Sunday, 25 October 2009

Eleni-fest: this week SA Proud

Topic of the week: 
being SA Proud.

Yes I know we have a slogan in South Australia saying SA Great and also Heaps Good. But this is more than about being great or good, it's about being proud.

Yes folks, my name is Eleni and I'm proud to be a South Australian. You know I've always wondered why people like to compare places as in one is better than another. We always get Adelaide isn't like Melbourne or Sydney. No, Melbourne is like Melbourne; Sydney is like Sydney. They are not even alike themselves. But why is that? Why dump on Adelaide?

Yes, we have an aging population; we're like a big country town (more laid back); and we don't have everything opened 24/7. But then again we don't have the population of the bigger cities. We are about 1.2 million and spread out. No we don't have a huge skyline and tall buildings, but so what.

On the SARA site today, there's some items where with the help of the SARA members, I have listed as things what we love about SA. After reading that list, tell me that SA and Adelaide are boring. I'm the first to admit I don't experience as much as I'd like from SA, but that's a combination of things (complacent, lack of energy etc)

I'm going to grab a few of my favourites to talk about here.

Rundle Mall 
Is a pedestrian-only open mall that spreads from Pultney Street to King William Street. That's a good hike. It is the main shopping area in the CBD. The mall is lined with shopping arcades, food courts, coffee shops, department stores, get the idea. 


I remember mum taking my brother & me on a bus every since we were to 'town'. It became a little ritual for us. I then studied in the city and then worked there and so Rundle Mall has been up until 3 and 1/2 years ago, a huge part of my week. 

There are sculptures and buskers (I love buskers who put their talent or not so much talent out on the line) and am supportive if I can.

no that is not a statue, it's a man pretending to be one and he is damn good at it!!

North Terrace
Has a lovely huge block where the State Library of South Australia, South Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the University of Adelaide, and the City East campus of the University of South Australia is housed. The architecture of these buildings (most of) are lovely. I used to sit up on the upper lawns of the uni as a student and vege out. Further west you go, you hit the hotels, Parliament house, the casino, which is near the Festival Centre. 

Our beaches

I love that I live so close to the beach (about 5-10 minutes by car to the closest beach). I find the sea calming. And love going for day trips to Silver Sands (about 1 hour or so away) where you can drive your car onto the beach for a fee. It is one of the loveliest beaches I've been to. 

Glenelg is a suburb synonymous with the beach. It has a shopping street (Jetty Road), lots of restaurants and cafes, and the Holdfast bay apartments that over look the marina and/or the sea. It's quite lovely if you like a more trendy neighbourhood. I like Henley Beach as it's got a lovely beach, lovely cafes and is family friendly. There are other lovely metropolitan beaches - Semaphore, Grange, Brighton... we are blessed to be near the sea.

Adelaide Hills
I must admit I don't get to the hills often but when I do I love it. It has such beautiful scenery and lovely towns, such as Hanhdorf. There's also Mount Lofty (where you can get a view of the city) and Cleland Wildlife Park. The Lobethal lights are popular at Christmas, where practically the whole town decorates their houses and businesses (Most Australians don't decorate their home extensively for Christmas - especially on the outside). I should make more of an effort but sometimes getting to the beach can be hard and that's only a hop, skip and a jump away.


Blue Lake
The Blue Lake is located in Mount Gambier to the state's south-east. Both the lake and the town of Mount Gambier is lovely. It's been awhile since I've been there (*waving to Petra*). Gorgeous picture isn't it.

The Flinders Ranges
The Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia, and is just over 430 kms in length. The changes of the light during the day make the ranges a spectacular place to view. Have even had a drive to Wilpena Pound, though I didn't get to camp out. Beautiful country isn't it. 

Wine Country
South Australian wine is known internationally around the world as one of the finest regions. Personally I've driven past the McLaren Vale vineyards, and only been to a winery in the Coonawarra. I have never been to the Barossa or Clare Valleys. My goodness. Then again, I'm not really a wine drinker. Though it would be nice to go just to soak up the atmosphere.


I didn't say Coober Pedy, because I have never been, but I have purchased Opals for presents and the beauty of range of them is beautiful. Coober Pedy is unique with many of its inhabitants living under ground due to the high temperatures.

The Adelaide Zoo
It's been about 5 years since I have gone to the zoo, but i do enjoy it every time I go. Though some animals just need bigger enclosures or did when I had last been. I'm thinking of the Condor in particular. At least there is also Monarto Zoo in the Adelaide Hills. I studied the Red Panda for a university project and it was just nice sitting listening to the sounds of the animals while I did this. 

no this is not the Red Panda, but an ordinary one. 

Port River Dolphins

It's been years since I have seen them in person from a spot off Pelican Point, but the Port River dolphins are in our hearts. The Port is bustling but that doesn't stop these beautiful animals from it.

The Glendi Greek Festival

This is a yearly celebration of Greek culture. This year it was moved from its traditional March date to October and being so busy with Eleni-fest, I didn't get to go. It has also moved location to the Showgrounds, rather than Ellis Park where it has been for years. Why do I go to the Glendi? Main reason - seriously - the food. There said it. Seriously yummy yiros's and loukoumathes (pastry balls fried up in oil with honey drizzled over and cinnamon on top). Seriously yummy stuff. Yes, I see a few people here and there and I listen to some music, but it's the food!! When I was a child I remember that my class was going to perform at the Glendi. I can't remember what it was, only that our special guest wasn't going to be able to make it (Patsy Biscoe, for the Adelaide folks) and I was so disappointed. 
                                           (sorry vegetarians)

Since I've talked about food with the Glendi, well it's only fitting I continue with food and drink that SA is proud of. 

OK, Balfours Frog Cakes are just something that I think every kid has had once (at least every child of my generation). Actually my parents both worked for Balfours for a stint and let me tell you our birthday parties were filled with goodies - frog cakes, lamingtons, kitchener buns (oh yeah), custard tarts, donuts, pies, pasties and sausage rolls of course. 

The original Beehive corner store of Haigh's Chocolates - love Haigh's. They have the most delicious chocolate, seriously. While the company has now branched into other states, it is an SA company.


SA has beautiful fresh produce (yay!) and we have a number of markets, the most well known one being the Central Markets in the city. It's an undercover market that is buzzing on the days it is open. 

Sorry vegetarians.. Bung Fritz is a pressed meat that you really can't get anywhere else. I don't know why it's so good but it is. A favourite is the butter, fritz and sauce sandwich. Yeah not the most healthiest but certainly tasty.

The favourites of the Iced Coffee range - The Farmer's Union Iced Coffee. Great taste but loaded with sugar. I used to have this when I was younger. Now I make my own. Not the same but...

 Originally made by Menz, Yo-Yo biscuits have been an SA favourite for generations. When Arnott's acquired it, South Australians insisted that Yo-Yo biscuits continued to be made and the sweet honey flavoured biscuits continue to be a favourite. 

Now can you see how good Farmer's Union Iced Coffee would go with Yo-Yo biscuits. Yes, yum.

You know in our extended family, the beer of choice is by Coopers. Most notably the Pale Ale and the Sparkling Ale. I'm not a huge beer person, but a nice cold beer on a hot day is refreshing.

Now you may have noticed that two of SA icons are not here....
Well I'm sorry but I don't like Fruchocs (not a big fan of chocolate coated fruit), and have never had a pie floater (which is a meat pie that 'floats' in pea soup).

Dining Out
Adelaide has the most restaurants and cafes per capita of population in all of Australia. Yes as you can see from a snapshot of me, we love our food. We have streets and suburbs that have an abundance of choices - Rundle Street, Gouger Street, North Adelaide, Unley Road, Norwood, Glenelg, Brighton, Henley Beach....& other local places in suburbs too. We really do love our food.

Memory Lane...
Here's a few icons from my youth - Humphrey B Bear, Winky Dink (the puppet duck that had a show) and the guys from The Curiosity Show, which I loved to watch. And the Popeye on the River Torrens.

The Christmas Pageant

(old photo)
I haven't gone to a Christmas Pageant in along time and it was only a handful of times, most of the times I preferred staying home and watching it on TV. I think I loved the commentary, which you didn't get at the Pageant. It was originally done by the department store John Martin's (I so miss John Martin's) and it still goes to the same location - now the David Jones store after doing a loop of the streets. 

The Royal Adelaide Show
I've just realised that I haven't been to a Royal Show in about 9 years. It was a yearly event in my house when growing up. I even mentioned on Christina Phillips' blog the other day that I had once got a Batgirl showgirl, so I could dress up like her. The Show is held at the Adelaide Showgrounds and has sideshow alley and rides, exhibitions of all sorts including flowers, competitions - eg dog shows, woodchopping events, a petting zoo, and of course the show bags.

A confession
Now you will notice that there are a few things left off my list like all the Festivals and celebrations. Never been to the Schutzenfest, the Clipsal 500, WOMADelaide, Tour Down Under or the Adelaide Writers' Week (yes hang head in shame for that one).

We used to go to Festival of the Arts performances when I was in school but haven't been to one since and also, I have only been to street performances of the Fringe. That really is bad. Like I said, I'm complacent that it's here, and every year I say I will go and every year, things creep up on me, and when you have no energy at times, the last thing you want to do is go out to a crowded place. Oh well, here's to 2010.

There's more but I think you get the idea that I am proud of SA and even if I don't attend everything it doesn't mean I don't appreciate what this state provides or has to offer. Thanks SA. I think I will be exploring more of you.

And thanks Arts SA for your support....

Just make a comment and be in the draw to win an Adelaide pack (with a mini Haigh's pack of chocolates, which is supporting the Pandas at the Zoo). If you want, you can comment on what makes your state great.

Comments close on the 31st October.

Comments for prize closed. Congrats RK!


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