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Beautiful Adelaide

(Reprint from News: March 5, 2002)

March 2, 2002


The skies were overcast Saturday morning as I crossed over a low mountain range and approached Adelaide, the capital of South Australia and its largest city.  This apparently had been quite a week for Adelaide because a World Technology Conference had been held here early in the week, bringing together some of the smartest people from around the globe.  Then on Wednesday, Bill Clinton made his first visit to Adelaide and the next day, Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip visited Adelaide.  Of course, this was all just a prelude to my visit on Saturday, the event that Adelaide was really gearing up for.


Although I'd heard of Adelaide for many years, I didn't have any preconceptions about the city because I knew virtually nothing about it, other than it was about the same size as Portland.  I figured it was probably just another bland city, but I felt obligated to at least take a look at it for a few minutes before continuing on my way.  


Once again, here's the popular 1960s Aussie group The Seekers.  This is I'll Never Find Another You.

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As I drove towards the city, the area reminded me of the California's Sacramento Valley with its golden, rolling hills and scattered trees.  With about a million people, Adelaide's only about one-third the size of Sydney or Melbourne and it's a lot easier to navigate around:  no wild and crazy Sydney-type drivers here and no ridiculous "hook turns" as in Melbourne. 


After parking in a garage, I walked around for what was going to be 30 minutes but ended up being four hours because, as I discovered, Adelaide is a city of clean, tree-lined streets, interesting buildings, and pretty parks.  There's also a beautiful river that winds through the city, a nice university, an interesting museum, and a very lively and pleasant pedestrian shopping area several blocks long called Rundle Mall which was jammed with shoppers, people-watchers, and street performers. 


You don't hear much about Adelaide, especially if you live in the U.S., but I thought it was far more pleasant than any other large city in Australia or New Zealand, including Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.  In fact, its nicer than just about any city I've visited during the last 12 months.  As with Portland, it's a large city but it has a small-town feel to it, and although I would never admit that any city is as nice as Portland, Adelaide comes pretty darn close.


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Above left:  King William Street in Adelaide.

Above center:  Buildings on Pirie Street.

Above right:  A quaint shopping mall in Adelaide.


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Above left:  Bridge over the Torrens River near downtown Adelaide.

Above center:  Fountain outside the Museum of South Australia.  I spent about an hour walking through the museum, which has a great collection of Aboriginal artifacts.

Above right:  A "living statue."  This guy obviously needs to get outside more often.


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Above left:  Reflections in the steel orb on Rundle Mall.  That's me in the middle.

Above center:  Adelaide is the only place I've ever seen an aerial rock band.

Above right:  Back at the parking garage.  I walked around Adelaide for four hours -- it's really a wonderful city.



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