Published: March 30th 2011March 30th 2011
I've been to Adelaide before and nothing has changed since my last visit. Adelaide seems to be the stereotypical Australian city with it's quiet persona and liberal scattering of old colonial buildings. I timed this visit well because I found a great place to stay right in the city centre and arrived during the Adelaide Fringe Festival... Second only to Edinburgh apparently!?! Also, on the same weekend was the Future music festival. It tours the cities of Australia but Adelaide was the last venue so there was no chance of securing a ticket for a later date. I didn't get a ticket for now because I already had my Greyhound seat booked for Melbourne that same evening... There was also Nomadelaide! a world music festival. 'Nomad - elaide' lol, good name!
Anyway, for the few days I had in Adelaide, I had time to visit Glenelg, I beachy seaside area easily accessable by tram. And Mount Lofty, a lookout from one of the nearby mountains that surrounds Adelaide. It was misty when I went so only a few snippets of scenery to see between clouds.
I was sad to leave Adelaide really, because, I had a great long weekend
and I got on well! The food and beer seems cheaper than Perth. A 'pint' was about six dollars, five in places, but when I mentioned it wasn't actually a pint to the barmaid, she snapped 'IT IS A PINT'... I quickly replied 'ok'! It was infact a schooner (425ml vs. a pints 568ml). For some reason the call schooners, pints...
After the long public holiday weekend I went to Melbourne. Melbourne and Sydney, despite being relatively close to each other in the same corner of Australia and having fairly similar populations, couldn't be any more different. I've been to both cities a few times and have to say, I definately prefer Sydney. Thats not to detract from Melbourne though, because it's a pretty cool place to hang around in, even just to get brekky in one of the alleyways which are full of cafe's. I only had a few nights, so thought I would do something really cheesy. I checked at the main information centre in Federation Square and they said, due to privacy considerations to the local residents, they were not allowed to tell me where Ramsey Street is (from the Aussie TV soap Neighbours). However, with
some quick research, I found that it's a simple train ride to Glen Waverly station then a 902 bus to Vision Street. Pin Oak Court, it's real name, is the third on the left :-) - Apparently!
Since my last visit to Melbourne, they have completed the Eureka Tower one of the tallest buildings in the southern hemisphere. It has the 'Skydeck' on the 88th floor. There is quite a view from up there and they have deliberately made the floors and surfaces wonky to help exagurate the effects of swaying. I could feel the building swaying anyway tho. The funny thing is, although the viewing platform is 88 stories up, two stories higher than the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur, it is only at about 285 metres, at least 100 metres lower than the Petronas viewing deck. There is a clear view over the F1 GP curcuit so would be the ultimate place to watch it from.
Aussies from the rest of the country might say Canberra is probably the most boring place on earth. Melbourne and Sydney spent time arguing over which city should be the capital so to resolve the problem eventually they built Canberra,
the home of the government and head offices of state departments. This is the first time I've been here during daylight! The obvious first impression to me was that it's somewhere between a 1960's British new town, only this one actually worked as intended and remains maintained and up-to-date for the duration, and one of those alien cities they have on other planets in Star Trek, where everything is orderly and perfect and people are going about their daily lives in perfect harmony! Its also only about three and a half hours from Sydney, and in Australian travel time terms, thats nothing.
I visited Canberras Telstra Tower. It's not the best looking building in the world and when stood next to it, it couldn't be any more imposing. It's basically built from concrete nestled in the woods at the top of a hill they call Black Mountain and is covered in aerials and dishes. It gave me the creeps and I didn't hang around long! It was opened in 1980 and is the hub of Australian communications. Black Mountain is 810 metres tall and the viewing platform is about 65 metres up the 190 metre tall tower, so in
total the viewing platform is over half a mile above sea level. It really feels a long way up as well!
The Greyhound bus to Sydney was an easy ride, just AUD28.00 (about GB17.00) and started from about 400 metres from my accomodation in Canberra and dropped me off about 100 metres from my accomodation in Sydney. Thats about as easy as 'travelling' gets :-)
I just popped out to get a few bits and pieces from the nearest shop but thought I would just quickly jump on a bus for the five minute ride along George Street to the new Apple store. It's a huge place and right in the middle of Sydney. Big mistake lol. It was about 530pm, and the Sydney rush hour basically consists of complete gridlock. The quick trip ended up taking so long I ended up walking, which turned out to be quicker than the bus, and to make use of the effort, did some research for the rest of my trip using their computers and their internet. Thanks Apple store Sydney :-)
One thing your average person doesn't get to do is to go in a lift which only goes
up about five steps. Probably the most pointless elevator in the world but the place I visited had closed while I was there so I had to get out using it. The lift only goes up about one metre and it was modern and fully air conditioned. It must have cost tens of thousands of dollars...
I've been to Sydney several times before so not very much to report but have to say the view of Sydney at night from the Manly ferry is the most spectacular thing I've seen so far. Caught up with most of my friends and it was really great to see them again. It also worked as a springboard for the next step of my journey; Hawaii tomorrow!
There are more photos below