Monday, May 13, 2013

Glenelg -- on Labour Day, 2011

Somewhere in the Mediterranean, where the celebrities bask? Nope! Glenelg Marina --
that's Glenelg, on the metropolitan beach ... South Australia.

Since it was Labour Day (note Aussie spelling) we decided we'd park on the Patawalonga River and walk...
parking in and around Glenelg was always tight. Lately, it's a joke, especially on any holiday. 

The kilometer or so walk from the Patawalonga takes you past the Glenelg Marina ... the yacht and boat anchorage
serving the very, very upmarket apartment blocks situated between the river and the beach.

Life imitates art. A Pacific Black duck sails across the marina, proving that boats are not the only things
on the water on this bright, hot Labour Day. 

Right beside the marina itself, the million-dollar mansions have private docks. Nice!

The square rigger there ... is actually a replica of HMS Buffalo, and it's a restaurant!

Around on the landward side of the Buffalo ... welcome aboard to fine dining. But --

-- take a moment and look up. This is a actually very good replica of the vessel, rigging and all.

The walk around to Moseley Square, with its cafes, restaurants, and the tram terminal, takes you
right by millionaire country. Shades of Monte Carlo!

How the other half live! These are not hotels, they're apartment blocks, and the cheapest apartment
here is about a million and a half. Bucks, that is.

Glenelg Marina: Imagine having this view from your balcony, over coffee and a croissant for brekkie.

Follow the path around ... you can't miss it, it's marked out with blood-red geraniums!

Look to your right, see the massive whale fluke sculpture, every inch as big as it looks... 

Halfway along the path, at mid-moorings. And yes, the geraniums are in the foreground now...

On the other side of the water: the Marina Pier, lined with exclusive stores, cafes, and a mall.

Right about now, you're wondering how these James Bond-ish boats get out of the marina...
Here's how: the Patawalonga lock gates, and, beyond them...

The marked channel leading right to the open water. That's the Gulf St. Vincent, which provides the
western edge of the city of Adelaide, capital of South Australia.

Look the other way from the Marina Pier, and you catch sight of the ferris wheel
at the amusement park on the foreshore itself. We're going in that direction.

Dogleg through an access path, and shazam! You're right there on the beach, hunting for shade...

Adelaide is bordered for mile after mile by white-gold beaches. Thing is, if this were anywhere in Europe,
you'd be elbowing for space. Here, the beach is wide open ... we like!

Walking away from millionaire land, headed for Moseley Square: catch a glimpse, between Norfolk Island pine trees,
of the clock tower of the historic Glenelg Town Hall, dwarfed by the Stamford Hotel.

And -- get your bearings here -- the "balloon ride" at the park is slowing, slowly turning, away on your left... you stroll past the "wet fun fair," making your way toward...

Glenelg Jetty, at the end of Jetty Road, which feeds right into Moseley Square. 

The landward end of the Glenelg Jetty (extreme right), and the lawns bordering Moseley Square. Walk, around...

Moseley Square, viewed from the west. The jetty is right behind you.

And on the south side of Moseley Square, here's the tram pulling in to the last stop on the line (in other words,
if it doesn't stop here, it'll be in the water. Right.)

A tiny bit of the old Glenelg survives. Here's a clear shot of the Town Hall, right there on the lawns --
today, it's a local cultural museum, housing a potted history of South Australia.

The view looking south from the landward end of Glenelg Jetty. Miles and miles of white beach and green sea.

At least take the opportunity to wiggle your toes in the sand. Turn around, see Moseley Square from the beach...

The monument, celebrating the proclamation of the state, with the flags of Australia and
Aboriginal Australia flying to north and south of it, and the model of HMS Buffalo on top...

No way to get close enough to it to photograph the whole thing, but it reads,
"Here at Holdfast Bay landed the pioneer settlers and Governor Hindmarsh
announced the establishment of the state of South Australia."

The balloon ride is starting to look tempting. Like the ice cream...

Stretching away from Moseley Square, headed north and paralleling the beach, is the Colley Reserve.

Colonies of silver gulls live and fish off every part of the metropolitan beaches...

...and, just so you know where in the world you are ...!

A Cathay Pacific jet departs Adelaide International Airport. The flight path is almost right overhead.
We're lucky enough not to be leaving.

We'd actually forgotten that the coming weekend was the three-day Labour Day holiday, and we'd planned a quick "get out of Dodge, have lunch and recharge the batteries." The plan had seemed so simple: we'd go for lunch in Glenelg and take a walk around the foreshore, the marina, out along the Patawalonga River, and so on ... which was, of course, dependent on being able to find parking in Glenelg itself --

On Labour Day? Suuuuure. Easy, right? Uh huh.

So when the day came around we had several options. Go somewhere else. Stay home. Or, do the whole thing backwards ... park out along the Patawalonga River and walk over to Moseley Square. We decided to do it this way around, so it was all a question of plenty of 30 block and a couple of hats. Labour Day is the first Sunday in October, and this one was hot.  It can also be bucketing down and chilly, but 2011 turned on a scorcher.

We were headed for a Mexican restaurant, Gringos Mexican Cantina -- where the food is actually pretty darned good, which sounds odd because it's Mexican food in Australia, ends of the earth, and all. On Labour Day, you couldn't get a picture of the place for the traffic and crowd, so -- Ma Google to the rescue here. This image was captured from Google Maps. We also got just about the last table, and it was ... noisy. We didn't get the laid-back dining and relaxation we'd been hoping for (while forgetting what day it would be!) but it was a good experience nonetheless.

And there's one thing you can say about brilliant, sunny weather: the pictures will be superb. Nothing has been done to these images, aside from a routine crop and resize. That's what it looked like on the day.

Since we've arrived in Glenelg, on a tram stop ... now, we'll catch that tram at the other end of Jetty Road, Glenelg, and ride it to downtown, for a visit to the Natural History Museum.

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