Hello from Adelaide, a beautiful city in Southern Australia. After spending almost two weeks in the Australian Outback, we flew due south to this southern charmer. A much lesser known city than Sydney, Melbourne, & Perth, Adelaide came on the map for us while we subscribed to National Geographic traveler back in 2016. We received an issue featuring this lesser known Aussie city and really thought it was worth a visit. It did not disappoint.
We collected our luggage, got our rental car and drove off to our AirBnB rental. Adelaide reminds us a bit of California - a dry temperate climate, beautiful and wide beaches, gentle rolling hills, and a vibrant hip wine country. Our house was located only 1 mile from the beach and that’s what we did for the first two days - turned ourselves into Aussie beach bums :) The weather was amazing, upper 80’s, little humidity and sunny. We visited 2 of Adelaide’s more popular beaches, Brighton & Semaphore. Brighton is a beach town all the way, with a cool vibe on their main street with bars, shops, and surf gear. Semaphore is more laid back with huge dunes protecting the shore. The water is super cold, it has just turned spring here, but I think its probably cold year round. We learned later in the week. . there was a great white shark sighting off the coast of Brighton and a Kayaker had to be rescued!!!! Yikes!!! We would hang out at the beach for a half day, playground hop with the kids (this city is super family friendly- they even have an app to find a playground near you), played in the garden around our house and embraced the Australian “no worries” lifestyle : )
We celebrated Mila’s 2nd birthday on October 17th and as a tradition, we took her to the beach. Her first birthday was spent in the Florida Keys. We got her a chocolate cake and some donuts and once we brought out the cake with the candle, she got super scared…finally Mila is scared of something! It was so cute to watch Leo being super excited for her. As soon as she woke up in the morning he started to sing her Happy Birthday in english and polish. We absolutely love watching him being a wonderful and affectionate big brother. He truly understands the role of being an older brother and takes his “job” super seriously. As a present, we got for Mila a Paw Patrol coloring book and both the kids got into it.
So my one childhood friend is running a company in Warsaw called “Mama w Formie”. She asked us if we would be willing to do a live video on the company’s Facebook page and of course, we agreed. One hour before going live (it was 7:30 pm here), we lost power. The owner of the house informed us that the main switch at the electrical box broke and most likely, we would not be having power for a day or so. Of course it had to happen on the day that we needed it the most! Luckily, we were able to connect to the Internet via data and did a super chaotic live video surrounded by flashlights, candles and solar lamps from the garden : ) We did get power back after midnight : )
The following day we woke up to much colder weather! The day before we were at the beach, sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. That morning the temps dropped to low 50’s, and it was windy and rainy. After breakfast we decided to go visit the city. Since both Leo and Mila love riding the train, we drove to the local train station and headed towards downtown Adelaide. First, we went to see the famous Central Market and it was wonderful. This place has been named one of the best markets in the whole country of Australia. You can buy pretty much anything there; fresh fruit, veggies, grains, homemade sauces, bakery goodies, meats, cheese, seafood, truffle oil (we tried it cooked with mushrooms - whoa what a difference!!!) and many more. There are plenty of cute and cozy coffee and food cafes, where you can enjoy a delicious meal. We actually tried a bowl with spicy cauliflower, pumpkin risotto and beetroot with lentils - it was heavenly and full of flavor. We spent there a good three hours, walked around, tried unique bites and shopped. After the Central Market www.adelaidecentralmarket.com.au, we headed downtown and enjoyed a stroll through the main streets. Leo and Mila started to get tired which meant it was time to go back home…We took the train back and as soon as we arrived at our cottage, we all took a looooong nap. Although, we enjoyed being in the city center, there is something calming and relaxing about living in the suburb right next to the ocean…
Day 4 in Adelaide brought us back to the hiking trails. We drove to Cleland Park www.adelaidehills.org.au/attractions/our-favourites/mt-lofty-summit which was the starting point of our hike to the Mount Lofty Summit (710m above the sea level). The whole hike was about 8km so not too bad. We passed a few waterfalls and spotted plenty of colorful parrots. As I was trying to snap a picture of the passing birds, our camera completely gave out on me : ( We had to rely on the phone but that's not the same. It was kind of a sad moment for me. I’ve snapped over 15,000 pictures and really loved the quality of pictures I was getting. It’s the Panasonic Lumix LX-10. But the lens and shutter will not open and says system error : (
We passed many people as well as a group of elementary students who were hiking as a part of school activity - how cool is that, I love the idea of taking the classroom out of the school and teaching the kids out in the open nature. In Australia, all kids wear uniforms (regardless of private or public) - boys have shorts and polos while girls wear cute uniform dresses. I admit that I am a big fan of that dress code. The last kilometer of this hike was crazy, straight up the mountain! I mean crazy! It literally felt like climbing the stair master on the highest level. I really don't know how Leo managed to finish it. We were all breathing heavily - except Mila of course, enjoying her ride on Rick’s back. After two hours, we reached the top and the views were pretty sweet. You could see 360 panorama views of Adelaide and the ocean. We set on the edge of the lighthouse at the summit and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Leo and Mila kept chasing birds and climbing trees, what else is new :-) The descent felt like a little spring since we were going down at a very fast pace. Even Mila decided to participate in it. She kept chasing Leo the whole time. This gave Rick a little break.. . he admits she’s getting a bit bulky on his back! When we got to the car it was close to 4 pm and we were super tired, especially our legs. We headed home and enjoyed some delicious homemade grilled black bean burgers :-)
The next morning we needed to buy a new camera. We drove to a store called "The Good Guys" (Aussie’s version of Best Buy) and went on a hunt for a new camera. One of the salesman, a super nice guy from Russia, was a huge help to us. He did photography as his side job and knew a lot about different types of cameras. He also mentioned that we should contact Panasonic and since we have a 3 year warranty, they should be able to fix it for us for free here in Australia. We bought a Canon EOS 5600 DSLR. So now instead of going on another hike we are drinking coffee and learning about our new toy.
Our last day in Adelaide, we spent in Wine Country! There are 2 distinct regions of Adelaide for wines the McLaren Vale & Barossa valley. We chose McLaren Vale since it was closer and had a ton of kid friendly wineries. It's was only 25 km from our house. It reminded us a bit of the Napa Valley. First, we stopped at a cute winery/brewery called Red Poles www.redpoles.com.au. Overall, alcohol (beer & liquor) is pretty pricy in Australia, for example, for a six pack you pay close to $25. Thank goodness for wine though :- ) You can get a bottle for $5. Aussie’s will tell you, just stick to the wine. We were having a craving for a beer though so we decided to do a small tasting. It was OK, nothing out of this world, just an average beer taste. I guess thats what we get for coming to wine country and ordering a beer!
There are several kid friendly wineries in the area so after the beer tasting we decided to go to a wonderful place - Gumtree Winery gemtreewines.com. This winery is situated on the hill, overlooking the ocean and grape fields. They also had a playground where the kids could play as well as plenty of sheep, how cool!? Of course Leo and Mila, as soon as they saw the playground they sprinted there. There were plenty families with kids of all ages so right from the beginning we felt super comfortable and relaxed. We did a tasting and then grabbed a bottle of red wine and a cheese platter and enjoyed stunning views and some partial alone time. The terrace were we set was facing the playground and sheep so we could easily keep an eye on our kids. Leo and Mila absolutely loved petting the sheep and feeding them. Leo was super concerned when the sheep was not eating, he was so cute about it :-) They made a few friends with the local children, together they rolled down the hills, chased each other and took a shot a cricket. Towards the end we started a conversation with two couples who were sitting next to us. Super nice people with whom we shared a good laugh. It was definitely a fun day not only for the kids but also for the parents :-)
And just like that we finished another week in Australia. Adelaide a cool city, definitely has a nice mix of things to do; beach, hikes, wineries, and city vibe.
We got to talking one night about our trip and both Rick and I came to the conclusion that the main factor that allowed us to go on this world adventure was not money or thorough planning. Yes, these were very significant steps in the process of making our dream come true. However, this trip happened because of Leo and Mila and their amazing ability to adopt to new environment. They are such amazing travel companions, can easily find themselves in completely unfamiliar situations and make the best out of it. Yes, they cry sometimes and give us a hard time (welcome Mila to terrible 2s!) but honestly, we have no right complain about it. Hopefully, they continue this behavior for the rest of our world adventure!
Add On Story: After our new camera purchase, I left completed dissatisfied with the picture quality I was getting. So the day of our departure, we went back to The Good Guys, returned the Canon, and ended up walking out with pretty much the exact same camera that stopped working, Panasonic TZ-100. Its literally the same camera just a different name in Aussie. And I’m back to being a happy photographer : )