Sunday, May 21, 2017


This was my second visit to Adelaide. The first one, in 2009 made me think Adelaide was a bit boring compared to Sydney or Brisbane. Primarily, I thought about architecture - driving by car from and to the city centre I could not identify any landmarks, but also culturally, I did not remember many places of interest, except for the Migration Museum. This time, I went on a walking tour of the city with Ryan and a small group of other tourists. Ryan told us that about 6 years ago Adelaide government started working on making the city more appealing. They are copying some ideas off Melbourne, like pedestrian laneways. They paid the cricket club 350 million dollars to open up their CBD stadium for other games and constructed a pedestrian bridge to it, and embarked on other improvements... As a result, I no longer think Adelaide is boring, I actually quite liked it, and I will definitely return.

The infrastructure is improving too. The rail line to Seaford has been electrified:

For railway enthusiasts: track gauges in Australia are a mess. Most of South Australia uses standard gauge track (1435mm), but Adelaide's suburban trains use broad gauge track (1600mm). The carriages are noticeably wider - compared to Gold Coast, which uses narrow gauge track (1067mm), although the seats seem to be the same narrow kind:
Adelaide train (source)

Gold Coast train (source)

As of 2017, though, according to our guide, only 13 thousand people live in the CBD (there are hardly any apartments there) and on weekends some restaurants/coffee shops are closed, major shops close at 5pm, cultural events wind down even earlier, and some places, like the Victoria square seem to be occupied primarily by the homeless. I was asked for small change at least twice that day, and once a pair of bored young boys tried to disrupt Ryan's monologue by shouting obscenities at him. The electrification of the commuter rail has been stalled, and it's strange to see these diesel powered trains in the capital of the renewable energy leader - South Australia:

Photos from the city centre:

Street art

Opposite side

The oldest shopping mall in Australia - The Adelaide Arcade built in 1885.

The Rundle Mall

One of the popular meeting points on the Rundle Mall - the pigs - this one is Oliver.
The other popular meeting point is the balls - two big metal balls stacked one on top of the other.

The west end of the Rundle Mall

A view of the mountains from Adelaide's city centre.
Adelaide is only about 20km wide west-east from the gulf to the mountains and about 100km long north-south.

Photos from Port Adelaide suburb located north-west of the CBD:
Port Adelaide railway stop - reminded me of a prison: everything is vandal-proof and there is no way of escaping, but through the very long ramp down. The feeling was reinforced when, after boarding the train here, I got off at Adelaide (city centre) and there were about 10 police officers watching closely passengers leaving that train.

Port Adelaide - this old house has maybe 40m2 area, but 4 columns!

An old Meat Store - Port Adelaide

Photos from the Aviation Museum:
Jindivik - see below

Australia was making a Jindivik jet drone in the 1950s!

F-111 of the drop and burn fame - it could drop some fuel in flight and then ignite it creating a spectacular display.

The front page of The News from 15 Oct 1953.

7 major nuclear tests have been performed in Australia
Prohibited areas during nuclear testing. Currently, the zone is much smaller.
The British design De Havilland Vampire jet plane, first flown in 1943. This one was built in Australia in 1951.

A beautifully restored Spitfire.
Original condition of the Spitfire above.
Surfers have it harder in Adelaide, as it is located on the shores of St Vincent Gulf, and the waves are miniscule.

Looking south from Glenelg - a picturesque suburb of Adelaide.

Some government residence in Glenelg?

Glenelg Town Hall - in the US people go to Disneyland to see places like this.

Glenelg - last tram stop, almost on the beach.
 Back in Adelaide CBD:
Old and new.

The front yard of the Adelaide airport with a water feature - must be very popular with kids in the summer. This really is the front of the airport - private cars drop off people in back of this photo, buses and taxis have their stops on the left side of this plaza - not visible in the photo.

City centre seen from inside the airport. Adelaide's airport is between the city centre and the gulf.
1. When the Beatles visited Adelaide, they drew a crowd of 350 thousand people, more than the queen and the pope combined. Their picture is permanently on display on the city hall balcony from which they made their appearance.
2. The first Australian Eurovision contestant - Guy Sebastian - is from Adelaide.
3. The first Australians to fly from England to Australia in less than 30 days, were South Australian brothers: Ross and Keith Smith.

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