Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Melbourne to Adelaide

My two weeks in the Australia state of Victoria were filled with mostly tennis at the Australian Open.  The budget for this trip was tight and last minute cancellation of plans because of Oprah’s trip draining the economy here made it even tighter. I did get to see quite a bit of the city while I was hotel hopping, walking and taking the tram to Melbourne Park for the tennis matches, but I didn’t go to any restaurants or clubs -- with one exception.

I had one night out at a Melbourne club, The Long Room, with the press crew from the Australian Open.  It was one of the many perks Tennis Australia provided us with and I am most appreciative.  It was a nice to enjoy a bit of Melbourne nightlife, especially with my follow writers, broadcasters and photographers.  I then got a good night sleep and spent my last day in the city walking around Chinatown and the Greek section of the city, enjoying a Spinach Pie for lunch before heading to the Australian Open for the final match.

I left the Grand Hyatt (my final Melbourne hotel had an appropriate view of the city and the tennis court) the next afternoon to catch my flight to Adelaide. It was my first experience with Qantas domestic flights and I was quite impressed. The flight crew was friendly, helpful and provided us with snacks of tropical cookies, pretzels and apples, along with drinks – for just a one hour flight! It went quickly and before I knew it I was arriving in Adelaide, the center of Southern Australia.

A driver was waiting for me at the baggage area and he warned me of the 100+ degree heat outside. It really wasn’t that bad as the air here is so dry.  (I think I sweat much more in 80 degrees in Florida!) We arrived at the Hilton Adelaide in a few minutes and I realized right away this city was much different than Melbourne. It’s smaller and more compact, with easy access for walking. There are also buses and trams available if you prefer.  The hotel is centrally located in Victoria Square and around the corner from Chinatown and the Central Market.

Despite the heat, I walked quite a bit around Adelaide, up and down Gouger Street, Rundle Mall, and even a bit through the market. I cooled off with some Gelato (Belgium Chocolate and Caramel Hazelnut) and then went for a swim in the hotel pool. After a bit of work, I decided that I’d skip the paying for internet and instead head out for dinner. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong night to make that decision. 

Adelaide is definitely a foodie town and I received lots of tips on recommended restaurants. The only problem is that they aren’t open on Mondays and the few that were had private parties!  After walking up and down two of the major roads and not finding much, I finally settled back at the Hilton and had some Spring Rolls and a Squealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (very fruity and light, perfect for a super hot day) in the lounge.

I watched a little television and relaxed as I knew this was going to be my one and only slow day in South Australia.  My schedule is jam packed for the rest of the week so stay tuned for the fun… at Jacob’s Creek Winery, more tasting through Barossa, up in the Adelaide Hills, at the Gorge Wildlife Park, back to Downtown and, finally, on Kangaroo Island for the weekend!

2 comments:

  1. Hope you are enjoying the milder weather now, Marcia. Looking forward to reading of your impressions of our SA attractions!

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  2. Hi Amanda!
    I'm having a great time in SA. Today I'm actually heading to Kangaroo Island! I don't know if I'd call the weather mild, though. Yesterday was the most humid day in the three weeks I've been here.
    Marcia

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