Tag Archives: Places to visit

Bikeway To Hell

Sometimes I have crazy ideas and luckily for me I have always awesome friends to follow me in my euphoric projects. So it is no surprise that when I decided to go to Henley Beach by bike to celebrate my birthday, my friend Nasim (from Iran) was part of it! For those who have been following me and paying attention, last year, for my birthday I got a beautiful green bike that became my fav. transportation mode to go to work, school, activities, market etc… So it makes sense that this year I wanted to take it to the next level and go on a bike trip from Adelaide CBD to  the beautiful Henley beach.

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Adelaide’s parks are full of surprises. Look at this party setting with permanent balloons floating all around! Happy birthday to me I guess!

The river Torrens Linear trail is known to be pretty easy, flat and scenic. Imagine yourself biking along the river, in the parks, with the beautiful and majestic trees swaying in the breeze, the enchanting colourful birds singing along the way (have you ever heard a Cockatoo?! not very melodious lol) and the nature surrounding you like a comforting cup of tea on a Sunday morning. I really believe, this is worth giving it a try and we are so lucky to have many bike trails here in Adelaide. It is a good way to discover a city and its surroundings. Besides it is very easy to rent a City Bike in Adelaide for free, so no excuse!

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Nasim, in a very sporty attitude, ready to hit the road, no stop signs, no limit, nobody to slow her down on her bikeway to hell 😉

Nasim and I met first at San Churro for breakfast. I guess we both  needed a good dose of sugar to boost our bodies before hitting the road. At the beginning, everything was really nice and we really enjoyed it. Nasim was even considering buying a new bike to do that more often. I mean it is an healthy and fun way to exercice. We stopped many times to take funny pictures, to gaze at the landscapes, to relax… But what I did not consider is that even if this trail is said to be easy, it is quite long and you need at least a bit of practice. So basically I think it took us about 3 hours (maybe more) from the CBD to reach Henley Beach. When we arrived there, I think Nasim was about to collapse.

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I think at this stage, Nasim had enough… this pic was taken sometimes between her collapsing and then having lunch.

We rested a bit, walked on the beach (well deserved), took some more pictures and ended up in a restaurant with a view on the seaside. It was good to relax and chat about this little adventure. Despite the fact that we were both exhausted, there is no doubt that this bike trail is wonderful and the feeling you have when you arrive closed to the beach: awesome! All these little houses facing the beach, the white sand, the blue sky, this is the dream picture ❤

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Adelaide and its surroundings are so beautiful. Sometimes I can’t believe I live here!

As we started to make our way back, it appeared that Nasim had no more juice. Her body hurt, she was not feeling well and soon riding her bike became a nightmare. We tried many things, we switched our bikes, I encouraged her… but when the body shuts down, there is nothing that can be really done. And sadly for Nasim, this was over. I was getting a bit worried because it was in the late afternoon and the sun was slowly vanishing on the horizon and I started to worry picturing us, walking in  the dark woods next to our bikes, the gloomy shadows of the trees, the scary sounds  of the nocturnal birds and the silence of the night surrounding us like a dark trap. BOO!

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The power of the mind is funny sometimes, what was magic a few hours before became suddenly scary. I started to feel bad because this was my whole idea, what on earth was wrong with me, we are talking about maybe 23 km and it is not like that we are used to ride our bikes that much. Nasim suddenly quit cold turkey and called her husband to pick her up in the middle of nowhere. There was not enough room in the car for 2 bikes and I felt I had enough energy to go on and reach my home before the night comes. So it was me all alone against the clock haha!

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Last smile before scratching my belly on the tree (natural scrubbing… yes you bet!)

As I was riding back to the CBD, I could not help feeling grateful to Nasim for joining me in this crazy but funny bike trip. I felt really happy about the whole day. All in all it was one of the best birthday activities I have ever had 🙂 I liked it despite of its unexpected events:  Nasim thought at some point she had broken her bike, a lady advised us to be careful with the Magpie attacks, a guy asked me for the time and I thought he wanted to steal my bag, I scratched my belly climbing in a tree for a scenic picture… and all those km that obviously we were not trained enough for.

It is all those little moments that make also good memories and you know what now looking back at it, Nasim and I really enjoyed this beautiful day together because we laughed, we had fun and we experienced with delight our very own bikeway to hell. Life does not have to be perfect to be fun, it is its imperfections that make us smile and stick to our minds forever… Life goes beyond the beautiful pictures and selfies that we post daily on social medias… it is living the present moment, experiencing feelings, the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the laugh and the tears. It may not be always perfect but it is the REAL deal and it is up to you to make it count! I am sure if we had to do it all again, Nasim would jump on her bike in a matter of second to join me 😉

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect” ❤

I see your true colours Carrick Hill

Winter in Australia is very different than winter in France. I really enjoy walking in the parks and I am always surprised to see so many lively colours during this “cold” season. In Europe, we say that during winter nature needs its beauty sleep before going to the spring ball but it seems than in Australia the whole year is a never ending party with an explosion of green, yellow and red!

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Come on, it is winter time in South Australia!

In Australia, winter starts on 21 June and I can’t recommend you enough to pay a visit to Carrick Hill to celebrate it! The park and gardens are so beautiful with a large diversity of trees and flowers. The view is fantastic and it is so poetic to walk in this romantic atmosphere surrounded by the sweet music of the Aussie birds. Australian birds look so exotic to me: some are white with a yellow head, some are green and red and one is black and white but produces the most amazing sound I have ever heard!

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Typical South Australian Red hot poker: so colourful flowers

 

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Jessica and myself lying on the grass at Carrick Hill gardens

I spent a wonderful day end of June at Carrick Hill with my two lovely friends: Nasim (from Iran) and Jessica (from Mexico). We sat on the grass during hours enjoying the view, chatting, dreaming about our future, making plans… We took many pictures also and there is even a video of me dancing under an arch of trees (crazy girl). We also enjoyed an afternoon tea outdoor, we like to do that sometimes! Generally we order 3 different cakes and then share and then discuss about the flavours, texture and colours and decide which one deserve the 1st rank in our heart!

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Nasim and myself under the arch of trees

There is also a beautiful mansion to visit and interesting stories to hear about. I highly recommend to take part to the guided tour (if you are lucky, Naomi will show you around, she is an absolutely charming tour guide). It was the previous home of an eccentric couple: Sir Edward and Lady Ursula Hayward! They were important art collectors and have decorated their home with pieces from all other the world (but mostly from UK and France). They were famous for their eccentric lifestyle and used to host big parties with controversial artists, good food, wine, music, amazing conversations and dancing! Their home was always filled with laughter but above all with love because they were soul mates sharing the same passion for life and art! A true romantic love story ❤

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Carrick Hill

46 Carrick Hill Drive

Springfield SA 5062

Ph: (08) 8433 1700

ADMISSION PRICES:

$12.00 Adults
$8.00 Concession
$28.00 Family
(Free Admission to Gardens & Grounds except for Special Events)

Enchanted Nantu Wama

I really enjoy walking in the parks around Adelaide: there is always something nice to discover! A couple of days ago as I was walking in the North Adelaide Nantu Wama park, I suddenly noticed a hut made of wood. I could not resist getting closer and visit this secret little place! I am always fascinated by children imagination and creativity. It was nicely built and there was a whole little world inside: a door, a window, a bench and even a pot with “food”!

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The magic cauldron

I must say it was a pleasant surprise and it reminded me of this artist I am crazy about at the moment. Her name is Johanna Basford and she became in a short time very popular with her colouring books for adults! You have probably heard about “Secret Garden” or “Enchanted Forest”… or maybe not?! Well they have been sold out in NO time and it is very difficult to find them in stores especially abroad (the artist is based in UK).

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Johanna Basford’s hut from “Secret Garden”

I must confess I have never heard about this artist when I was living in London! Actually I had to come here to Australia to discover her amazing work! One day, my Spanish teacher, Ana (from Colombia) offered me a postcard with a beautiful garden scene drawn by Johanna Basford and I really felt in love with the design! I like the poesy she puts in her drawings and all the tiny details that make all the difference. It makes me dream and I wish I could create a little universe full of wonderful creatures and splendid landscapes 😉

So have a look at Johanna Basford’s lovely books and maybe next time you are walking in your garden or in the forest, you will start to see the world differently! A simple hut made of wood would become a secret and poetic hideaway in the trees ❤

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Nantu Wama park’s secret hut!

 

A generous arts and antiques buff!

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp

What if I told you that I know a place here in North Adelaide to travel the world, escape the routine and embrace history, would you believe me?!

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The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.

The David Roche Foundation is an impressive arts collection gallery featuring two centuries of European designs. His founder, David Roche, was passionate about antiques and fine arts. He devoted his whole life traveling the world and acquiring unique objects. When it came to arts he had absolutely no limits and he adored everything: furnitures, paintings, sculptures, porcelains… His home was filled with treasures from the past to be cherished and kept secret! But David Roche had a dream: he wanted  to leave a legacy to Australian people! His foundation is his last gift so visitors can enjoy his legendary collection and learn more about history through unique and original pieces.

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Patinated bronze statue of the Madonna: Mother of Mercy

I really recommend to visit this art gallery. It is fascinating to gaze at all these original objects and hear about their origins. It is like traveling to the past: it is a beautiful journey from the early rococo of France to Faberge in Russia. Furthermore David Roche is quite an intriguing character and it is interesting to hear about his life. The gallery is run by an amazing Lady called Ann, she is absolutely fabulous and I could honestly listen to her for hours presenting each item of the collection: so fascinating! Besides she speaks English beautifully (crystal clear) so for foreigners like me, it is a really good practice!  In my opinion, she speaks the “Queen’s English” and it is absolutely divine! I think she really adds something to the whole experience!

As for me, thanks to Ann explanations, my favourite piece was actually a Napoleon dessert service depicting views of Paris. It was made with delicate and finest porcelain and it looked really precious. The emperor offered this set to his beloved sister Pauline! And if you paid a closer look to the dessert plates, you could see on one of them the “Jardin des plantes” and 2 kangaroos as part of this beautiful scenery! Actually the French emperor was fascinated by Australia: in the 1800s it was considered as the most exotic, exiting and unexplored place of the world! No wonder that at that  time an expedition was orchestrated by Napoleon himself! He appointed the French explorer Nicolas Baudin and instructed him to bring back to France typical Australian plants and animals! It is nearly a miracle that the kangaroos survived the 6 months journey on the ship (when I can hardly cope with the 21 hours trip by plane from Adelaide to Paris) and could be seen in the famous Parisian botanical garden. So as you can easily imagine I really enjoyed gazing at this beautiful Napoleon dessert service, it is more than an object, it is all the (hi)story it represent and what Australia means to France and French people ❤

IMG_1191So next time, you happen to visit the fancy Melbourne street on North Adelaide, pop by the lovely cafe E for Ethel for a nice lunch or a latte and then head to The David Roche foundation and don’t  leave the gallery before having found a favourite piece to remember so you can tell me all about it in the comment section 😉 I’m really looking forward to hear from you!

VIEWING GALLERY

237 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006

(08) 8267 1755
 
Entry by donation of $2 per person
Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 3pm – Friday to Monday: Closed
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Here are some informations about the antiques presented on the different article pictures:
The pair of moulded and carved terra cotta figures are allegories of Spring (with the posy of flowers)  and Summer (with the buch of grapes) and are in the style of Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853). They are from France, early 20th century.The silvered and parcel-gilt electrotyped copper wall plaques are referred to as “Chargers” and were made by Elkington & Co. in England in 1869, from French designs.One is  “January-June” signs of the zodiac, the other is  “July- December” and each has a different season portrayed in the centre.
 
The black and white earthenware Pot-pourri Vase is by Pratt & Co. of Fenton, England and was made circa 1880. It is in perfect condition, and is in three sections with a domed lid, an inner lid pierced with holes and a base with two handles attached from the shoulders to the rim, decorated in black over white with painted and transfer printed classical pattern borders and figural designs and gilding. The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.
 
The patinated bronze statue of the Madonna is by British sculptor, Nic Fiddian-Green who was born in 1963.   It is titled ‘Mother of Mercy’ and was produced in England circa 1999. This sculpture was created for the new millennium as an edition of only three – the first is in the Vatican in Rome. On completion of the third and final cast, all moulds are to be destroyed by the artist.

Hot cocoa, boots, jeans and pink cheeks

“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

 This is my first Autumn in Australia and also my very first Autumn in March when my family in France is embracing spring time 😉 The weather has changed in Adelaide and it is getting chilly.  I am glad I have a fireplace in my living room: it is so cosy! I love to hear the crackling sound and the smell of the wood burning. I enjoy gazing at the joyful flames dancing on the logs, warming slowly the atmosphere. What a lovely setting to curl up comfortably on the sofa under a wool blanket with your favorite book!

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Curling up in front of the fireplace

It is also the perfect time of the year to enjoy nice walks in the crispy air. Put your boots and your jeans on and have a peek at all these wonderful colours where the trees enter an enchanting parade. Don’t you think the gold, brown and red leaves are just beautiful? Adelaide Hills is the place to contemplate this magical scenery… if you have the chance like me to go to Stirling, your breath will be literally taken away. This charming village only 20 minutes away from Adelaide CBD is a real gem!

Stirling village and its adorable restaurant in summer time!

It is full of cute houses, shops and gigantic trees celebrating gloriously autumn season at the moment. My Australian friend Ann took me there and it was absolutely delightful. The fresh air was so energizing, so pure… I liked the feeling on my cheeks! We enjoyed a hot beverage in a fancy place called Red Cacao chocolatier and I indulged myself with a cup of chili cocoa, one word: delicious! This is the perfect place for chocolate connoisseurs: they offer a wide range of exquisite high quality chockies (Aussie slang for chocolate, sorry guys I could not help it). Well this is the place to go to spoil yourself!

I also do believe that it is very appropriate in this season to enjoy hot and comforting drinks! You can be creative at home like my friend Nasim (from Iran) and add fruits and Haigh’s chocolates on the side: all Adelaide flavours in a cup of tea!

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Nasim’s tea: a poetic celebration of Autumn’s colours!

Chocolates, nice walks, chatting with a good friend, reading and snuggling: this is definitely what I like about Autumn season ❤

Red Cacao chocolatier

Shop 3, 41 Mt Barker Rd

Stirling, Adelaide Hill

http://www.redcacao.com.au

Adelaide Zombie Walk

Have you ever seen a zombie walk? Basically it is a social gathering of people dressed as zombies walking around the city! It is becoming more and more popular and a lot of cities such as London, Montreal etc… are hosting a walking dead procession around Halloween time! I have seen a zombie march when I was living in Montreal and I must say despite the cold it was really entertaining some people were really into their “characters”.

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I look very disconnected!

I moved to Australia early September 2014 and when I heard there would be a zombie walk in Adelaide CBD in October, I decided to make it count! This time I would not just watch, I would be one of them: walking crooked, looking disconnected, groaning… But first, I had to find a costume, a character that would express my story… how did I become a zombie, what was I doing last before being bitten? Since I had just moved to Adelaide I did not have much (no accessories or clothes to trash) so I decided to go to a charity shop or like they say here an “Op shop” (opportunity shop)! For less that $10 I found a girly pink top and a dress that made me think of a gardener apron… I decided that it would be perfect since there were some gardening tools in my fully furnished house that I could use to complete my costume! Now I had my story: I was a garden lady taking care of my roses when I got suddenly attacked and bitten by a crazy zombie! Then the trick is about make up, then laminating my costume (using a cheese grinder!) and make it look dirty like I spent weeks wandering in the streets of Adelaide (I scrubbed it on the pavement and in the grass outside)… the result was absolutely perfect!

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Hungry and scary zombie!

Then I joined my peers and it was really good fun. Some costumes were unbelievable and very realistic! I could swear some people have been zombies in previous lives… if it does make sense! Thousand of zombies got together to raise funds for Foodbank SA which is a noble cause (you can donate money or non perishable food)! The event is very well organized with policemen closing the roads where the march takes place (East terrace, Rundle street, Pultney street and Pirie street)… it is hilarious to see people faces when you are walking down the streets: some are curious, some are excited and others are totally speechless because they have no idea what is going on, why all this blood and these strange faces… I am still smiling when thinking of this old couple who nearly had a stroke when they saw me 😉

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Marie-Antoinette had it coming!

I think it is so cool that Adelaide can compete with other major cities by hosting a really amazing and entertaining zombie walk with thousands of walking dead marching on our streets! When you think it all started a couple of years ago with a few people who were passionate about it and decided they will make it happen no matter what… at the beginning it was a really discrete and small event but as the years go by it is getting more and more famous and important and I think it is wonderful to be part of it!

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Did you ask for a pizza with anchoves?

Adelaide Zombie Walk

Every year in October

http://www.adelaidezombiewalk.com/index.html

Peaceful Adelaide Himeji garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden”

Do you have a secret place where you enjoy going to dream and clear your mind? A poetic place where you feel free and inspired?

I know a lovely garden in Adelaide that is an invitation to inspiration. It is as beautiful as it is peaceful with its enchanting trees and flowers. It is a Japanese style garden celebrating religiously the beauty of nature. I like to walk slowly surrounded by the sound of silence on the stepping stones so I can admire every tiny detail. I enjoy gazing at the calm water of the lake and listen to the birds singing happily in the deep blue sky. I love the sound of the chanting waterfall melting poetically into the beautiful landscape.  Everything is in harmony with nature and my heart feels at peace here.

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The lake: the soul of the garden

I like to kneel in front of the magic stone bowl and feel the fresh water on my hand and my face. It is said that the holy water will purify your spirit and your soul: it is like leaving all my worries behind me and starting from fresh with a humble attitude.

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Water bowl (Chozubachi) so visitors may purify themselves

I like to contemplate the sea of sand. It is the perfect spot for contemplation thinking of the immensity of the sea, the waves, the continents. If you close your eyes, you can hear the sea… As Buddha said “With our thoughts we create the world” and it is up to us to make it beautiful!

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Sea of sand

I could spend hours in this enchanting garden: dreaming, reading, having a picnic, doing yoga… but suddenly I hear the ‘clack” of the Shishi-Odoshi: a large bamboo tube filling with water until horizontal and then emptying causing one end to hit a rock with a deaf noise. It brings me back to reality: happier, rested and aware of the beauty and power of nature… already time to go but I will be back soon, I promise 😉

 

Adelaide Himeji garden

South Terrace

Adelaide SA 5000

http://www.postcards-sa.com.au/features/himeji_garden.html