Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Photo: Memorial Corona


Click to view full sized.
There is something quite sobering about the number of memorials along Greek highways and roads that mark the passing of speeding motorists or other road users. Whether on isolated Greek islands, quiet suburban streets or along major traffic corridors, the memorials tend to be large, elaborate, and permanent.

The memorials often contain images of the deceased, several personal mementos, an eternal flame, and either plastic, fresh, or dried flowers.

I have never encountered anyone tending these memorials but the small, oil fed candle these replica church memorials invariably contain, rarely, if ever go out.

My attention was immediately drawn to this roadside memorial in Athens when I noticed the bottle of Corona placed on the structures roof. Was it put there by a family member? A friend of the deceased, perhaps?

I can only hope that alcohol did not play a part in the accident that caused the death of the person being remembered here. However, given the Greek tendency to laugh in the face of Haros (the ferryman who transports the souls of the dead across the river Styx), it wouldn’t surprise me if an excess of drink was the cause of the loss being marked here.

Captain Cook Chased a Chook

Image: Portrait of Cpt. James Cook by Nathaniel Dance, courtesy of Wikipedia…

Captain Cook chased a chook all around Australia,
He lost his pants in the middle of France and found them in Tasmania.
~ Australian childhood/schoolyard rhyme

If Captain Cook did indeed chase a chook (a chicken in Aussie vernacular), all around Australia, historians have ignored the event completely. As for losing his pants in the middle of France, and the subsequent discovery of them in Tasmania…  well, the less said the better.

I mention this today, because it was on this day, two hundred forty-one years ago (April 29, 1770), that the erstwhile English explorer Captain James Cook sailed into Botany Bay on the Endeavour. The bay derives its name from the unique plant specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander who sailed with Cook.

This first landing on Australian soil by the English explorer led to his claiming Australia for the English Crown, although the first English settlement at Sydney Cove, in what is now The Rocks district, was to come 18 years later.

Captain Cook's landing place is now part of Botany Bay National Park which is not only a historical site but a place for seaside picnics and many leisure activities as well.

A modern replica of Cook's Endeavour is usually docked at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Sydney's Darling Harbour.
Image: Endeavour replica in Cooktown Harbour courtesy of Wikipedia…

More Information


Portrait of Cpt. James Cook by Nathaniel Dance, c1775, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Image courtesy of Wikipedia…

-o0o-

Here are a selection of books about Captain James Cook you may be interested in reading. All are available directly from Amazon.Com



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Charles Sturt [1795 – 1869]

Image courtesy of Wikipedia…

Raise a glass today to Charles Sturt (28 April, 1795 – 16 June 1869).

Sturt was born in India, and among his many titles were surveyor-general, colonial secretary, soldier, convict administrator, and public servant. Charles Sturt also became a renowned Australian explorer.

In December 1826, he embarked on the Mariner with a detachment of his regiment in charge of convicts bound for New South Wales, where they duly arrived at Sydney in May 1827. While in Sydney, Sturt became caught up in the age of exploration, and soon became obsessed with the idea of discovering the inland sea that many people thought filled central Australia.

Despite his lack of experience and qualifications as an explorer, in November 1828, Sturt received approval to proceed with his proposal to trace the course of the Macquarie River.

Thus, Sturt began a long and illustrious career as an explorer of some of Australia’s vast inland waterways that saw him and his colleagues trace the course of the Macquarie and Bogan rivers, give names to the Darling River (after then Governor of New South Wales, Ralph Darling), and the Murray River (in honour of Sir George Murray, secretary of state for the colonies). Sturt also gave name to Lake Alexandrina at the mouth of the Murray (after Princess Alexandrina, who eventually ascended the throne and took the name Queen Victoria).

More Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition..
Wikipedia…

Image of Charles Sturt by John Michael Crossland, courtesy of Wikipedia…

Things You Discover Walking #2

Roy 'Mo' Rene (1891-1954)

Image: Roy ‘Mo’ Rene statue

It just goes to show how rarely I walk down Adelaide’s Hindley Street. The statue of Roy ‘Mo’ Rene had been in place for at least four months in 2010 before my round the world trip, but if I had been on Hindley Street during those four months, I was completely oblivious to this wonderful statue.
Created by the South Australian artist, Robert Hannaford, to commemorate one of Australia’s most famous funnymen, the statue stands on the corner of Hindley and Leigh Streets.

The plaque set into the pavement at the foot of the statue states: “One of Australia's greatest and most loved comedians, Roy Rene was born Harry van der Sluys (or Sluice) in Hindley Street, Adelaide.

The son of a Dutch cigar merchant, and one of seven children, he loved to perform from a young age. His first professional job was at the Adelaide markets and his stage debut was as a singer at the Theatre Royal in Hindley Street.

The young Roy moved to Melbourne with his family to continue his acting career. He performed around Australia and New Zealand, eventually moving to Sydney where he joined the vaudeville circuit. Roy Rene became famous for his superb timing and funny gestures and for his distinctive make-up - a painted white face and black beard.
Later, by then known as 'Mo', he teamed with comedian Nat (‘Stiffy’) Phillips and the duo became the renowned 'Stiffy and Mo' comedy act. In the 1940s he turned to radio and his show McCackle Mansion was a huge success.

Some of 'Mo's' favourite catchphrases are still part of Australian vernacular. For example: "Strike me lucky," "Fair suck of the sav," "Don't come the raw prawn with me," and "You beaut!"

The Australian entertainment industry's annual 'Mo Award' for excellence in live performance is named after him.

Commissioned by the Adelaide City Council, the sculpture was created by Robert Hannaford, and installed in Hindley Street in February 2010.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Learn Languages For Free

Image source: www.mables.com

Surfing the Internet recently, I discovered the website of the US Foreign Service Institute (FSI).
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the United States Federal Government's primary training institution for employees of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. [Source: Wikipedia…]

The Foreign Services Language Courses site bills itself as “…the home for language courses developed by the Foreign Service Institute.”

The amazing thing about this site is that over 40 languages are represented here, with hours and hours of free, downloadable lessons on offer to anyone who has always wanted to learn a language other than their native tongue.
“These courses were developed by the United States government and are in the public domain.
“This site is dedicated to making these language courses freely available in an electronic format. This site is not affiliated in any way with any government entity; it is an independent, non-profit effort to foster the learning of worldwide languages. Courses here are made available through the private efforts of individuals who are donating their time and resources to provide quality materials for language learning.” [Source: ForeignServices Language Courses website…]

Along with the most popular European languages (German, French, Spanish, and Italian), you will also find: Amharic, Arabic, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Cantonese, Chinese, Chinyanja, Czech, Finnish, Fula, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Igbo, Japanese, Kirundi, Kituba, Korean, Lao, Lingala, Luganda, Moré, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Shona, Sinhala, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Twi, Vietnamese, and Yoruba.

This site is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to ‘dip their toes in the water’, and learn the rudiments of a new language before they travel to the country or countries of their choice.

The fact that the lessons are available for free, makes it hard to pass by and ignore. You can at least download and try one or two lessons before deciding whether to continue alone, or go on to paid language classes – which give you the opportunity to actually talk to other students, and put your training into practise.

More InformationThe Foreign Services Language Courses…

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Photo: Swimming Prohibited

Image: Coney Island, New York City. Click image to enlarge.
The sign on the fence running along Coney Island’s famous boardwalk couldn’t be plainer. I don’t know if locals swim outside the hours stated on the notice. Nor do I know if lifeguards patrol the entire length of the beach in the area of the boardwalk. However, I do know the beach at Coney Island is officially closed between September and May each year, which for most Australians would be beyond belief.

Of course, it wouldn’t happen in Australia. The idea that swimming could be prohibited at a major suburban beach for whatever reason would invoke howls of protest amongst swimmers, surfers, jet skiers, boaties and others water enthusiasts.

Occasionally – and I do mean occasionally – a beach might be closed temporarily due to the dangers presented by roving sharks, large numbers of blue-ringed octopus, box jelly fish, or other such hazardous marine life.

Other than that, why would you stop people from enjoying an early morning swim?

More importantly, why would you stop folks heading to the beach after a long hot day at school, the office, or other place of work? In Australia, over summer, the beaches are well patronized in the evenings when the heat of the day has dissipated somewhat, and families have an opportunity to share some time together relaxing by the ocean or cooling off in the sea.

-o0o-

Free iPhone Apps from Chimani

Screen shot of Chimani Grand Canyon App
Download all Chimani national park apps free between April 16-24, 2011.

"Entrance to the national parks is free, and so too should our apps."

Chimani, is a leading developer of mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, and Android designed to help people explore some of America’s stunning national parks. Applications launched to date include those for Acadia National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Additional parks to be released in the spring include Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Zion National Park.

Early this week, Chimani, announced that all iPhone national park apps will be free during National Park Week, which runs from April 16-24. The Android versions of each national park app will be available for only $.99 cents. The Chimani national park apps normally sell for between $4.99-$9.99 each.

The Chimani suite of national park apps include Acadia National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park.

"Entrance to the national parks is free, and so too should our apps", says Chimani President, Kerry Gallivan. "Chimani develops apps for national parks because they are special – and we want to encourage as many people as possible to get out and enjoy them.”

Each of the five national park apps are an indispensable resource for anyone exploring some of the most visited national parks. Each delivers constantly updated content, including ranger led activities, free shuttle bus schedules and news alerts. Users can view sunset and sunrise times for the most memorable scenic overlooks, access tide schedules along the coast, review lodging options, plan hikes, and much, much more.

Each of the apps boasts a rich and impressive map interface that is custom-made, GPS enabled, and includes all hiking trails in the parks. Designed from the ground-up using the National Park Service geographic information system data, the maps are all pre-installed in the app and work without any cell or WiFi connection.

“When Google Maps stops working, Chimani maps begin.” says, Kerry Gallivan. “Most smart phone users who visit the national parks find their traditional navigation tools are useless because they depend on a cell or WiFi connection. The Chimani national park apps are designed to work completely offline.”

The national park apps also include an audio tour designed to work while visitors are driving, walking or taking the shuttle buses around the parks. All content is written by professional travel writers and include the most essential information, such as the location of every restroom. “The #1 most asked question in every national park is the location of the closest restroom”, says Kerry Gallivan. “Chimani apps give you just-in-time information, just in time!”

Each of the Chimani iPhone apps can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes App Store and the Android versions from the Android Marketplace (keyword: "chimani"). The iPhone apps will be free, and Android version only $.99 cents, for the entire National Park Week which runs from April 16-26. After that, the apps will return to the regular price of $4.99-$9.99.

Go get them while you can.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy New Year!


Image source: http://rtfitch.files.wordpress.com/
Three months into the Christian New Year, it is easy to forget that not all nations and their populations celebrate the New Year on the night of December 31st. Here are a couple of New Year celebrations taking place this month in Bangkok, Thailand and Kolkata, West Bengal.

Bangkok
Songkran Festival, 13 April 2011 - 15 April 2011
The Songkran Festival takes place in Bangkok, Thailand. Songkran is a traditional festival celebrating the Thai New Year with street parties, water fights and feasting.
Website: http://www.thailandlife.com/songkran-festival/index.php

Kolkata
Nabobarsho Festival, 14 April 2011
The Nabobarsho Festival takes place in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The festival is a celebration of the Bengali New Year featuring decorations, street events and fireworks.
Website: http://www.kolkata.org.uk/festivals/nabobarsho.html

Carless and Careless?

Just before I left Adelaide last June (2010) I got rid of my old Toyota Camry wagon with the vague notion that I wouldn’t replace it on my return. Now that I’m back and using public transport for my day to day transportation needs, I’m not so sure about the wisdom of that decision – but I am determined to persist for as long as practicable.

I’ve even bought myself a bicycle!

Hey, I used to ride a bike until I was 40 or so, but gave up when I took to a job that required me to have a car and use it. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse in terms of my health and fitness needs. At forty, men’s waistlines begin to expand as a result of the dreaded ‘middle-aged spread’ and I was no exception. Now that I’ve reached my 60s I am even more conscious of my weight and know that if I don’t work hard at trimming down now, it will be almost impossible as I get older.

So it’s now or never.

The advantages of not owning a car include
  • reducing my carbon footprint
  • reducing my expenses – I figure I’m saving at least $200* a week when I take into account the price of fuel (currently around $1.50/litre), insurance, registration, parking fees, maintenance, wear and tear, etc)
  • reducing my waistline as a result of walking and riding my bike
  • improving my overall health, wellbeing and fitness levels
  • umm, help me out here! There must be more advantages than these…
There are of course disadvantages

  • the time it takes to get from point A to point B is exponentially longer
  • some destinations are not on transport routes
  • having to rely on family members/friends for some of my transport needs
  • getting caught out in bad weather
  • problems associated with moving large (and small) objects
  • the inconvenience – no spur of the moment decisions to go somewhere
  • and don’t even mention dating!
While it may seem that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, I will persist. Besides, now that I am officially a Senior, I can ride public transport around Adelaide for free between the hours of 9.00AM and 3.00PM, Monday to Friday, and for free all day on weekends and public holidays, which helps save me even more. I can also use my Seniors Card to travel cheaply in other Australian states as well.

However, it is taking some adjusting on my part.

But why?

I recently returned from eight months of worldwide travel which required me to use public transport, or my legs for the bulk of that time, and I didn’t think twice about the inconvenience or otherwise of not having my own vehicle. I did hire a car for a couple of days to get me from Flagstaff, Arizona to Grand Canyon and back to Flagstaff, and I also had the use of a vehicle during my stay on the Greek island of Ikaria. Other than that I was happy to use public transport in America, France, Greece and Cambodia.

So why not now? Obviously, I can, and will, make use of taxis and car hire companies when necessary, so all in all it promises to be an interesting experience which I will report back on here from time to time.

*Western Australia's RAC (Royal Automobile Club) has PDFs outlining running costs across ten categories which suggests that $200/week for a medium sized vehicle is probably conservative.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Solar Mallee Trees

The things you discover walking...
Image: Solar Mallee Trees, 2005. Artist: Anthony Materne.
So there I was, visiting the Adelaide Festival Centre (see my entry AdelaideFestival Centre) for the first time in years. As I wandered across the complex I came across Anthony Materne’s Solar Mallee Trees on the plaza between the Festival Theatre and the Dunstan Playhouse.

To my surprise, a plaque near the installation bore the date 2005, indicating the year the work was created and installed on the plaza. I was surprised, I suppose because it just showed how rarely I paid a visit to my home town’s principle arts centre.
Image: Solar Mallee Trees on the Festival Theatre plaza
Created in steel, aluminium, and fibreglass, and incorporating sound and lighting elements, Solar Mallee Trees is an “…interpretive sculpture developed to creatively exhibit solar power technology through its form, movement-activated messages, lighting display at night, and digital power generation display. The form is a contemporary interpretation of the indigenous Adelaide plains mallee tree.”

There is a lot of public art around Adelaide, and as I discover it for myself, I will present the best of it here.

Notes:
Name: Solar Mallee Trees, 2005
Artist: Anthony Materne
Location: Adelaide Festival Centre Plaza
View: All year round
Entry: Free

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adelaide Festival Centre

Image courtesy of Wikipedia…
Yesterday, I decided to practice what I preach by becoming a tourist in my own town, so utilising public transport, I headed into the city just after midday and alighted in front of the Adelaide Festival Centre, located alongside the River Torrens.

The Adelaide Festival Centre was built in three stages between April 1970 and 1980. The main building, the Festival Theatre, was completed in 1973, and is known for the excellent quality of its acoustics. 

I can’t remember the last time I visited the Centre, but it has been years. During the day there is not a lot to see or do – unless you are attending a matinee session of a major theatre production, or some other public event. However, I wandered into the main building and after checking out some of the art work: the Fred Williams series, River Murray Scenes, and John Dowie busts of Sir Robert Helpmann and John Bishop, I stopped to examine the current Festival Theatre Foyer exhibition The Art in Performing Arts.

The exhibition highlights the work of some of South Australia’s best known arts luminaries including ballet dancer/choreographer Sir Robert Helpmann, theatre/arts critic Peter Goers, actor/director Keith Michell and numerous other local thespians and artists.

There are multiple theatres within the Adelaide Festival Centre which provide seating for a total of 5000 people. Apart from the Festival Theatre, the complex also houses the Dunstan Playhouse (named after Don Dunstan a former State Premier), the Space Theatre and an outdoor amphitheatre.

Before I left I filled up my tote bag with various program guides and brochures including those of the State Theatre Company and the State Opera as well as the program for the upcoming Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Later I stopped by the information center in Rundle Mall and picked up more brochures. These have been produced by the Adelaide City Council, and outline numerous cultural and historic walks around the city and North Adelaide.

I am becoming increasingly excited by the prospect of become a tourist in my own town, and I am committed to going out at least once a week to discover some of Adelaide’s attractions, and look forward to writing about my adventures via the Compleat Traveller.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Photo: Batman Woz Here

Click on image to view full size.
On August 8, 2010 I caught a bus from New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street to Woodstock.

Yes, that Woodstock.

I travelled there to see Pete Seeger (see Pete Seeger –Living Legend), arguably one of the greatest living folk artists alive who was performing at the Bearsville Theater.

The two mile walk to the theater along Tinker Street led me past two story weatherboard homes, small bed and breakfast accommodations, cafés, abandoned houses, and through the outskirts of Woodstock past rolling farmland and several apple orchards (a roadside monument at the corner of De Vall Road and Tinker Street states: On the ridge 400 feet south, originated about 1800 the Jonathan Apple, an important commercial variety, long known locally as the “Rickey”, or “Philip Rick”apple from the discoverer.”).

It was while I was walking along the roadside verge that I discover an abandoned Batman mask lying in the grass. It seemed such an incongruous sight, lying there in this quiet rural hamlet, far from Gotham City.

Had some child been walking or riding their bicycle along Tinker Street and lost or thrown the mask away? Had it fallen from a moving vehicle, or been carried by the wind from a nearby front yard, and been deposited here? I will never know. And for all I know, it lies there still, being slowly broken down by the combined forces of heat, snow, wind and rain.

The Fear Factor


Nothing succeeds like failure!
Fear is a powerful motivator of behaviour
that seldom takes us where we want to go.
~ Gordon Livingston, MD

I’ve just finished reading a couple of books by GordonLivingston, MD, a psychotherapist with a wonderful take on life that I find refreshing, and encouraging. The books are Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart and his follow up to that book, And Never Stop Dancing.

Each book consists of thirty short chapters bearing headings such as The most secure prisons are those we construct for ourselves, We are afraid of the wrong things, Not all who wander are lost, and We are defined by what we fear. There are also chapter headings like Marriage ruins a lot of good relationships and my favourite, The primary difference between intelligence and stupidity is that there are limits to intelligence.

Clearly, Gordon is a doctor with a sense of humour!

Many of the excellent essays in the books have got me thinking about the issue of fear, and how it is that far too many people let their fears rule their lives. Often these fears are not grounded in reality, but are dominated and fed by endless bad news stories in print media, on television, and now across the Internet.

With regards to travel, many people prefer to stay close to home (literally), and rarely, if ever, venture further than the edge of town. The idea of heading off on an extended holiday terrifies some people. Others that do travel for long (or short) periods, are not happy unless every stop along the way has been booked and confirmed, and arrival and departure times are mapped and plotted with military precision. Not that there’s anything wrong with this. At least these people are travelling.

There is a huge leap of faith involved in travel. Each journey we make allows us to confront our fears; gives us many chances to test our planning, organisational and negotiating skills; provides numerous opportunities to meet and strike up conversations with complete strangers – often using the barest knowledge of the local language, and each journey also challenges us to face up to our own particular prejudices (and fears).

Since 2008 I have made two extended journeys – one of seven months, and the other of eight months duration. I can honestly say that I never once faced a threat to my welfare or safety during those trips. Any ‘threats’ I did face were entirely of my own imagining, and were always a result of my ignorance and prejudices.

Wherever I have travelled, from the richest countries (the USA, France, and Britain, to one of the poorest (Cambodia), I have been lucky enough to encounter people who were friendly, welcoming, and more than happy to see me visiting their city, village or country. They were not out to rip me off, rob me (or worse), or treat me with anything but care and respect. The one exception on my 2008 trip was the team of pickpockets I encountered in Athens (see Three Man Crush), and the scammers and con artists I encountered around some of the major tourist attractions in Paris (see One Ring to Scam Us All), but my own gullibility is at fault here, and although I was conned out of a few Euros in Paris, I was never under threat of personal injury or harm.

When we are young we are more inclined to take chances and risks, but as we grow older we tend to be more careful and conservative with our actions and risk taking behaviour. As I approach my senior years, I too have become more cautious and careful, and this is wise and prudent. However, age has not stopped me from constantly pushing myself to be more adventurous with my travels and to stay ‘young’ in other ways.

For example, my Greyhound Bus trip from New York City to New Orleans last year (my six part report begins here…), or my month in Cambodia this past March (of which I still have much to write), both challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone in terms of organization, patience, stamina, methods of travel, and in many other ways.

The next time I head overseas for an extended journey I will almost certainly be in my 63rd year. But this is still quite young in many respects. While travelling in Cambodia I met a 77 year old German man travelling alone, and thought, “Why not? More importantly I thought, “Why not me?”

I also met an elderly couple from Sri Lanka travelling in the company of their much younger nephew. We met as they were descending (and I was ascending), a steep, twisting, root and boulder covered dirt path that led to a series of stone carvings known as Kbal Spean. Although the climb was only some 1500 metres in length, under the heat and humidity of the noon day sun, it wasn’t long before I and everyone else I encountered, were covered with sweat and struggling.

As I recall, the elderly man was 82 years of age, and his wife not much younger. Again I thought, “If they can do it, why can’t I?”

Why not, indeed. As long as I am in reasonably good health, there is no logical reason that I can’t still be travelling when I am 77 or even 82 years of age. The only thing stopping me is fear and the eternal – or should that be, infernal  “What if?”

As long as I can continue to overcome those fears and doubts, I’m sure I will be travelling for a long time yet.


Image source: http://www.effective-time-management-strategies.com/

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time Lapse New York City

Brooklyn Bridge at Night. Image: James Ogle.
Today it is my pleasure to bring you a time lapse film by James Ogle which uses hundreds of New York City images woven together to create a lovely homage to the "city that never sleeps". I don't know how long it took James to put the film together or how many images were used, but it flows together beautifully, and on viewing it, I immediately wished I was back in New York again, seeing this amazing city with my own eyes.

Most of the iconic buildings and locations you associate with New York are here: the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Staten Island Ferries, and of course the Statue of Liberty among many others.

new york city. from James Ogle on Vimeo.

TIP: Click on the cluster of four arrows (located between the letters HD and the word VIMEO) to enlarge the video to full screen view for optimum viewing pleasure.
Music - "First Breath After Coma" - Explosions in the Sky

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

Art Gallery of South Australia
Yesterday’s post [April In Adelaide] listing some of the major events taking place in and near Adelaide during April, may seem like a strange choice for a blog which has readers from all over the world. However, one of the things I am determined to do, now that I am back in Australia, is to be a tourist in my own home town.

Having recently returned from an eight month journey that took in New York City, New Orleans, Paris, Phnom Penh and other exotic locations, it would be a mistake on my part to think that dear Adelaide with its million or so people, has nothing of interest to offer a well travelled wanderer. Of course, that is simply nonsense, so over the course of my current stay here, I am going to make sure that Adelaide features a lot more prominently in this blog.

The month of March in Adelaide is festival month, and sadly I missed out on several major events I would normally try and attend if I were here. Three in particular have a long history and huge followings. These are the Adelaide Fringe, the Big Pond Adelaide Film Festival, and WOMADelaide. Add to these the Clipsal 500 Super 8 car race, the Come Out Festival and other events, and it is clear that for its size and location, Adelaide packs quite a lot of partying into its relatively small size.

April has its own rewards, but major events are not the only thing capturing the eyes and the attention of Adelaideans. Every day, somewhere across the city, smaller, more intimate events take place in museums, galleries, wineries, in small Adelaide hills towns, and elsewhere. I plan to build visits to some of these locations into my life here. For example, both the South Australian Museum and the South Australian Art Gallery offer free tours and talks throughout the year, and I will make sure I take the time to participate in some of these, and write about the experience here.

While it is good to dream and plan for your own overseas travels, I urge you to be a tourist in your own town from time to time. You will almost certainly be surprised and delighted by some of the things you discover there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April In Adelaide

April is shaping as another good month for high profile events in South Australia, following on from the hugely successful March calendar.

April’s exciting events kicked off last weekend with the spectacle and excitement of the International Rugby Sevens at Adelaide Oval. Held over two days, the Adelaide International Rugby Sevens involved 16 international teams competing for points that go towards the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The event was just the first in a packed month of world class events encompassing sport, culture, fine food and wine.

The new South Australian Aquatic Centre at Marion will host its first official event this month – the 2011 Australian Age Championships. More than 1300 swimmers between the ages of 12 to 18 are expected to take part in the championships, to be held from 18 to 23 April.

Regional South Australia is also hosting a strong events line-up this month. The Bundaleer Festival, held from 8 to 10 April in the beautiful Bundaleer Forest near Jamestown, will feature renowned Australian artists including tenor David Hobson, treasured jazz musician James Morrison and highly acclaimed soprano Silvie Paladino.

Other regional events in April include the Tastes of the Outback festival in the Flinders Ranges and Outback from 1-10 April and the Oakbank Racing Carnival in the Adelaide Hills on 23 and 25 April.

To finish the month in style, the Barossa Vintage Festival, celebrating the wine, food and culture of the Barossa, will take place from 23 April to 1 May. For more information, go to www.events.southaustralia.com

APRIL’S MAJOR EVENTS

1-10 April, Flinders Ranges, Outback
Showcasing the best of the outback with a diverse program of concerts, gourmet food events and activities including kayaking and opal mining.

8-10 April, Jamestown
An autumn weekend of nationally acclaimed artists and fringe performers, presented in the natural beauty of the Bundaleer Forest.

18-23 April, Adelaide
Australia’s up and coming swimming stars will compete in a six-day program at the newly built state-of-the-art aquatic centre at Marion.

23 and 25 April, Adelaide Hills
Located in the picturesque town of Oakbank, this is a festival for all ages.

23 April-1 May, Barossa
Celebrating the best of the Barossa, with heritage events, food and wine, auctions, town days, parades, markets, awards and the Festival Ball.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Home Is The Traveller

Victoria Square fountain, Adelaide

Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
~ Requiem, Robert Louis Stevenson

I don’t know why this couplet from the poem, Requiem by the poet Robert Louis Stevenson came to mind today as I made the move into an older sisters vacant apartment, but it seemed somehow appropriate. After living out of a suitcase for nine months, this solo traveller is finally back in Adelaide again and looking forward to exploring my home town in greater depth. Needless to say, it is great to be able to hang my shirts up again, keep my jocks and socks out of sight in the bedroom, and nice to display my books for easy and convenient access.

Most importantly though, it will be lovely to start blogging again on a regular basis. I set myself several goals and objectives at the start of the year, with regard to my blogging and writing, and all of them have been on hold since mid-January when my Sony laptop stopped working.

In particular I want to forge links with other bloggers and travel sites, which includes inviting guest posts from writers I hold in high regard, and in return contributing to travel sites I also find useful and informative – and most of all, trustworthy. To that end I have already started contributing guest posts to the artist-at-large website, and I have also agreed to contribute to the CheapOair website.

I have recently created a Twitter profile for the Compleat Traveller, which I hope readers will join, and participate in. I’m still getting my head around Twitter, trying to work out how it can work for the Compleat Traveller, and more importantly, how my participation on this social networking site can work for you, my readers. Like the links I am building with other websites, my intention with my Twitter profile is to form networking links with high value travel related companies and independent travellers, who have something of real value to contribute to readers of this blog.

So there you have it folks. Three months into the new year, I am only now beginning to get back to work, but I hope to make up for lost time with the help of my new laptop, and a compulsive back up plan.

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