The Royal Botanic Gardens, Rundle Mall shopping, and Glenelg Beach comprised the three main parts of our day in Adelaide. The Royal Botanic Gardens opened in 1857 and are depicted in the first six photos. The first photo is a lazy reflecting pond, while in the second, we were amazed to see a flock of cockatoos! They allowed us to get fairly close to them…used to people in the park, we suppose. Very impressive in the next photo was the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. Exotic giant water lilies can grow up to 8 feet in diameter, although these are smaller than that, and the pond you see in the photo, believe it or not, was built in 1868 and has been in continuous use. The next photo is a Heliconia flower. We loved it the first time we saw it, and many years ago ordered one to plant in our garden. It grew leaves, but never flowered, as it likely needs either a greenhouse or a rainforest. But those in this pavilion were just gorgeous. And the photo after that is the Victorian-era Palm House, imported from Bremen, Germany in 1875. It is the second-oldest glasshouse in Australia and the only one of German manufacture from that era left in the world, as all of the others were destroyed in World War II.
Adelaide is the capital of the state of South Australia, located on the St. Vincent Gulf on the southern coast of Australia, a little east of the center of the country. It is noted for being one of the few Australian cities without a convict past, and is known as the City of Churches due to its diversity of faiths. The city consistently appears on the world’s list of the most livable cities due to its high quality of life.
Rundle Mall is the city’s pedestrian shopping mall, with numerous retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and ice cream stores. Do you love the pig rooting around in the trash bin? Very clever! The giant panda heads were three teens wandering around the mall, and we bumped into them inside a shop. They were very happy to pose for us, so we gave them a card with our website and hope they are looking at themselves tonight!
The photo after the pandas looks like gold-wrapped chocolates. Can you guess what they are?……Buttons! We found a button store filled with tens of thousands of buttons in every color and shape. The button sample is attached to a tube that contains 20-30 of each button. The photo after that is of children’s buttons…you can see Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie, gnomes, fairies, and even a mummy. The buttons reminded Jan of her mom, Flo, a fabulous seamstress who always had thousands of buttons on hand. They reminded Mike of his grandmother, Lonie, who worked as a tailor and also worked with buttons. Such a small thing, and such strong memories!
The highlight of the day was Glenelg Beach, a historic suburb of Adelaide that was filled with beach goers and pedestrians, eating and swimming. The centerpiece is the amazing Ferris wheel, the boardwalk, and of course, the white sand and warm water. The final photo was taken at the train station’s bagel shop….in US currency, it is just over $5, and we loved the spelling of “coffee.”
We got a great deal on the day’s transportation…the city offered cruise passengers a metro card for the day for $7.00 US. We could ride the train, buses, and trams all day for that pittance…and we did! We traveled into the city from the port by train, then rode a bus around the city. We took a tram out to the beach. If we had done these trips via the ship’s excursions, it would have meant purchasing two excursions, and would have cost us about $200 per person. So, $7 or $200? The choice was easy, and getting around truly was simple, as well.