"The only real failure is the failure to try"
Wed 21 Mar 12 - Wed 28 Mar 12
I'm back in Melbourne now, but had a great time in Adelaide with Jeff & Sandra. Adelaide's very different to Melbourne - much quieter but very pretty and worth spending some time there, especially with my very own tour guides :o)
Jeff took me to Cleland wildlife park on Thursday, which is a small park housing numerous native Australian species. I got to see tasmanian devils, wombats, dingoes. As well as that I stroked a koala and fed and stroked some kangaroos. They're so cute - I want to take a kangaroo home with me!
From there we drove up to Mount Lofty summit, which is the highest point in Adelaide (about 2300ft I think) and right at the top of Adelaide Hills. There's a fantastic viewpoint from where you can see the CBD, surrounded by parklands, which then lead into the suburbs. Beyond that are beaches and sea, and Kangaroo Island in the south.
We took a drive around some of the local areas, including Hahndorf - a little German settlement which (according to my tour guide) changed its name to Ambleside during the war to remove any German connection... And then changed it back! Jeff also took me ddown to Brighton to see the beach, which has a lot more sand than the UK version!
The following day the weather didn't seem to be able to make up its mind what it was doing, so to avoid being caught out in the rain we went to the cinema to see the new British film (for a taste of home!) 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy, and I was happily proved right. My subheading to this entry is a quote from the film, which is so true and I just love.
We stopped in briefly to see my Great Auntie Doll that afternoon - she's in a residential home and she wasn't entirely sure who I was... Although we tried to explain it to her, she spent the entire time thinking that I was my Nan's daughter (my Nan didn't have any daughters!). But she's 97, so still doing pretty well despite the confusion, and she seemed happy to see me regardless!
Saturday evening Jeff& Sandra had invited the family round, so I got a chance to meet some of my more extended family. We had a lovely meal (my first barbeque of the year!) and it was good to get to know them a bit! For the benefit of family members, the photo below includes (L-R): Caitlin (Sue's youngest), Steph (Sue's eldest), Jeff, Sue (Jeff's daughter), Jake (Rob's son), Me, Rob (Jeff's son), Courtney (Rob's daughter). Rob's second wife Cath and their two 4-year-old twins Angelina and Shardai were also there, but had already gone before the camera came out!
Sunday was my last day in Adelaide so we drove to Glenelg and caught a tram into the city. The city is based aroun a big central square, and bordered by a terrace on each side, named originally after the compass points (North Terrace, etc). Despite it being a weekend, the city was incredibly quiet, but it's very nice to walk along the parklands - we walked along the river to the north of the city for a bit.
Getting the tram back to Glenelg, we had a walk around the town itself, which is a very pretty seaside town, and was busier than the city centre! We had a stroll up to the beach from the tram and back to the car (stopping for the obligatory ice cream), and enjoyed the sunshine!
I decided to take the inland route back to Melbourne to save time, but it's still an 8/9 hour drive, so I stopped over in Horsham to break it up. There was nothing noteworthy on the drive to Horsham, with the exception of another giant figure - this time a koala!
The journey from Horsham to Melbourne included a couple of more interesting stopping points: Ararat, where I found a good lookout point, and Ballarat, which had some amazing architecture dating back to the days of the gold rush. I drove into Ballarat through the 'Avenue of Honour', which is a 22km stretch of road, lined with trees on either side - each one dedicated to a soldier in the First World War.
Back in Melbourne, I'm staying in Fitzroy, which is a northern suburb of the city, right opposite the Melbourne Museum. I'll be staying here until Justine arrives on 2nd April, when we'll be moving to St Kilda, which is south of the city and on the coast with some lovely beaches.