I made notes to blog while I was flying around, but, as I have a seminar to prepare for on Thursday, I’ve decided to break things up. Here’s my photos and entry on Adelaide. More on Perth later…
Canberra to Adelaide – 5 May.
To miss rush hour, I was at the airport and checked in two hours before my flight. (it took the Magpie an hour to make a 15 minute journey to campus after dropping me off). Not too worry, I enjoy watching people and planes at the departure lounge. And it is a beautiful misty morning – the hills are shades of slate and lavender, the sky is pale and the clouds are puffy. I feel like I’m looking at something between a John Howe watercolour and an Andrew Wyeth landscape. It reminds me – almost of the Blouberg Hills in light and hue. The photo’s I have don’t do it justice – the glass is too dirty, and the detail on my camera not nearly good enough. 20 minutes to boarding – I’m watching them load the baggage into the plane. There goes mine. Good. I wonder what they will feed us – I’m on the schedule between breakfast and lunch, flying Qantas. They’ve pulled up their socks, its actually quite pleasant.
[it was tea, coke, and two cookies – one triple choc, and one apple crumble]
Adelaide – evening 1.
Ah, Adelaide. The most un-Australian city so far – it could be somewhere in the UK but for the sweltering 45 degree summers. I had a good walk around Northern Adelaide, but didn’t venture past the Gallery and University, much to my disappointment, but it was getting dark, and I don’t know this city well enough to take liberties with my exploring just yet.
I walked back up Rundle Mall, found a Borders and managed to grab myself a copy of The legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (no, it wasn’t selling like hotcakes, but this is a very important book to my thesis). Not only is it an examination of two key source texts of my thesis by Tolkien himself, but it holds his own translations and lectures notes on the topic – written around the time he was tackling the Fënorian saga… weeeeeee! Sometimes karma pays you back threefold in ways you can never imagine. Awesome.
I hope to wander down to the southern side of the city after the workshop tomorrow. I’ll see how I go.
They’re expanding the cricket ground, but still, if the MCG is the Mackdaddy of Australian cricket grounds, then Adelaide is the beauty queen. The setting is gorgeous – the Torrens is a lovely river, the greenery, the sculptures, the trees, the cathedral spires (and bells). Sir Donald was there, his cover drive frozen in bronze, as well as a lovely angel keeping an eye on things.
The cathedral was very High Anglican. It has many of the same elements around the high alter as the Southwark Cathedral, and a beautiful little Lady Chapel. Apparently the design and details were based on and created at Exeter Cathedral. I haven’t been there yet, but it would be interesting to find out. A lovely, peaceful building, that belies its age by a few centuries – it wasn’t the type of serenity I expected from a “new” (relatively speaking, the current building is less than 100 years old) colonial cathedral… Anyway.
Rundle Mall has the pig-equivalent to your sheep here in Canberra (no photo, sorry). It is one giant consumerist paradise where all the students go after school/lectures. There are a number of uni residences on the Mall too – so it is chaos.
Spent the even eating an average margarita pizza, watching NCIS and The Bill. Will start ball 3 of my clappy tomorrow. It’s late. And I need to sleep. If only I could…
Adelaide airport, 7 May.
I didn’t get to do any exploring yesterday. I had the best bunch of workshop attendees, and they wore me out. It was freezing yesterday, and I just went back to the room, watched House and crashed. A real shame, I do like Adelaide and would love to explore a bit more. Waiting to board for Perth. A 3 hour flight, and I’ll be on the other coast. The first time I’ve seen or been near the Indian Ocean in 11 years. An odd fact, yes, but the last time I was on this particular ocean, I was 15 and saying good bye to my Grandmother, who had Alzheimers, and was slowly forgetting who we all were. I have a photo of me on the rocks, looking out at the ocean in my office at uni. And now, to be on a different coast, on the other side of the ocean. Well, it has significance for me. I look forward to it. Anyway, time to board…