Last month, we went on a little trip south to Adelaide.
We were heading there for my brother’s wedding
but decided to stay a few extra days to check out the city.
Now, first, let me tell you,
that Adelaide truly is the city of churches…at least in the city centre.
My golly gosh! There were so many!
And it was not uncommon to see a couple of churches in a row.
Yes, side by side!
Oh and they were beautiful churches.
Actually, there were lots of beautiful historic buildings.
Hats off to Adelaide and their foresight and determination to protect their heritage buildings.
With all of their beautiful buildings, mixed with plenty of green spaces, Adelaide was a really pretty place to visit.
We had only one complaint about Adelaide and it’s a major one.
Adelaidians can not drive!
Or, at the very least, the drivers we experienced in Adelaide had little regard for others on the road.
They just changed lanes without checking if anyone was beside them, many of them without even bothering to indicate!
Even buses did it! (We also saw a city bus, full of passengers, go straight through a red light!)
Driving in Adelaide, for us, was a nerve racking experience,
The whole time, we drove expecting that, at any moment, the car beside us would change into us.
So, for us, Adelaide was a stressful place to visit.
Now, back to the nice parts of Adelaide.
Their museum was gorgeous. Clearly a lot of money has been spent…well spent.
(Hear that Brisbane Museum, yet another museum that is nicer than you! But I digress…)
The museum makes use of a number of buildings, one of which is a gorgeous heritage building.
It was lovely and a piece of history on display as much as the artifacts in the cabinets.
The old display cabinets haven’t been tossed aside in favour of ‘new but not beautiful’ cabinets.
Adelaidians know how to preserve history.
Our only complain about the museum was the almost total unrepresentation of colonial history.
There was a huge focus on Pacific and Aboriginal cultures,
but very little on South Australia’s colonial history.
We’d wanted to learn more about how South Australia, the colony, came to be,
but, we went home none the wiser.
Come to think of it, the Brisbane Museum is the same.
In Australian museums, where is the British heritage that makes up a part of our history.
However, we did enjoy the Pacific cultures exhibits.
There’s a lot of beauty in their artifacts.
Cultures that value beauty enough to include it in even their practical implements are to be esteemed.
I have to say though. Even beauty isn’t going to make this ‘pillow’ comfortable.
Thank you to whoever come up with the idea of soft fluffy pillows.
Our favourite displays from the Aboriginal exhibits are always the dot paintings.
But, just recently, I found out that dot paintings, as we see them, aren’t ‘traditional’ art,
but, instead, only begin in the 1970s.
Yes, seriously. Google it. I was shocked too.
Speaking of things I like, look at these squirrels.
I loooove squirrels.
Sadly, Australia has none. 😦
Squirrels are much more interesting to watch than koalas, who simply sleep all day.
Yes, I’d swap for them.
In Adelaide Museum, there was a whole taxidermy exhibit displaying animals from different regions.
We hadn’t even heard of some of the animals,
but we’re not animal people so that doesn’t really surprise me.
The discovery room is always a popular museum location.
They keep all the creepy yet cool stuff there.
Check this out – a shingleback lizard with twins!
Even dead, this shark is fearsome-looking.
Yes, son, he could probably swallow you whole, although he prefers to nibble or chew.
The exhibit I was most looking forward to was the Douglas Mawson exhibit.
We’d read up about him and his fateful expedition, before heading to Adelaide
(and we are keen to see the hut replica in Hobart).
I can’t even imagine what it is truly like in Antarctica.
Yes, it’s cold, obviously, but it’s also windy.
The average wind speed is 69km/h!
Hubby’s favourite exhibits are always to be found in rooms related to Ancient History
so he was excited to find that Adelaide has a room dedicated solely to Ancient Egypt.
The museum has two complete mummies and the sarcophagus for one of them.
At first I thought some of the artifacts must be replicas.
I mean, how would South Australia have received such artifacts to keep.
But, on closer inspection, I found that just about everything was authentic.
So I had to find out more.
I discovered that, in 1890, the South Australia governor commissioned Reverend William Roby Fletcher
to acquire ancient artifacts from London and Cairo.
I also found this quote written by Fletcher in 1892 in “Egyptian Sketches”
(which I may have to read in its entirety as the snippets I read were fascinating!),
“This body snatching is a curious business. It is an odd sensation to stand on a mound of rubbish and see bits of dirty sponge-like stuff, and shreds of cerements and human bones lying all about. You pick up one of these spongy bits and find that it is fibrous muscular tissue. You get interested and poke into the sand, and then, turning around, see a youngster holding a head in his hands, which he wants to sell you for 10 or 20 piastres, or the hand of some nameless beauty torn from her mummy…Somehow one gets over the awkwardness of one’s feelings, and is quite ready to pocket a rare scarab, or an amulet, or a papyrus roll if fortunate enough to get one…”
This extract may explain why there were ‘bits’ of mummies’ bodies also on display.
Can you see the mummified hands and feet in the photo?
There are also mummified cats next to them.
Despite it’s macabre origin, we still loved the Egyptian room.
It was totally fascinating.
Of course, we didn’t spend our whole holiday at the museum.
We also visited the Mall’s Balls.
All of the tourist sites said it was a must see.
This is not an attraction.
It’s just a sculpture.
We snapped the obligatory photo and moved on
…to the real attraction on the mall – the bookstore!
The Dymocks in Rundle Mall is to die for.
The children’s section goes on and on.
But the fun didn’t end there!
This bookstore had TWO storeys.
I was so overwhelmed with glee that I found it hard to focus on what I wanted to buy.
But I found this treasure and was delighted.
It was a good read.
While in Adelaide, we also visited the zoo.
The meerkats were at the top of our must see creatures.
Adelaide Zoo has a meerkat that is losing her colouring and turning white.
There is a sign at the exhibit that explains that she turned white over only a few months,
but that no one knows why.
Apparently, in all other regards, she seems healthy enough.
The monkeys also impressed us.
Who doesn’t love the monkeys?!
These fellows were swinging from branch to branch and tree to tree,
putting on quite a display.
Birds don’t ordinarily impress me but this Golden Pheasant really caught my attention.
What a beautifully coloured bird!
Of course, you can’t visit Adelaide Zoo without checking out Australia’s only pandas.
They are only on loan to Adelaide for ten years, which means that their time here is almost up.
(They arrived in 2009).
When we arrived at the exhibit, Wang Wang and Fu Ni were waiting in their glass enclosures
for their keepers to do whatever they were doing in their outdoor enclosures.
But, we didn’t have to wait long for them to be released.
Don’t they look so cute and cuddly.
Yes, we have to remind ourselves that they are bears, with big teeth and big claws.
Okay, enough tourist stuff.
Onto the wedding, the whole purpose for our visit to South Australia.
It was held out in wine country at this gorgeous old church.
This church is the only one in Australia that has a crypt built beneath it.
Don’t my ‘not so little’ men scrub up well.
What you can’t see is that one of these boys,
who will remain nameless,
didn’t realise that there was cardboard under the collar of his new shirt
and so he spent the whole day and night wearing cardboard around his neck.
You see, I wasn’t there to inspect their appearance before leaving the cottage.
I’d dashed off to help my brother-in-law dress and care for his three daughters
(as my sister was in the bridal party).
My nieces are, of course, adorable.
I mean, check out this sweetie.
The same sweetie who fell fast asleep during the ceremony in a matter of two minutes.
I left her to go and do a reading for the service and came back to sleeping beauty.
Yes, in this exact position.
The service continued nicely while she slept and my brother married my new sister.
And, at the end of this holiday,
I had another married sibling
and I had visited another Australian capital city.