Sometimes you work so many overtime, that your boss suddenly feels, hey I think you work hard enough, and you deserve a day off.
I had one of that day off. And I went to Adelaide. This is an impulsive decision by Mr R.
He said to me ” I will bring you to see the panda”.
I have always been wanting to go Adelaide. And I always jokingly said the reason because this city has the panda. I know 3-day trip is not enough for a holiday. But we need to enjoy every moment as hard as we can right?
The problem with those short trips is you always need to waste one day to settle into a new city. Because this is an impulsive trip, I didn’t have much planning, except I know that I want to go Barossa Valley and go Zoo to see the panda couple (the only panda couple in Australia).
But on the other hand, going to a new city is about the unique experience, the food, the bar, the architecture. So in this sense, it was a very relaxing afternoon to walk along the river and the beautiful city centre.
I will focus on downtown Adelaide on this part and the Barossa valley trip on the next article.
We took Qantas this time, and lucky enough to upgraded to business class (my first experience). I have to say, the service is very good (not the food though)…
The downtown Adelaide
In some sense, the city of Adelaide gave me similar Melbourne feeling. It has a lot of lovely sandstone building, and the road is well designed.
The night is pretty with all the lights. I also enjoyed the walk along the river and the Adelaide Uni. It is a really green city.
I picked Pullman as my hotel, mainly because Pullman is part of the Accor group, and I have the Accor plus membership.
It has a comfortable bed, a central location overview part of the city. One small issue I found was the hotel swimming pool. It is more like a playground, with full of teenager screaming and jumping into the water (which is super annoying).
Dinner – Red October
We picked a bar according to the Hotel dining magazine – The red October. It is a book name that I was crazy about it when I was a teenager. And for those people who read that book, you would know this bar is a Russian style bar.
A Russian style bar is a arguably attractive concept. The Red October is nested in one of those sandstone buildings.
Food is surprisingly good. We didn’t try but saw the Russian doll style of cocktail, which looks very impressive. Will definitely order one next time.
Botanic Garden and the Zoo
We spent almost a day in the Garden and the Zoo, which both located at walking distance from Pullman.
The Botanic garden is a perfect place for a morning run or late afternoon walk. The garden also divided into couple of sub-sections, and it is ideal for garden lovers.
One highlight for me is the rose garden. As a rose lover, I was excited to see some of the famous rose types, also learnt about how to trim those roses.
The Zoo is just right next to the Botanic Garden. I have been wanted to go this Zoo for quite a while because this is the only Zoo that has pandas.
I know it is silly because I am from China, the country Pandas originated from. But it is always exciting to see those cuties in different countries.
On the day we visited Zoo, Adelaide zoo has this big open day for politicians to debate whether the Zoo should renew the lease of pandas or cutting the cost of the panda lease.
In my view, sometimes people (like me) come to the Zoo just for the panda, and it can generate significant economic benefit if the Zoo can use it creatively (have a look at Ueno Zoo in Japan. They even have a panda cafe outside the Zoo!). But anyway, Australia might return its only pandas back to China soon so this is definitely another reason why I came!
The Zoo ticket is about $37/person. Apart from the Panda area, the Zoo was relatively empty even during the weekend. The size of the Zoo is slightly smaller than our Sydney Taronga Zoo, but it offers a lot of interactive sessions that I enjoyed. Not to mention those knowledgable and super informative volunteers everywhere.
For example, the Zoo has tiger feeding sessions. We got this information from one of the volunteers in the Zoo, and she told us that there are three tigers in the Zoo, but only one tiger will show up for the feeding session because tigers are care of their territory.
Also for the pandas, we only saw one panda (the male one) and was wonder where is the other one. One of the volunteers saw our confusing face and explained to us the interesting fact about female panda’s fake pregnancy situation. Therefore the female panda prefers to hide until the fake pregnancy period ended.
The Zoo also has area for kids and big kids (like meeee) to interact with smaller animals, like goats, alpaca, wallaby and even quokka!
I went so many Zoo around the world, and more or less they are the same. You see all those standard animals, tiger, lion or monkeys, and some country-specific one, like Koala, panda or elephants. The good things about this Zoo are the education parts of it. The zoo volunteers also stopped kids running and screaming because it will interrupt the animal resting. I would say those Zoo volunteers really make this Zoo different from others, and it is the place I would recommend to the family with kids.
I wasn’t have enough time to go to the local food market, which apparently is the must-do experience. It is a quiet city compare to Sydney, but certainly has its own charactors. It is too rush to make any conclusion, and I will come back later for sure.