It is “Throwback Thursday” and this is my last post for my recent adventure in Australia. This shopping experience reminds me so much of the Russian Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In my Phnom Penh adventures there were many markets, but the Russian Market was the most staggering. It is still the largest market that I have ever experienced for variety and depth. And the bargains! (sigh) Alas those photos are stored on various crazy discs and not easily accessible. Instead we will feast on this shopping experience just a block from my Hilton Hotel in Adelaide.
Adelaide’s Central Market is not a place I would go for bargains. However, under one waterproof roof you can find loads of produce, cheese, bread, meat, used books–you name it–someone probably sells it. It is Los Angeles Farmers Market, a flea market and more all rolled under one roof.
I especially liked how the vendors called out what they had to offer. It made it more fun and I do think it encourages you to make a purchase. California farmers markets are laid back by comparison and lack the energy of this place. And it is open everyday. I bought used books and some cheese and bread for lunch.
Since eating at Africola in Adelaide I have been thinking of South Africa. Specifically I have been thinking about flying to Cape Town to see the penguins and to enjoy some time in the bush looking at animals.
I read about Africola in Travel+Leisure magazine. I made my reservation on a website similar to OpenTable. It gave me the option of a table or at the bar and since I was dining solo–I chose the bar.
The service was terrific. With a gin and tonic and dessert my bill was about $65 US. I tipped even if it is not the custom in Australia.
If I could eat like this at every evening meal in South Africa I would be very content. South Africa is not in my budget for 2016… Perhaps in 2017.
I have been moving my home and office since I got back from New Zealand, so I am behind on blogging about my trip. I cannot help but notice that all US social media is leaving a little space (after election coverage) to talk about the last episode of Downton Abbey airing on PBS this Sunday evening. The season traditionally ends with a Christmas episode that plays on Christmas Day in England.–obviously delayed in the USA. I bought Season 6 on Google Play so I have already seen the conclusion and I will not spoil it.
It did make me think about Adelaide’s equivalent of Downton Abbey: Ayer’s House.
Growing up in California I can relate to places like Adelaide, South Australia. The sprung up, new fortune, scratch-a-community-out-of-the-bush feeling is one I know well. Whether it is a gold rush or agricultural land rush, the place history is not very old and the challenges of creating a “showplace” home to create status in a brand new community is familiar. When I walked up the circular drive to Ayer’s House in Adelaide it felt like a mansion in Grass Valley of another mining tycoon.
This particular tycoon, Henry Ayers, exaggerated his work experience. He was an office clerk but he claimed other skills so he could get a subsidy to emigrate to Adelaide with his wife Anna. He did well with the Burra Burra mines and ultimately served as the Premiere of South Australia five times between 1863 and 1873. He built a huge house in downtown Adelaide near the Botanic Garden. Even now it is gracious.
I went to see it because I saw a flyer on the bookshop window advertising the exhibit of costumes from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I have watched all of the episodes on Netflix and the costumes depicting a wealthy feminist detective and her entourage solving mysteries. Sometimes with television I am disappointed with the reality of a set or costume because the camera can fool you. These costumes are the real deal–recreated couture to emulate the roaring 20’s.
I was ready to join the enthusiast crowd of women who sew or craft to go through the exhibit, but first I stopped and spoke with the docent at the front door. It was he who told me about Henry Ayers and why the house is worth a look even when there is not a fashion display in every room.
To make it more interesting, the museum staff also created a bit of a whodunit to solve while you walked through the rooms. I did not need anymore entertainment as I was completely enraptured with the clothes themselves. Beautifully made from exquisite fabrics, I enjoyed talking to other women who sew about where they source fabric and how hard it is to find. We all laughed because even though we were from USA and Australia, both of our mothers used to look at a garment in the department store and say the equivalent of “You could make it yourself for less.” Now it is quite the opposite. No one can say they are sewing to be thrifty.
This gives full permission to sew as a creative expression. Many of these garments are impractical and designed and executed as a celebration of beauty.
The show, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, is based on Australian author Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher book series. I have looked for them in the US and have not found them. The gift shop had a new copy of the first in the series Cocaine Blues. I bought it for my Mom. Then when I found a secondhand bookshop at the Central Market I was able to pick up quite a few more in the series. My Mom read them first and now I am reading them. They are not as complex as say Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series, but neither do you have to worry about gore or upsetting physical violence. I hope Ms. Greenwood makes her books available electronically in the USA so more people can enjoy them.
If you are interested in fashion that pushes the envelope and is inspiring and beautiful, the check out WOW! The World of Wearable Art dates for 2016 are September 11-October 9 in Wellington, New Zealand. Tickets are available here.
Adelaide is much like my hometown of Sacramento–similar size and equally flat and easy to navigate by foot or bike. The main thoroughfare is King William Street and the main street for shopping is Rundle Street or Rundle Mall. On arrival I was keen to find a bookstore so I trundled off to Rundle Mall.
Dymock’s Bookstore was delightful. I found the books on the shelf of “What Australians are reading…” to be strangely familiar, so I asked Pam for help finding authors with an Australian voice. Plus my seatmate on the flight from Melbourne had given me two names: Tim Winton and Robert Drewe. Pam gave me MANY options and I chose Salt Creek by a local Adelaide author Lucy Treloar. It was an excellent story following the misfortunes of a family on the Coorang. I also thought it would be a great gift for Adelaide-native Kate Bridgman.
The Botanic Garden is wonderful. It is used by families, friends and lovers as a city park. At the same time it has a wonderful collection of plants and beautifully designed gardens. It is an easy walk from Rundle Mall.
The East End is a particularly fun section of the City. One night I walked there to have dinner at Africola, a restaurant I read about in my pre-trip research. I loved my experience and if I had not eaten so much amazing cauliflower I would have gone to the corner chocolateria and enjoyed more dessert.
I was staying at Hilton Adelaide Hotel on Victoria Square. It was the headquarters of the Tour Down Under and race village. Just across the square (or diamond) is the St Francis Xavier Cathedral and the hotel is adjacent to the Central Market.
I realize that most people focus on Sydney or Melbourne when they visit Australia. Brisbane is the current “it” city. Many people visit Adelaide with a focus on the wine country because the nearby Barossa Valley is on par with Napa Valley as one of the world’s great wine growing regions. South Australia is also an ideal place to take a cycling vacation. Adelaide is worth the time and effort.
I am a fan of Air New Zealand so when I booked my flights to Melbourne and Adelaide Australia I choose them again. I flew Southwest to Los Angeles International Airport to save money and car parking hassle.Everything went smoothly. I was in the Tom Bradley International Terminal awaiting boarding and I finally started to get excited about my planned vacation.
Air New Zealand is known for its creative air safety videos. They often amuse and passengers actually watch the safety announcement. On this flight the new video. I was delighted to see their latest video featured many famous surfers and the overall impact was to put me in the right mood for this vacation.
I needed to transition to full frontal summer temperatures and to a more hang loose attitude. This video really gave me a push to chillax.