DM and MM's Great Ocean Road Trip Diary

Day 7 - Adelaide

Friday, 3 November, 2006

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We are resting for a bit in between a day of wandering around Adelaide on foot, checking out the parks, architecture, and shops. The first task of the day was to drop the car off before 09:00. After finishing off the cereal and getting ready for a morning out, we drove over to Morphett Street and the Hertz office. Michelle reminded me on the way that we should have filled the tank, which we'd completely forgotten about yesterday in our desire to simply navigate without getting lost. The needle indicated only a quarter of a tank left. We didn't have time to search hither and yon for a petrol station, so figured we'd pay their slightly elevated price for the refill.

When we got there, however, it turned out the price they charged for filling the tank was $2.60 a litre! The woman at the office suggested we drive around the block to a petrol station there and fill it ourselves, indicating we had an hour's grace period so wouldn't get in trouble for violating the 09:00 deadline. So I took the car out again briefly for the run, filling up for $1.169 a litre at the Shell station before returning, saving us almost $50. Back at Hertz, the woman inspected the car and noticed the rear bumper panel had popped out, probably from the squeeze back against a wall yesterday while trying to turn around in that tiny alleyway in front of the motel. She called a mechanic over to look at it and was making foreboding noises as she asked for our rental receipt. But as soon as she saw the contract she said, "Oh, you have total cover, why didn't you say so? No worries!"

Breathing a sigh of relief that we'd chosen the maximum insurance option, we waited while the woman attempted five times to print us a payment receipt. She asked us if we'd had breakfast yet, and we replied that we had. She said that was a shame, as the Central Market just down the street was a great place to get coffee. Michelle's eyes lit up and five minutes later we were walking into Central Market to check it out.

Not nececelery
Central Market, Adelaide

The market was an incredible array of aisles containing multitudinous fresh fruit and veg stalls, mixed with other produce retailers selling cheeses, meats, seafood, tea and coffee, fresh bread, cakes, nuts, sweets, and so on. We passed a Russian stall where a large woman was making peroshkis, and a sushi bar offering the odd concoction of fried sushi - what looked like slices of maki roll dipped in tempura batter and deep fried. Michelle found a coffee and tea stall and secured a coffee, which she proclaimed the best she'd had since Melbourne. After wandering up and down a couple of aisles admiring the produce, we found a place selling not only kangaroo metwurst, but also emu metwurst. I bought a sausage of it to go with the kangaroo salami from Hahndorf. Then we split a croissant as a light morning tea before heading up King William Street to North Terrace.

Watermelon toss
Watermelon tossing, Central Market, Adelaide

An impressive old building there made of a dark grey stone turned out to be the South Australian Parliament House, behind which was the Adelaide Festival Centre. After a short stop to take an odd photo of a reflective metal sculpture in front of the Festival Centre, we crossed the historic Adelaide Bridge across the River Torrens into the park district north of the city.

Immediately on the other side is the Adelaide Oval which, as a cricket fan, deserved a close look. We walked up to it through Creswell Gardens - where people are often seen getting married during the Adelaide Test match every year, amongst the beautiful rose beds that were in full bloom as we passed - and noted that we were right outside the famous Victor Richardson Gates. Peering through, we were delighted to see that umpires and players were walking on to the field. We'd arrived just in time for the start of play on the first day of the South Australia v New South Wales Pura Cup match! From outside the gates we had a view of the pitch and I managed to snap a photo of the first ball of the day. Our timing could not have been better. Michelle took a photo of me standing by the gates, and when we looked back on to the field just before leaving, a South Australian batsman was walking off, having been dismissed already. (Elliott, c Nicholson b Clark for 0.) Yay!

St Peter's, Adelaide
St Peter's Cathedral

The next sight on our itinerary was St Peter's Anglican Cathedral, presenting a much grander sight than St Francis Xavier's in the middle of the city. The doors were open for visitors and photography was allowed with a $2 permit. An old man welcomed us and gave us a guide to the cathedral as he invited us in to look at the new stained glass installations and other features of the building. I said I'd just get a photo permit before we went in any further, and he dashed off. As we fumbled around for a $2 coin, the man returned from the cathedral shop with a sticker, helpfully saving us the short walk.

Main aisle, St Peter's Cathedral

I wandered around snapping various interesting bits of the architecture, including a stunning new enormous window on the north-east wall. As we moved towards the entrance to go out again, another old man noted my camera and asked if I'd like to take a photo from the loft over the entrance. I agreed enthusiastically and he took a key and unlocked a tight spiral stone staircase for me, asking me to turn off the light and shut the door again when I was done. They were amazingly friendly and helpful.

the new window
New stained glass window, St Peter's Cathedral

Interior photography done, we left and got a couple of shots of the outside before continuing our walk by heading east. We passed a hospital and ducked in to use the toilets before crossing a park and taking Frome Road back across the river, passing by the Adelaide Zoo before heading down to the riverbank for a slightly more peaceful walk than along the busy road.

the sky above, the city below
St Peter's Cathedral

When we reached the University of Adelaide, we continued down Frome Road to North Terrace and turned west. The terrace led past a bunch of impressive buildings, including several belonging to the university, followed by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, then the State Library of South Australia, all wonderful old stately sandstone structures.

Guardians of academia
Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide

At the end of this row of amazing architecture stood the National War Memorial of South Australia, built in remembrance of World War I, an imposing stone sculpture of an angelic figure towering above bronze statues of three youths. Very impressive.

Spirit of Sacrifice
National War Memorial

Having exhausted the government district, we turned south down a laneway to Rundle Mall. The first stop was a nut and dried fruit shop, where Michelle bought some dates and nut mix, while I grabbed some dried fruit mix and a pack of Ginger Bears. We munched as we walked back to the motel for a toilet break and for me to swap my full camera bag of lenses for just the camera and single lens on a strap around my neck. Then it was off to a Bean Bar coffee shop that we'd walked past earlier on our way up from the car drop-off for another coffee for Michelle. It had been packed when we'd walked past it around 10:00, so Michelle decided it must be worth a try.

Next followed a meander back to Rundle Mall and a wander up and down, with Michelle exploring the various shops and arcades along its entire length. We stopped in at a food court for some lunch; I had an Oporto's chicken burger and chips, while Michelle got a bread roll with cheese "double cut". The woman making it for her had four slices of bread roll and Michelle said no, she only wanted one sandwich, and the woman said yes, but it's double cut. Michelle asked what that was and the woman said, "You're from interstate, aren't you?" When Michelle replied in the affirmative, the woman said that all the out-of-state people said the same thing. Apparently "double cut" means they slice a single bread roll into four slices and make what is essentially two sandwiches out of it.

A bit worn out by the entire week, we retired back to the motel for a brief rest.


We wandered out again a little after 16:00, intending to check out the East End Markets, which the Lonely Planet indicated were held on Fridays until 6pm. This involved another walk along Rundle Mall to get to the eastern end of Rundle Street, where no market was to be seen. A banner over the road proclaimed the East End Market to be a feature of Saturdays - obviously another change since our dated guidebook was published.

Look up
Rundle Mall

Never one to let a setback spoil a perfectly good window shopping expedition, Michelle checked out more shops along that end of Rundle Street on the way back. Interestingly, at many places along the footpath there were coins embedded in the concrete, looking much like someone had dropped a large handful of change. But they were solidly implanted in the concrete, and many of them were foreign coins.

By this time, Rundle Mall had become much busier, with lots of schoolkids, uni students, and office workers all milling about and generally skylarking in the great community atmosphere. We checked out the Myer Centre with its multiple floors of shops, then headed back in again for another rest, the walking in the sunny warmth having really taken its toll.


Around 19:30 we went out for our final dinner in Adelaide. Being as tuckered out as we were, the Pancake House (later changed name to The Original Pancake Kitchen) merely 10 metres from the front door of our motel looked too inviting to pass up. They took our order and our money at the table at the same time, then brought a Vegetarian Cheese pancake for Michelle, which had potato, shallots, and capsicum in a pancake topped with cheese, served with a salad. I happened to order the two most stupidly named dishes on the menu, being a Crepe Scott, followed by an It for dessert. The Crepe Scott was a crepe stuffed with minced beef and mushrooms in a red wine sauce, plus salad, while the It was a combination of the much more sensibly named Jamaican Banana Pancakes and Hot Buttered Walnut Pancakes, involving caramelised banana pieces, crispy roasted walnuts in maple syrup, on top of two buttermilk pancakes, with ice cream, topped with cinnamon and sugar. It was delicious!

The only bad thing about the dining experience was when I went to the men's room, and avoided noticing a "mind your head" sign stuck to a low overhead door frame. The clunk was enough to disorient me into a sitting position on the floor before I recovered, with a couple of other restaurant patrons fussing over me. There appeared to be no lasting damage, but it sure hurt at the time.

Returning to the motel we repacked our bags with all of our acquisitions from the trip and figured out that we need to be up at 07:00 and on our way to the airport by 07:30 in time to have some breakfast and catch our flight home.

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