Friday, June 18, 2010

Adelaide for a day

In early March I made a day trip to Adelaide. Inadvertently I booked it for when the Clipsal 500 V8 Super Car race was on, but that really didn't affect me. I didn't go near it and only heard the cars.

Awkward shot of my ride for the day.

Waiting to line up for take off.

For a change, instead of flying on Qantas I went on Virgin Blue. I was impressed with the Embraer 190 (AKA "Jungle Jet" due to being built in Brazil) very much, being smaller than a 737 it only had 2 seats either side of the aisle. The best bit was that we left from a gate without a jet bridge so we got to walk out on the tarmac. As my seat was more than half way down the aircraft I was told to use the back stairs, which I did gladly. Theoretically it speeds up boarding if the front half boards via the front and rear half via the rear, but only when people do what they are told. I ended up having to battle through people sitting further back than myself that boarded at the front, quite frustrating.

Wind turbines between Ballarat and Ararat

Crossing the South Australian coast and Coorong.

We were dwarfed by this Airbus A330 destined for Singapore
on arrival in Adelaide.

A better shot of my ride for the day.
Embraer 190 VH-ZPG "Ella E Jet".

Instead of taking the bus from Adelaide Airport in to the city I decided to go the other way to Glenelg. On exiting the secure area of the airport I noticed that there are now signs pointing to the bus stop, I'm sure they weren't there last time I was here in 2008 and got lost looking for it. I planed my bus journey the night before using Google Maps. I had to take the Jetbus to a nearby shopping centre and change there to another bus that was going to Glenelg. We almost didn't even make it as far as the shopping centre as the bus driver missed a turn and had to do a 3 point turn to get back on track.

When driving into Glenelg I noticed this old fashioned garage about a block away from Jetty Road, couldn't help but walk back and take a photo.

Curb side petrol bowser. I bet they have driveway
service as well!

As you do in Glenelg I walked out on the Pier (Jetty?)and watched the fishermen for a few minutes. Not much biting, but there were a surprising number of fish swimming about under the pier, some of them quite large. According to signs, the pier used to be much longer, with a breakwall running parallel to the beach. Now as you can see, it is quite short.

Looking out.

Looking in.


Wandering back on to dry land I realised that an old H class tram was parked in the tram terminus that hadn't been there 15 minutes earlier. AFter talking to one of the guides present I decided to hang around for 20 minutes to take a short ride to the Morphetville racecourse and back. It wasn't very far but far enough to get a feel for these old rattlers. Most puzzling to this whipper snapper was the arrangement for opening and closing the window using a leather strap which was also used to hold it closed or open. Ingenious, who needs push buttons.

H class no. 367, the only one left in Adelaide.

H class drivers control stand.

Passengers in the passenger compartment.

After returning to Glenelg, at the suggestion of one of the tram conductors I went and had a look at the Glenelg Museum which is in the Glenelg Town Hall overlooking the pier. Not a large display, but there were some interesting things to look at for about 15 minutes.

You know you are in Adelaide when you see
one of these signs. I counted at leas three
in Glenelg alone.

By now it was approaching lunch time so I made a quick stop at an Asian take away. Lesson learnt there. No photos it tasted bad enough without being reminded of what it looked like.

Modern Bombardier Flexity tram.

From there I got the tram into the Adelaide city centre and alighted at Rundle Mall. I don't know if it was because of the V8s or what, but the tram was packed, even more so in the free area between the outer terraces of the CBD grid. I took a walk up and down Rundle Mall. The main reason for this was to look for some batteries as my camera had died. I remembered there was a Woolworths supermarket here but it was now closed for renovations, so I resorted to searching farther afield before finding a Tandy store tucked away in one of the arcades.

Sick of the Rundle Mall I headed north past Government House and the SA state Parliament and over the River Torrens into the wilds of North Adelaide. I didn't make it very far, as the afternoon was warming up and I really couldn't be bothered going any further. I stopped for a rest under a tree in a nice green park (the sprinklers were running while I was there) for about 20 minutes. I couldn't help but notice how deserted the area was, I think I only ever saw 2 or 3 people in the half hour or so I was there, meanwhile the traffic on the nearby main road was very busy.

King William Road in North Adelaide, with one
of Adelaide's famous churches.

Having a water crisis of my own, ie my bottle was empty. I decided to head back towards the city. Spying a bus stop I thought I'd wait and see what turned up. A good 10-15 minutes later I gave up and started to walk. Sure enough within a minute of getting up a bus went past.

Along the way I took a detour around the Adelaide Oval and along the river.

Somewhere behind this pile of dirt is the Adelaide
Oval, which is currently getting new grand stands.

Oh there it is. The Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide's skyline from the river.

A bridge over the river.

The river, well more of lake, formed by a weir downstream.
Last year someone let all the water out by mistake.

I then went in search of water and air conditioning before catching the bus to the airport. My oasis turned out to be a bottle of water from a convenience store, along with a sundae and abundant free soft drink refills from Hungry Jack's. Refreshed and full of sugar I set about finding the Jetbus stop. After waiting for what seemed like hours but was probably more like 20 minutes one turned up, and 15 minutes later I was back at the airport. I was much too early, but had a good wander around before arriving at the gate just in time to board my flight back to Melbourne.

My plane landing, turns out to be Ella E Jet again.

It was exactly the same aircraft as on the way over, VH-ZPG. Once in my seat I found that someone had done the crossword in the magazine, so I quickly swapped my magazine for that of my yet to arrive neighbour, they would never know. I really like these Embraers. While my seat neighbour was a bit on the annoying side (that's another story) it was a good flight. I was hungry, so I bought some cheese and crackers to nibble on and a can of Sprite to drink. It was really dinner time, but decided to hang on until getting home.

Ready to go.

Nice engine.

Just after take off.

A shot showing the layout of the cabin.
Despite being only 2x2 seating it is very roomy.

We landed early and taxied straight to gate 13 which is near the REX gates and a long way from the main concourse. However not having any luggage I was on the bus to the long term car park in no time and was home within an hour of landing.

Landing in Melbourne.

No comments: