicious nonetheless).  Most/all mass produced Australian chocolate (i.e. Cadbury) is filled with anti-melting agents and preservatives and generally tastes like an orangutan’s dirty ass.  But Haigh’s factory is right here in Adelaide and you can see the Oompa Loompa Kangaroos working in the factory that adjoins the chocolate shop (except for when we were there because it was a holiday and the factory portion was closed).

Can you taste the orgasm now?

Ohhhhh big chocolate frog – you’re getting me all hot and bothered!  Stop it!

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