On to Adelaide to visit family members of the Rhodesian diaspora; I had been to Adelaide before on several other occasions. We headed off to the Adelaide Festival after church. This is wonderful Arts Festival is focused around the Rundall Mall, famous for its life-sized pig sculptures. The sculptures were designed by a South African artist, Marguerite Derricourt, who is based in Sydney. These whimsical pig sculptures are called “A Day Out’, very appropriate for a day at the Festival!
We went to the Yabarrah Show– Dreaming in Light, the Sleeping Cave. This was an Aboriginal story time, with amazing technology using lighting and effects. Leading you into the story were Emu footsteps walking alongside human footprints, with the message “to walk softly on country is to walk barefoot. If you choose to walk this way you will be walking alongside the creation ancestors respectfully. We have walked this country with our bare feet since the first sunrise. Our feet are our connection to the soul of our dreaming landscapes.” This resonated with our African roots as we were mostly to be found barefoot, except for school and church, running wild in the Rhodesian bush! After watching this amazing show, we walked to the area called Gluttony, which was also decorated with pigs! We sat down in some shade next to the lake for a break from the hustle and bustle of the Mall. We shared some Vietnamese Spring Rolls with an unusual crispy texture.
We then continued down Rundell Mall, stopping to watch several Street shows and musicians, which were most entertaining as they interacted with the crowd. We were fascinated with the skills of a juggler on his bicycle. We had to stop for a photo with the large silver balls in the middle of the Mall, which along with the pigs are an icon of the city. We then visited the Opal Mine shop where there was a small museum showing us different opals and how they were mined: this was of great interest to me having spent many years as a geological cartographer. We went into the Rundell Arcade to find a restroom, to our dismay some of the lovely shops we had been in to last time had closed down. There was a lovely festive atmosphere and vibe in the city, but by the time we had reached the end of Randall Mall we were tired and decided to head off home after a very hot and satisfying day.
The next day was gloriously hot, a beach day, so we drove down to Glenelg, where we walked along the Jetty, looking in the clear turquoise water. We saw several Rays with their flat, almost space-ship like winged bodies swimming along the ocean floor. A piece of fencing on the Jetty had been used for the ‘Lock Ceremony’ where lovers commit to their love forever, lock the padlock onto the fence and throw away the key. We stopped off at Banjo’s Bakery and Café where the choice of cakes and pies was overwhelming, but we made our choice which we enjoyed with a cup of coffee, while we watched children playing in the fountains near the end of the tramline. We left George to entertain himself as we walked along the promenade to the Marina, so we could see the fancy boats and posh restaurants. When we had our fill of fancy boats, we walked back to meet George on the beach. The water was so warm and the sea so calm we decided to paddle; so different to the beaches in Cape Town where the waves usually crashed onto the beaches. I found a pretty shell on the beach which inspired me to paint it. After this pleasant day of relaxing we headed home where I began working on the shell drawing.
The McLarenvale Vineyards was the next day trip, Jenny was keen to show me The Cube at d’Arenberg, a newer Vineyard, that had the drawcard of Salvador Dali’s Exhibition of sculptures and paintings, along with other artists in the gallery. This certainly was the highlight for me as we walked around the estate, looking at the various sculptures in the gardens, before entering the main modern building which was a several storied building, made up of exploded cube parts like one of Dali’s artworks. There were also sculptures of musicians in the gardens, made from Gumboots which were fascinating! We looked at the old buildings, tractors and windmill, which were typical of old Australian landscapes. It was a treat working our way through the galleries – starting with a room with light projections of different paintings and colors coming and going before our eyes, I could have sat there for hours, but we continued the journey through the galleries and staircase decorated with colored balls, lights and mirrors, totally confusing the eye.
We then decided to visit the restroom, which was made from huge vats; you entered the door into other vats which were individual toilets decorated with paintings. The hardware was also pretty quirky as were the handbasins, we took a peek in the men’s room and saw crazy urinals, more than quirky! We finished off the visit with a bit of wine tasting and more viewing in the new temporary gallery with paintings by Marc Chagall amongst others. In need of sustenance we returned to McClarenvale to the Bakery shop where we bought a chicken pie for lunch before heading home.
The final day in Adelaide was a social day meeting with Jenny’s Seeds Church friends, one interesting lady was involved in a ‘seeds’ ministry at the prison. Jenny was on duty at the Seeds Café so I joined her for some lunch of toasted cheese and scones. This gave me the opportunity to have some good conversations with people and find out about their lives in South Australia.
My visit to Adelaide was completed with a walk in the gum tree woods near Jenny’s house and by the stone bridge where the trail started. A family reunion was planned for the last evening enabling me to catch up with other family members, before I headed off into the blue again to Perth, on the next leg of my trip.