Saturday, December 31, 2011

Festive Season

During the festive season, many communities around Adelaide host family friendly events. Starting with the Credit Union Christmas Pageant .  Almost every week there is a Christmas event in every suburb. As this was my first time celebrating Christmas in Adelaide, I tried to see as much as possible.

A couple weeks after the Credit Union Christmas Pageant, we went to see Salisbury Christmas Parade in our local suburb, however I found it  was no where near as good as the Pageant.  

As a volunteer at Adelaide City Council Library, I was invited to attend the Lord Mayor's Gala Concert with a friend for free! I went with David, who had never been to the Town Hall before (He has been here all his life and I've only been here 8

One evening, with some friends from Northern District Card Club, we went to cabaret at the Salisbury Lawn Bowling Club. The group, called Strolling Stones, imitated famous singers like ABBA, Tom Jones, Elvis Presley and many more. We sang along , especially when they sang ABBA songs, and we also danced to a lot. That was a very fun night. 

One of the biggest Christmas event in Adelaide was the Carols by Candlelight, which held every year. I'd been looking forward for this special day for a few months, but unfortunately on that day the weather was not very good. It was raining and very windy. Hope next year it will be better. 

On Christmas Day, our neighbours Michael & Jody was very kind enough to invite us to join their family for Christmas Lunch. As this was my first Christmas in Adelaide, it was nice to see how families in Australia celebrate their Christmas. Here people send each other Christmas Cards and buy Christmas presents for their love ones. 

So from my new home here in Australia, I wish all of my friends & family around the world a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Murray River at Murray Bridge

The City of Murray Bridge is located on the mighty Murray River approximately 80 kilometres east of Adelaide. Taking the freeway from Adelaide it takes just 45 minutes to arrive at Murray Bridge, which is an enjoyable drive with great scenery.

The Murray River is indeed a popular tourist attraction within South Australia - with Murray Bridge being the "crown" of the Murray Region, containing many attractions for people of all ages. 
With a great climate, the region hosts more than 1.1 million visitors every year for business and holidays. The Murray River is a picturesque site of houseboats and paddle steamers and happy, relaxed people. Sit back and relax while observing the beauty of this natural wonder.

Last month, we enjoyed a Captain Proud Paddle Boat 3 hour Sunday Champagne Breakfast Cruise. We bought a voucher from CUDO which cost us $39 for two instead of the usual price of $100. As we had to be on board on 9am, we decided we'd stay the night before so we could be up early. 

On arrival each of the passengers were greeted with a glass of champagne or fresh juice before we enjoyed a hearty and fully cooked breakfast (especially made for Cudo customers!), comprised of bacon, eggs, sausages and fried tomato. Afterwards we had a fresh fruit platter that we enjoyed as we admired the spectacular views - and don’t worry about missing anything important either because the Captain provided commentary throughout the cruise!

Last week, we went to Murray River again, this time we were yabbying, fishing for a kind of prawn which lives in fresh water. It was supposed to be good weather, but too bad it was very windy, nevertheless we still enjoyed our trip.

After spending around half an hour looking for the best spot, we found a nice place to sit and set up our gear. David immediately baited the traps, hoping we would catch some yabbies for lunch.

While waiting for the yabbies, we enjoyed the scenery and took some pictures.

We were so excited when we caught our first yabby. Unfortunately we didn't catch a lot. We only got 8 yabbies and 1 very unlucky fish that we were unable to eat (it was an Euorpean Carp, very bony). We were so disappointed, but haven't given up, vowing to come back and try again. ^_^

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Farewell Party

After Studying half a year at ELS - Tafe, besides improving my English, I have also made lot of new friends.  As this is my last term here, the last day became even more special, because it was not only an end of term party, but also a farewell party as we won't be seeing each other so regularly any more. 

Unfortunately, our teacher couldn't come because she had a very bad back pain. We felt very sorry for her but we had a replacement teacher and off course, the show must go on.

We started our day watching a DVD about the Australian Bush. The teacher made some notes about new vocabulary and explained it to us afterwards. 

The DVD finished around lunch time, so we set up the table for all the food that we brought. We had a lot of different kinds food from many countries. As we ate our lunch, we also took a lot of pictures.

We also took our class picture, too bad it was minus our teacher. 

In some western countries around Christmas, some families or offices share in a "Kris Kringle" tradition where everybody buys a present to be exchanged for another. As this term finished around Christmas time, we decided to have a "Kris Kringle" between our class mates. Everybody was so excited while they exchanged their presents. 

We also had prepared a special gift for Marion, our class teacher. But as she was not here, we asked the relief teacher to pass the gift on. Hope she will like it.

After we exchanged our email addresses and phone numbers, one by one our classmates left. Some of us hung around until the final moments, promising to keep in touch and have lunch together sometime. Yes, our time together as students maybe over, but some of us have really made lasting friendships here.  

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope we will have a bright New Year.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 Christmas Pageant

The Adelaide Christmas Pageant is an annual event held 6 weeks before the big day. This is one of the biggest events in the city and every year around 300.000 people  gather and watch the more than 60 floats parade through the city centre for 3.35km. The parade starts  at South Terrace, continues along King William Street and concludes on North Terrace where Father Christmas arrives at the Magic Cave in the David Jones Building. 

It is one of the traditions in Adelaide that the Christmas Pageant marks the beginning of Christmas celebrations, along with The Brewery Christmas Lights that winds along the Torrens River the start of Port Road,  the Lights of Lobethal and Carols by Candlelight.  Some families will start decorated their homes with lights both inside and out for all to see.

As this is my first pageant, I was very excited and took a lot of pictures. But next year maybe I'll just watch it on the television, even though the feeling won't be the same. Here are some of the pictures (believe me, there are many Please enjoy......

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Port Festival 2011

The Port Festival is an arts and cultural voyage that has something for everyone . This years festival was held on the weekend of the 9th and10th of October. The biennial festival celebrates Port Adelaide's distinctive character - its people, places, culture, heritage and natural landscape. Only 20 minutes from the city of Adelaide, the Festival attracts the Port's locals as well as audiences across Adelaide and beyond, with more than 60 local organisations taking part. It was is an open-access and multi-faceted celebration offering a smorgasbord of activities, including music, art, food, workshops, guided walks, river cruises, and much more.

We started our tour from the Port Adelaide market which is popular for those who are hunting collectables, books and bric-a-brac.The market is located near the iconic lighthouse with the finest colonial and Victorian buildings all around. 

During the Port Festival weekend, the SA Maritime, Railway and Aviation museums were all open for free. Usually the ticket price is around $10-$12 for adults, so this was a very good chance to see what they have there. 

After spending the whole day at Port Adelaide, David took us to the North Haven Marina for a cup of coffee.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

McLaren Vale Wineries Tour

McLaren Vale, one of Australia's oldest wine making regions, located approximately 35km south of Adelaide. The region consistently produces fine wines from a number of varieties, most importantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. On this long weekend, with a few friends we drove along the main street and visited some of the cellar doors.

On the way, we stopped by at the Almond Train. They have a selection of more than 25 flavoured almonds and premium raw Willunga almonds. Free tasting's are conducted daily of almonds and varietal olive oils, olives, dukah, local jams, chutneys and honey.

The first winery we visited was Primo Estate, the home of JOSEPH wine and olive oil. In the 1980's Primo Estate became one of the first extra virgin olive oil producers in Australia. Their JOSEPH Cold Pressed and First Run olive oils have been acclaimed by chefs and gourmets around the world. In 2006 Primo Estate opened a stunning new McLaren Vale cellar door and tasting room, combining ultra modern design with Italian style, just like their wines and olive oils.

The next stop was Hugh Hamilton Wines. Hugh is the fifth generation of the family that planted the first vineyards at Glenelg in 1837, less than one year after European settlement in South Australia. As with all families one is a black sheep and Hugh Hamilton is it. You can expect therefore to enjoy the difference.

Battle of Bosworth was established in 2001 by Joch Bosworth and Louise Hemsley-Smith. The wines take their name from the original Battle of Bosworth, fought on Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England in 1485. Battle of Bosworth make wines with flavour, texture, purity and balance, that best express the unique characteristics of their McLaren Vale foothills site. Joch and Louise also make the Spring Seed Wine Co range of wines, which are also made using organically grown grapes from their vineyards.

Lunch time! Our friends brought Vietnamese rolls and beef for barbecue. That's very nice. 

After lunch, our wine testing continued. The next stop was Fox Creek Wines. The story began when Jim and Helen Watts bought the 32 hectare Fox Creek Vineyard property in 1984. Leader of the pack and the first wine made at Fox Creek was our 1994 Shiraz, which won the Trophy for the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 1995. Success has continued and Fox Creek now markets single varietal wines from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (Duet), Shiraz and Cabernet Franc (JSM), Shiraz and Grenache, and a sparkling Shiraz Cabernet Franc (Vixen). The white wines produced are a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Verdelho.

Tucked away in the eastern foothills of McLaren Vale, Pertaringa is a progressive family-owned winery and cellar door focusing on crafting superb wines from sustainably run vineyards. The name Pertaringa means ‘belonging to the hills’ and originates from the local Kaurna indigenous language. Situated across the road from Noon Winery in this beautiful part of McLaren Vale, Pertaringa is off the beaten track and definitely worth discovering!

David Paxton believes that those who apply the art and science of viticulture are just as important as the winemaker. For three decades the Paxtons have nurtured their prized McLaren Vale vineyards, some of which are over a hundred years old. It's this level of care and passion that has produced extraordinary fruit and wines.

That was the last wineries we were visited for this trip. Although we were a bit dizzy afterwards but we had so much fun and had planned for another go out together again soon.   

Friday, September 30, 2011

Class Excursion

At the end of this term, our class had a sfew class excursions. One of the excursion was walking down North Terrace to see all the statues of famous people. We started our tour at the corner of King William Street and walked up to the Adelaide University.

Thank God the weather was very good and that put everybody in a good mood, as these pictures show. 

Our teacher was our tour guide. She explained about every building and every statue that we saw. The first stop was at Parliament House. This grand building is built of grey marble and is located at the corner of King William Street and North Terrace.

Across from Parliament House, we saw the first statue. It is the South African War Memorial, also known as Boer War Memorial. This is a memorial to the soldiers who fell during the Boer War between 1899 and1902. Standing in front of Adelaide's Government House, it is considered one of the city’s most important statues.

The next statue was of Dame Roma Mitchell, the first female Supreme Court Judge of the Commonwealth. In 1991, she also became the first woman appointed as the Governor of South Australia. 

Still in front of Government House is Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The Venus statue which is made from marble was the first statue in the Adelaide of city.   

A few meters from Venus, there is a section named Prince Henry Garden, where we found some portrait busts. 

Lord Florey, who was jointly awarded the Nobel prize in 1945 for his great contribution to the development of penicillin as a systemic antibacterial agent.
Sir Mellis Napier, a Lieutenant-Governor of South Australia from 1942-1973. The portrait erected in 1970 is a tribute to his great public service.
Sir Mark Oliphant, one of Australia's great scientists, a man with a brilliant mind. Yet many remember him for participating in something he would prefer to forget, the creation of the atom bomb.

Mary Lee, a secretary and leader of Woman's Suffrage League of South Australia.  She was very interested in education and further education for girls, she fought for better conditions for women and women's right to vote and stand for Parliament. 

The next one was of Matthew Flinders, navigator, hydrographer and scientist. Flinders was to first man to circumnavigate Australia and who suggested the name of Australia. He proved that Australia was not a series of islands, but one island. His charts were so accurate, that they were used for many years after his death.

The National War Memorial is a monument for commemorating those who served in the First World War. On bronzes line the walls of an inner shrine were listed the names of all South Australians who died during the Great War. Memorial services are held at the site throughout the year, with major services on both Anzac Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November). In front of the monument we took our class picture.

Unveiled on 15 July 1920, the King Edward VII Memorial is positioned on the north side of North Terrace, in front of the Institute Building and State Library of South Australia owned by the Adelaide City Council. He was the King of United Kingdom and the Commonwealth from 1901 to 1910. 

In front of the State Library, stands the statue of Robert Burns, a national poet of Scotland. The marble statue was presented by Caledonian Society in 1894. 2011 marks the 252nd anniversary of the Robeth Burn's birth.

In front of the University of Adelaide there are the monuments of Sir Walter Watson Hughes, one of the founders of the University and it's first donor and Sir Samuel James Way, an outstanding citizen who proved was a great judge and gave outstanding service to South Australia during almost 40 years as Chief Justice. He became a Lieutenant-Governor of South Australia in January 1891.

Last but not least was the statue of Sir Douglas Mawson, Australia's most famous Antarctic explorer. His story reveals a man who gave his energy and almost his life to exploring and studying the coldest place on earth.

From here went back to Tafe-Rundle Mall. On the way back we  looked for a cafĂ© to sit and had a cup of coffee. Everybody was happy and had a wonderful day out.