More chocolate and more

Our visit to the Melba chocolate factory yesterday was happenstance but Majella had booked a visit to Haigh’s Chocolates for this morning. You can’t have too much chocolate, can you?

Our visit to Haigh’s was booked for 10:00 am so over drinks last night we had settled on 9:30 am as departure time. That would allow those who wanted to sleep in and still get us the short distance to the tour in good time. The other scheduled activity was a tour of the Adelaide Oval at 2:00 pm. Between the tours we would be free to fill in time ourselves. Since the tours were on opposite sides of the CBD it would make sense to spend the intervening time there.

Other topics of discussion over drinks last night were the attractions of the beach and jetty at Glenelg and what Norma and Russell recalled of a television program from which they had heard that the best fish and chips in the world were to be had at Port Adelaide. There had been general support for the idea that we could go from the Oval to Glenelg and then to Port Adelaide for dinner before heading back to the apartments. That would make for a full and varied day around Adelaide.

DSC_8916I was awake early and headed out soon after 6:00 am for a walk with my camera. There was light on the eastern horizon when I stepped out in the cool (10ºC) morning air. I walked toward the city but stopped at the bridge over the Torrens River near the Festival Centre and wandered back via the area around the Adelaide Oval to check parking in the area. I was driver for the day and my plan was to drive the group from Haigh’s into the city, leave them there to do their thing, and drive on to park near the Oval. It would be easier to get parking there and the car would be positioned for after the tour. I was happy to walk back to town.

Having found the Oval parking lots and metered spaces on the street nearby I headed back to the apartment, arriving around sunrise, just before 7:00 am. After breakfast I went down to the van to see if I could get the details needed to register for the Toyota Link app and improve our navigation. I eventually found the details and registered but then found the app could not be used while the phone was connected to the van. After a little more exploration I found that none of that was necessary. The van has a functional GPS system which I was able to get working.

At 9:30 am we met at the van and, with navigation finally working as it should, found our way to Haigh’s Chocolates. We all enjoyed the visit with commentary about the history and operations sweetened with samples of chocolate. Majella could not recall if she had paid when she booked but she had not and the tour was free. That made it sweeter and most of us spent the equivalent of a tour cost on chocolate goodies before we left.

Although I knew that I wanted to drive north along King William Street, drop passengers near Rundle Mall, and drive on to park near the Adelaide Oval, I did not know the navigation system well enough to have it direct me. Luckily I was able to do it by dead reckoning, found a loading zone near Rundle Mall to drop my passengers (other than Majella who opted to travel on with me), and then found two vacant spots in the 10 hour parking zone on the street above the Oval so that I could nose in without issues. I fed the meter, left the ticket in the van, and we walked back toward the CBD via the Convention Centre area.

Majella had found that the Art Gallery of South Australia had a Colours of Impressionism exhibition from Musée d’Orsay and wanted to see that. We walked up North Terrace to the gallery and spent an hour or so enjoying the exhibition. Many of the works were by familiar artists but we had not seen those works previously though we were pleased to see images of places that we had visited in France last year. We exited through the regular exhibition which included several more confronting works that we did not enjoy.

We paused in Rundle Mall and shared a chicken and avocado sandwich before heading on to Adelaide Oval. We went via the pedestrian bridge from the Convention Centre across the Torrens and arrived to find the Mauchs and Bourkes already waiting. There was time for us to have coffee before Majella checked in for our tour and the Steins and Dingles arrived in good time for the tour.

DSC_8951Our tour was conducted by an elderly man who was very well-informed about the stadium facilities, history of the oval, and identities from cricket and football who had played there. The tour was scheduled to take about 90 minutes but extended to 2 hours. We went down to the dressing rooms, up to the media rooms at top of the stadium, in and out of restaurants and bars, and into the working area of the old scoreboard. Even for those of us who are not keen followers of any of the sports played there it was interesting. For the sports enthusiasts it seemed to be near to heaven.

After the tour was done we spent some time in the Bradman collection of memorabilia. I left before the others, walked back to the car, and drove back to collect them from the from of the stadium. That took 2 attempts since parking and loading zones were in short supply.

DSC_8964_Luminar2018-editOur drive to Glenelg was in moderately heavy traffic. I had managed to program the GPS for the suburb and it took us there but at the end we had to improvise. Luckily we found a parking space in a street not far from the end of the tram line and the jetty so it was just a short walk to the jetty where we enjoyed the sunset across the gulf.

Back at the van I pointed the GPS to Port Adelaide and we headed in that direction. Again the traffic was moderately heavy. Along the way Norma and Russell began to worry if they might be leading us astray. Their recollections were vague and they could not recall the specifics of the fish and chips story. It was not until we drove down the street into the centre of Port Adelaide and saw the Port Admiral Hotel that they remembered that was the place.

We parked in a nearby street, walked to the hotel, and asked about fish and chips. The dining area was booked out and it seemed a bit cool to sit in the beer garden. We sat at the bar to enjoy our dinner and drinks. On advice from the bar staff most couples shared a seafood basket which was cheaper and larger than the fish and chips but Majella and I opted to share the latter. The food was excellent so Norma and Russell were much relieved.

By 7:30 pm we were back at the apartments. After some brief discussion about plans for tomorrow we went our separate ways. Everybody seemed tired enough after a day of tours and, in most cases, higher than usual chocolate consumption.