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.
RealPlayer. If problems, see
I drove towards the city, the area reminded me of the California's Sacramento Valley
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
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
left: King William Street in
center: Buildings on Pirie Street.
right: A quaint shopping mall in Adelaide.
left: Bridge over the Torrens
River near downtown Adelaide.
center: Fountain outside the Museum of South Australia. I spent
about an hour walking through the museum, which has a great collection of
right: A "living statue." This
guy obviously needs to get outside more often.
left: Reflections in the steel orb on Rundle Mall. That's me
in the middle.
center: Adelaide is the only place I've ever seen an aerial rock
right: Back at the parking garage. I walked around Adelaide for four
hours -- it's
really a wonderful city.
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