Thursday, November 30, 2006

Back from Adelaide!

I didn't really think much of Adelaide before setting out on my trip. I took a trip there mainly because I wanted something inexpensive and since Adelaide is one of the few major Australian cities that I have never visited. That leaves Darwin and Cairns.

Having said that, I arrived in Adelaide expecting to see a rather boring city. True enough, it is a smaller city than Melbourne with a population of only 1.3 million people. Adelaide is one of the few cities in Australia that was not a convict colony. The settlers who first founded the place and subsequently settled there were immigrants from Britain. That might probably explain why the people in Adelaide speak with an accent that sounds closer to the British one and are generally more friendly and refined in nature. I'm not sure if that's got anything with not being from a convict ancestry but the people there are certainly different in their own unique ways.

Perhaps I'm just being overly sensitive, or perhaps I'm just being biased against people in Melbourne, but when you get a feeling or vibes from people from a particular place, you know something's different, and something's there. Its hard to put your finger on it all the time, but you know there is a certain degree of truth to it.

I arrived in Adelaide in the wee hours of the morning after an arduous journey on the overnight bus. Puked up during the journey. Must have been severely hypoglycaemic when I arrived. Thanks very much to Moses for putting me up in his hostel along West Terrace.

One of the most memorable events of the trip was probably being invited to dinner at an Australian home, getting a taste of the Australian lifestyle! It was a nice cosy home nestled away in a quiet suburban neighbourhood pretty close to the city, and a short drive away from the scenic Adelaide Hills. The downside of it apparently is that most of the people in the neighbourhood are elderly people, hence Christopher's siblings don't have many friends to play with in the neighbourhood!

Barossa Valley was awesome too! Plenty of wine tasting, cheese, rolling hills and the beautiful sunset. Its been dubbed the Tuscany of Australia. Lunch at Chateau Yaldara was great too. That's where they produce McGuigan wines.

That's Melissa from my tour group that day. She's a school teacher in Melbourne. That's the Barossa Valley in the background.

We also visited Langmeil Winery, which is quite a small, family run business. The owner's daughter was a rather attractive and cheery looking Australian girl and I couldn't help but have a little chit chat with her over their latest variety of white, the 2002 Viognier. Apparently at the local school nearby, all the students are children of vineyard owners so during class parties, each of them brings a bottle from their estates! Talk about friendly competition!

She was really nice and friendly, and her smile was absolutely delightful. She's currently studying at the University of South Australia.

The last day was spent on a very scenic tour to Victor Harbour and Handorf, this German township. Met some very friendly folks in the town who told me about their journey from Europe to settle in Australia. Some of them have been doing very well here ever since.