Tag Archives: Culture

Let’s get crazy: it is mad March!

There is a lot going on at the moment in our city! Adelaide is a hive of activity: streets and parks are lively, full of music and new faces. The iconic Fringe Festival is in town!

Every year, Adelaide becomes the capital of Arts by hosting many quality events featuring: Opera, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cabaret, Literature and Visual Art. The festival is considered to be one of the world’s major celebrations of the arts and cultural events in Australia. Have a look at the program, it is quite impressive:  http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au

The city has so much to offer! No wonder there are so many tourists at the moment visiting Adelaide to enjoy the entertaining shows. This year the festival’s theme is: Experience something new! Since it is my first year in Australia, I can totally relate to that. I mean everything is a new experience for me here and I love it ❤

I personally took part to the Writers’ week and I am planning to go to the French films festival too! Some friends invited me to the garden of unearthly delights in Elder park with a bunch of colleagues. First time they mentioned it I thought I heard “the garden of unhealthy delights” haha. It was really nice: good food (Aussies barbies = Australians’barbecues) and music in a very casual and friendly atmosphere! The perfect place to relax after work:  http://www.gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au

We have a long weekend coming since Monday is a bank holiday in Australia and everybody is talking about: WOMAD (World of Music Art and Dance)! It is a very popular festival with 400 artists from all other the globe making Adelaide dance in the glorious Botanical Garden. I have heard that artists such as: Buena Vista Social Club, Sinead O’Connor, Youssou N’Dour, Neneh Cherry… will be here 😉 It is still time to buy a ticket as I heard that there might be discounts on Monday:  https://www.womadelaide.com.au

Speaking of  Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry, do you remember their beautiful song “7 seconds”?  It was a hit in France in 1994 and I was a teenager…  If you pay attention, you will notice that a part of the lyrics are in French https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqCpjFMvz-k

So it seems, in March in Adelaide, there is no time to rest! The more you are outside enjoying the variety of events in the CBD, in the parks and by the Torrens river… the better!

DSC_0221 This is why  I believe it is called “Mad March” because each day is a party that you have to join in!

5 French films to watch with your in-laws!

I am always amazed when abroad to meet people who absolutely adore French cinema. France is such a small country, you would think you could hardly notice it on a map! In the other hand, it is a country appreciated for its history ,culture, gastronomy, fashion and of course passion!

I love when my foreigners friends tell me « Paris, oui l’amour ! », this is so charming! I enjoy seing my country through their eyes, listening to their favorite spots in Paris and their impressions about the Frenchies or the « sacré français ». I feel bad they know so much about my country when sometimes I know so little about theirs but I am willing to learn and to keep exploring the world!

Anyway I had a discussion about French movies with my lovely friend Nasim: she is from Iran and she has been living in Adelaide for 8 months. It turned out that her sister and herself enjoy watching French films and they wanted me to recommend a few. The real challenge is that they have already seen a LOT of films. So I have been thinking about it and I made a list covering different years and I thought it could be a nice idea to share it with everybody on my blog!

 

  • Un héros très discret (A Self Made Hero) – 1996 – directed by Jacques Audiard – Starring Matthieu Kassovitz, you have probably seen him in the film: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amelie)

When you are watching this movie based on a novel, keep in mind that «the most beautiful lives are those we invent ».

  • Ridicule (Ridicule) – 1996 – directed by Francis Leconte – Starring many well known French actors.

Decadent Versailles in the 18th century where social status can rise and fall depending on your ability to play with words and demonstrate how cultivated and clever you are!

  • L’ Auberge espagnole (The Spanish apartment) – 2002 – directed by Cedric Klapisch with the famous Romain Duris and Cecile de France

Fun, good feelings, friendship… and how you become a different and a more complete person when living abroad and surrounded by so many different cultures. Hey! does it sound familiar?!

  • De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté (The beat that my heart skipped) – 2005 – directed by Jacques Audiard with the talented French actor Romain Duris.

Human drama, vibrant, vivid, sincere… You will be moved for sure!

  • Molière à bicyclette (Cycling with Moliere) – 2013 – directed by Philippe Le Guay with the very French Fabrice Luchini.

Comedy about friendship and the search of the creative spark! Fun, inspiring and shoot in a beautiful part of France!

 

If you are passionate about French movies, please let me know and I will keep posting from time to time about this topic! I called it “5 French films to watch with your in-laws” because these 5 movies deliver a message, they are powerful and well written so it is a good selection to impress somebody and especially your in laws!

Feel free to give me your feedbacks and maybe I can adapt my selection accordingly.

The next step to fully appreciate the experience would be of course to learn French… haha  « sacré français »  😉

A bientôt!

Walk with me…

Thursday morning was absolutely lovely: sunny, nicely warm but not too much… so I put my hat, my sun glasses and my sun cream on and I have decided to go for a nice walk in the south east part of the CBD!

Here is a little bit of history about Adelaide: “In the late 19th Century, people from all social levels lived in the south eastern corner of the city. The wealthy occupied mansions on East and South Terrace, the growing middle class lived in Victorian villas in Halifax and Gilles Streets, while the intervening small cottages were filled by workers who were able to walk to work or work from home.” (source Adelaide City Council)

Many victorian mansions, villas and cottages are still here… some have been renovated, refurbished, extended… I think they are really pretty! It is interesting to look at these houses, their architechture and to imagine their history. 

I really enjoy walking in Adelaide and I think it is a nice way to explore my new city. There is always something new to discover. The streets are so peaceful and so quiet… no wonder that Adelaide is called “The village in the city” – I can’t agree more on that!

I have found this free self guided tour and it is very entertaining: http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/assets/documents/MAP-TRAIL-historical-walking-village-city.pdf

The walk starts in the east part of Carrington street and there are exactly 28 stops along the way. A map and a detailed description is provided for each stop so you learn about the history of  some interesting mansions, villas or cottages. The tour is supposed to last 1 hour and a half but if you are like me, getting lost, taking pictures… make it double time!

You would think how can you possibly get lost with a map and in a small city like Adelaide… awkward… but true! It happens to me quite often actually… Hopefully Adelaide CBD is not huge so I don’t get lost for long. When “desperate” or in a hurry, I consider using my Iphone and I find my way rapidly… see I am not hopeless! But you know what, I actually enjoy to get lost because you never know what you can find out.

“Getting lost is just another way of saying: going exploring” – Justina Chen, North of Beautiful

I want to get lost in Adelaide, I want to see more of this beautiful city, I want to know the names of all the streets, I want to be able to name the different birds and flowers I see… there are so many things I still don’t know.

Someday I will know Adelaide like the back of my hand. Someday I will live in a charming Australian villa like the one on the picture. I particularly fancy the verandas and the balconies… so elegant and also so romantic!!!  When this day comes, you will find me sitting under the porch in a wooden rocking chair reading a book with a home made iced tea… Why don’t you join me?   😉

Bali : The island of the gods…

Bali is not just a beautiful trip, it’s a cultural and spiritual journey that needs to be experienced in order to be fully appreciated… Actually, it all started 2 years ago when I have read this famous book called « Eat, pray. Love » based on a true story of a woman who lived 6 months in Italy, then 6 months in India and then 6 months in Bali. Her wonderful story inspired me and I was curious to know more about this country since I have never been there before. So I felt very lucky to spend my christmas time in Bali!

I have really enjoyed this country, its amazing temple, its wonderful colours, its delicious cuisine but above all its friendly people. It is impressive how balinese people are generous, lovely and cheerful… somehow you always end up with a big smile on your face when you are around them. Thanks to Airbnb I managed to find a beautiful villa with a nice swiming pool near canggu’s beach. Each day, I would get up early, do a 1 hour yoga session on the garden rooftop facing the sea, have a swim, enjoy an awesome breakfast prepared by Ketut (I ate the best bananas pancakes ever), then I would go surfing in the afternoon or visit a famous place, the evening I would enjoy a nice dinner on the beach or at the villa. Time went by so quickly… I have visited many places such as Ubud (known as the capital city of art), the monkeys forest, the water temple, the rice paddies… everything was absolutely gorgeous…

While in Bali, I had the chance to experience two important ceremonies called : Galungan and Kuningan

« Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor – bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads. On the other hand, he Kuningan ceremony in Bali traces its name to the special offerings of Yellow Rice, or ‘nasi kuning. These are offered to the ancestors and Gods, to appease them and keep them happy. The Kuningan in Bali is a time when the spirits of decease people return to earth and the whole family comes together and prays to their ancestors and the Gods to keep them happy and to bless them. » (source Wikipedia)

In my opinion it was a humble and peaceful experience which I am glad I could be part of. Balinese people are very spiritual people and it felt really good to pray with them and for the peace of their ancestors.

I am grateful I can travel and learn about different cultures. I am always amazed by what I discover…Once the Dalai Lama said : «As often as possible, go someplace you’ve never been before. Experience new places and new things. You might find yourself with someone or somewhere that makes you much happier than your previous circumstance. The Earth is so vast with unique and beautiful places, why wouldn’t you want to go explore them? » …

What about you ? Which country are you going to visit this year ?

A ticket to the past…

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to sit in an old train, smell the wood and the leather seats and hear the steam engine of the locomotive running… Now close your eyes and for a minute imagine that you are in an  Agatha Christie novel while glancing at the pictures…

Today I had the chance to visit the biggest railroad museum in Australia and it was really a great experience! It was very interesting to learn about trains history and it was also fun to climb into the cabs of giant steam engines and walk through elegant carriages and just imagine what it was like to travel by that time…

Actually I was pretty impressed by the level of comfort they managed to achieve.. some carriages just look like little flats with real beds, bathroom and kitchen… traveling by train (depending on your class status) could be in the days of yore a luxurious and enjoyable journey!

I couldn’t resist acting like if I was a traveler from another century, and my bestie managed to capture beautifully the spirit of the past in a series of black and white photographies.

National Railway Museum
76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide SA 5015
http://www.natrailmuseum.org.au/index.php

West Terrace Cemetery: a poetic experience

Some say it is the most poetic place they know in Adelaide! You would think how awkward for a cemetery…I am normally not a fan of such places and don t think I am a *Vampire diaries* addict (the main girl character of the show Nina likes to rest and write in her home town cemetery) … But I have to confess this cemetery is fascinating, nearly magic…

I have really enjoyed my self guided walk tour here on a sunny spring afternoon! It is really a lovely and peaceful place and this is really a nice walk! It is definitely poetic! The landscape, the graves, the trees…even the birds have a story to tell In a way it reminded me of Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris!

Brochures are at the entrance of the cemetery, I have picked the famous women tour and I have learnt a few things about brave and passionate women born in Adelaide or coming from London with dreams and big ideas to change the world! It was really inspiring!

Actually the walk lasted about 2 hours, the brochure was well detailed with a map and full of information so I did not get lost, I have learnt many facts and actually time went by so quickly..I am pretty sure I will come back, there are plenty other themes tours to learn more about Adelaide and guess what it is totally free!

Furthermore, the West Terrace cemetery runs night tours on Fridays ($25), it is a totally different experience but definitely worth it! I had the chance to take part to the special Halloween tour on Friday 31st October and it was amazing: interesting stories, sounds and lights effects, great actors…. it was pretty fun and most of the participants came in their halloween costumes which really added something to the atmosphere 😉 No wonder that West Terrace Cemetery has taken out the award for best cultural and heritage tourism attraction for the third year in row seeing the cemetery inducted into the South Australian Tourism Hall of Fame.

In my opinion West Terrace is definitely an original city cemetery, it is well kept and fulfills its role protecting ancestral heritage, offering peace and bringing life in a creative and respectful way to old and interesting stories about Adelaide!


West Terrace Cemetery
161 West Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
http://www.aca.sa.gov.au

Virginie and the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory

One day I have read « LIFE happens, chocolate HELPS!’ I really think it is true. You see I adore chocolate, I particularly enjoy milk chocolate and in my opinion it is the best therapy ever! Luckily for me, there are Haigh’s chocolates in Australia and cherry or should I say chocolate on the cake the factory happens to be in Adelaide! If you are living abroad I bet you  have never heard about them and neither did I… because they do not export their precious products overseas because the chocolate quality could not handle an oversea trip! Their chocolates are very famous here… Actually Haigh’s is one of a few Adelaide icons and deservedly so. They will celebrate in a couple of months their 100 existence anniversary! All of their chocolates are still made by hand and they are literally mouth watering!

 

I have fallen in love with the « milk rocky road » basically it is freshly made fluffy marshmallow with roasted hazelnuts, cherries and juicy raisins, smooth milk chocolate, glace… it tastes absolutely marvelous! No words to describe it…. it is sooooo good! So I went back to the shop to buy some more…. guess what…no more left! Not a single one….over! The nice lady in the shop informed me that these little treats were only seasonal products…which means they make them only in winter season and now it is spring time here in Australia so I will have to wait for next year…

But you know me I do not want to give up so easily….. so I have tried a second shop…. same answer… a third shop same answer….but this time the lady was so friendly and had so much empathy for the little poor french girl who could not possibly wait for next year that she asked « Do you want me to call the factory for you and check if by any chance they have some left? » of course I want « Please,dooooo! » and she did and guess what?! They still had some small and big boxes of them… they took my name and said I could pick them up directly at the factory on the following day and they offered me to take the opportunity to attend to their free factory guided tour too and I did!

What a lovely tour I must say, it is so interesting to learn about the story of Haigh’s chocolates, how they started and became famous. It is a family business and it reminded of my small home town Clermont-Ferrand where we do have also a old and famous family factory business called MICHELIN… pretty sure you have heard about them 😉 but let’s go back to chocolates… it smells better! So visiting the factory was in a way like visiting Willy Wonka Chocolate factory and see how the magic happens, the machines, products, staff gestures…. no wonder these chocolates are so amazingly good gorgeous, smooth, luxurious…. furthermore it is a good opportunity to taste a lot of sample chocolates for free and if like me you are crazy about them you can still purchase more from the outlet shop at the end of the tour…clever!

So next time when visiting Australia make sure to visit Haigh’s shops and eat their delicious chocolates!  And if you happen to be in Adelaide take the tour in their amazing factory (it is very closed from Adelaide South Terrace and the lovely himeji garden), you will not regret and your belly will say thank you, I promise 🙂

Free guided Factory viewings tours

154 Greenhill Road, Parkside, SA 5063

Tours operate Monday to Saturday from 9am.

Please book your free tour online http://www.haighschocolates.com.au/tours