Adelaide: A Little German, A Little Australian

Days 43 and 44, Grand World Voyage

Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 15 and 16, 2023; Adelaide, Australia.

Summertime, and the living is easy.

Easy is the word that comes to mind in describing our last few weeks of cruising. Australia, and New Zealand before it, are wonderful destinations. And they are easy on American tourists. The people speak English, but with delightful accents. Their signage is easy to follow. Volunteers in almost every port great the ship with maps and great advice for what to do and which way to go.

Even the money is pretty simple: Generally, subtract about a third from the price to get the equivalent in U.S. dollars. It’s close enough for me. And everyone accepts credit cards.

Perhaps best of all, it’s summer here when our weather at home is at its worst (at least to me, who thinks winter in Texas is too cold).

Today it was definitely summertime in Adelaide, with a high temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But as they say, it was a dry heat, and really not too bad if you were in the shade. Nothing a Texas girl can’t handle.

We “escaped” flat Adelaide for Mount Lofty in the foothills and perhaps slightly lower temperatures today. As we drove through Adelaide, our guide described the city’s colonial originals (settlers, not convicts) while saying little about indigenous people until asked. City planners circled the CBD (central business district) with parks, making it an island surrounded by green and a very appealing city.

Our destination was the German town of Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. We had almost three hours to explore the main street with its souvenir shops, coffee bars and numerous German restaurants.

We picked the German Arms Hotel for a substantial lunch of Jager schnitzel (Eloise and me) and fish and chips (Elaine) – of course, accompanied by appropriate beers and cider.

I was delighted to see a well-stocked art supply store down the street, but struck out in finding a bottle of waterproof ink for my fountain pen. I can always use fine Micron pens in various widths. But I do love using my De Atramentis Archive ink, or Noodler’s Black as a fallback. I generally use an inexpensive Sailor Fude pen with its bent nib, giving me a choice of line width depending on the angle. I brought a bottle of ink for use in filling the cartridge, but couldn’t tell how full (or not) it was. I probably have plenty to last the trip.

The day before, we arrived in Adelaide’s Outer Harbour in the early afternoon. The pier is far from the CBD, but conveniently there is a train station across from the cruise terminal, and it takes about 40 minutes to get to the city center. There was such a rush of cruise ship passengers that the station agents just waved us through without paying. Little did we know that we would need to buy the same all-day pass for the return trip.

A cruising friend from Anchorage joined Elaine and me for the afternoon in town, mainly wandering the upscale mall street. We stocked up on the necessary Aussie treats (recommended by Canberra residents Ian and Megan), including ginger nuts (really good ginger snaps) and ANZAC biscuits (haven’t tried yet). Ian said to buy the biscuits, or cookies as we call them in the states, in Adelaide so we can restock in Perth if we love them. I know, it seems silly to bring food on the ship when they serve us as much and as often as we want. But grocery stores are such interesting places to explore.

The day before we arrived in Adelaide was Valentine’s Day, and the Zuiderdam celebrated in style. It started with a delivery of a long-stemmed rose and some high-end chocolate candies to our cabins.

It was the second of five formal nights, and red seemed to be the color of the day for many. After dinner, waiters passed chocolate bites throughout the public areas, and partying continued in most venues. The captain and senior officers were among those dancing the night away.