Tag Archives: Places to visit

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

Please summer don’t go!

Adelaide is so lovely at the moment… it is not too warm, not too cold, it is perfect time to enjoy beautiful walks in the city and reward yourself with a nice iced tea sitting at the terrasse  of your favorite cafe enjoying the sun and the life going by!

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Lovely iced tea and waffles at cafe Troppo

I wish summer time could stay a little bit more… When I used to live in the north hemisphere the 20th March was a happy day for me because it was the first day of spring and I could already think about the nice places in Paris where I would go, the outdoor restaurants by my work place where I would eat, the cute summer dresses I would buy, the markets, the beautiful flowers and the lovely sun on my face ❤ but now it is different I live in Australia and today it is the first day of Autumn! What does Autumn look like in Australia… I have no idea… it is my first time here!

I have been told that after mad March, Adelaide needs to recover and it will be very quiet. People will stay at home, cook and relax! I am not sure I want to do that… I enjoy walking around, exploring the city, going to the beach, spending time with my new friends! I guess I can still do that even if the weather is colder… right?!

So here are a few activities I intend to do now the weather is getting cooler:

  1.  Rent a free bike and ride next to the beautiful Torrens river!
  2. Keep on exploring the city  thanks to the City council self guided Tours and Trails: http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/explore-the-city/see-do/maps-and-trails/tours-and-trails
  3. Go more often to the Food Court in China Town (by the way I love Mum Kimba Korean cuisine), so nice and yummy!
  4. Buy nice teas at T2 on Rundle street and enjoy the new comforting flavors (Choco Tchai with almonds milk mmm).
  5. Climb on Mount Lofty, in the hills, everywhere… Sport is good for your soul and your body!
  6. Take the train more often and start exploring the surroundings (I wish I could go back to Peninsula Fleurieu, so beautiful… and in autumn the colours must be lovely).
  7. Do more shopping at the Central Market and buy cheese and bread  (when winter is coming I generally start to dream about “raclette” or “fondue”: French dishes involving a lot of CHEESE).
  8. Treat myself with some mouthwatering milk rocky roads from Haigh’s chocolates: they only produce them during the cold season and they are to die for!
  9. Find a cosy cafe with a fire place where I can read new books and write beautiful pieces… hey wait a minute, there is a fire place in my new house in the living room 😉 I am already picturing myself with a cup of tchai latte and a nice blanket… too bad I don’t have a cat to complete this perfect winter scene!

Well… it sounds like a good plan to me! What about you? What are your favorite activities when the weather gets colder? What do you recommend me to do in Adelaide in Autumn?

PS: maybe I am being a lit bit too dramatic… Autumn does not seem very cold in Australia… actually this weekend is going to be very hot with 27 degree on Saturday and 32 degree on Sunday… I think I can still wear my summer dresses… the umbrella, the boots and the pullover can wait, YOUPI 🙂

Cricket Match decoded by a French girl

When I was living in France, I have never been a sport fan. I have been only one time to the French tennis open (Roland Garros), I have seen one day the “Tour de France” because the riders were biking in the city where I was living and I have never been to a rugby match which is a shame when you think that the city where I originally come from has the best team ever (ASM). I guess it was not really my thing at that time… but living abroad made me more curious I suppose and now I enjoy discovering about sports I am not familiar with and cricket is definitely one of them!

Sunday for the first time, I took part to the Cricket World Cup 2015 at Adelaide Oval! It was nothing like I would have ever imagined… First, I discovered that a cricket match is VERY long:  this one started at 2pm and ended at 10pm… so you’d better come prepared because it is a long time spent on a plastic seat! Forget what you know about other sports  or logic because cricket is really different!

I – The atmosphere

IMG_0202A cricket match is like a French family lunch on a weekend where everybody sits, eats and chats during HOURS about anything and sometimes stops when there is some “action” like a drunk uncle talking no sense or no more wine in the cellar or worst no more bread! Frankly, I was surprised to see that the people are not focus all the time on the match… actually they are chatting about what they did last weekend, their jobs, their families and eventually the match when a team scores! I have seen some people reading the newspaper, other enjoying a glass of wine, some texting on their Iphones…  it is a very relaxed event where people are reunited in the name of cricket! In my opinion, the ideal is to come with good friends of yours, have some beers, some junk food, entertaining conversations and enjoy the show on the field! If you have good company, it is a nice way to spend your Sunday.

II – The game

IMG_0963I am not sure I understood the rules… but I managed to get a few things! So there are 2 teams playing on the field so you pick the one you want to support (generally I base my choice on the jersey colour). It is a bat and ball game so basically one team bats and the other bowls and then it is the other way around. The goal is to score as many runs as possible, easy! It is good to do a WICKET or a FOUR (people seems to be happy when it happens). It is bad to do a LEG BEFORE WICKET you don’t want that, never! I personally like the WICKET thing because the stick flies in the air and there is a little flashing light on its end which is pretty original.

IMG_0955The cricket match is divided into periods which is good so you can go in peace during the break to the food stand in the meantime to get some nachos or fries… because there are not actions all the time during the game so you don’t want to miss it when it occurs… it is like fishing, you never know when the fish is going to bite and you want to be there when it happens! Applaud and stand up when your team scores and don’t hesitate to encourage them shouting “Hit the Ball!”, “Come on guys!”, take some pics and post them on Instagram and you’ll be all right 🙂 people won’t even noticed it is your first time!

III – The environment

IMG_0970I think we are really lucky in Adelaide. The oval is so beautiful, colourful, very modern and gigantic! This stadium looks like a convention centre. The bathroom are very fancy like in a SPA, there are even candles, can you believe that on a match day!? Also, it can be very warm in the stadium during the afternoon (hey, we are in Oz world!) so bring a hat, sun glasses, sun block and a fan! Like I said a match can last until late at night so bring a pullover, a scarf and a jacket too or you’ll be sorry because it can get chilly! A nice way to end the evening after a match if you are still hungry is to head to the Bakery on O’Connell street in North Adelaide or The Orignal Pancakes kitchen in the CBD, they are both opened 24/7 and pretty closed from the Oval!

In my opinion, it is worth going at least once in your life to a cricket game especially with a group of friends you want to catch up with! I am glad I did, I mean it is always fun and refreshing to experience new things. I must say I spent a good time and I liked the atmosphere. I hope crickets fans won’t be offended by my vision… again this is cricket decoded by a French girl who attended to her first match… it is clear I am not Don Bradman 😉

Highway to heaven

I was 30 years old and it was my first time in the USA. My Californian friends had invited me on a road trip on one of the most scenic drives in the entire world: the iconic Highway One. We drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles and each day was a combination of natural beauty, breathtaking scenery and acknowledging life’s quality.

One of our final stops was in Santa Barbara, in a restaurant called ‘La Superica’. It looked like an old Mexican barrack with its white walls and blue windows. It was not fancy at all and it was nothing like what I would have picked to conclude a mind-blowing trip. But as soon as I went inside I felt that the atmosphere was very welcoming. It was packed with joyful people enjoying lively dishes and for a minute I forgot that my journey was nearly over. I ordered tacos and as soon as the food was placed on the table I understood why my friends took me here.

The fresh handmade tortilla was beautiful with a golden shade of yellow contrasting with the different mouthwatering ingredients sitting on its heart. I could smell the fragrant odour of the corn flour with a zest of lime tickling my nose. The meat had a lovely brown caramelised tint and smelt heavenly. It was tender, smoky, juicy and cooked to perfection. The red salsa was thick, creamy and attractively opaque in colour. I could tell the tomatoes had been cooked slowly and mixed with toasted Mexican chilles and chipotle peppers. The topping was a symphony of colours where the chopped green vegetables were dancing with the fresh herbs under a moon of white creamy cheese. I could see the finely minced onions blending with the minced crisp cabbages promising a textural crunch.

No sooner had the fresh taco touched my palate that I felt shivers and stopped. It was absolutely divine! An exquisite pleasure invaded my senses filling me with all California. Each bite, each colour, each flavour had the taste of my trip on the mythical Highway One. I could see the sunny valleys, the Spanish missions, the rugged beach and the surf towns. I could smell the farmers’ stalls on the side of the road, I could hear the Pacific Ocean crashing down below the steep cliffs and I could feel the intoxicating warmth of the Californian sun and the presence of my friends forever with me.

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California you’ve got my heart!

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This text is one of my assignments from creative writing class. I was asked to write about a vivid memory in 400 words so I picked a special moment I had the chance to experience a couple of years ago with my dear Californian friends: Teresa and John. My roadtrip in California was an amazing journey and I hope someday I will write the full story and share with you this beautiful and breathtaking adventure!

This is a frogs’ world…

Who would have guessed that South Australia’s most iconic cake is actually a “frog cake”? When you think about Australia, you think about a koala, a kangaroo, a platypus… but a frog?!

But it is true and it is a popular cake which was created in 1922 by the famous Balfours Bakery and they became the mascot of this institution. It is said that the creator found his inspiration after traveling to France!!! I am not showing off… I am just telling what I know 😉 Afterall, aren’t French people called “the frogs” or in Aussie language “the froggies”? My theory is that Mr Balfour felt in love with France and one of our iconic cute  pastry called “petit cochon” (little pig) and he thought that it would be so nice to have a cute animal shape cake in his shop that would remind him of France and French people, and tada the frog cake was born! Hey… a French girl can dream?! Anyway good on him…because like I said it was a  huge success. In 2001, the frog cake was listed as a state heritage icon of South Australia… so you’d better respect the frog!

Frog_cakesSo basically a frog cake is is a very sweet dessert with the shape of a frog’s head with its mouth opened.  The texture is pretty smooth: it is a  sponge base with cream and covered with thick layer of fondant icing. Originally you could only find those in green colour (most popular choice) but with the success they also created a pink and a brown frog! I think they look adorable and they must be lovely for tea time, they add colour to the table and give a kind of Alice in wonderland style!

IMG_0911A lovely exhibition took place recently in Adelaide to celebrate this iconic South Australian dessert! One hundred artists and institutions (School, hospital staffs etc) were given a ceramic Frog cake (3 times the size of a normal cake).  They were asked to imagine their own frog cake for this special event raising funds for mental health. What a lovely and inspiring idea I must say… 

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When I heard about this exhibition, my curiosity was challenged and I had to go. First because I have seen those unusual cakes a couple of months ago but never imagined it was part of SA culture. Secondly I loved the idea that they turned this classic cake that seems to be quite ordinary as birthdays treat into something creative, original and extraordinary! 

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My friend Nasim (from Iran) was happy to join me in this adventure! We are the same we like to discover more about our new culture! Futhermore, she loves art so it was really interesting to visit this gallery together and share our opinions.

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The ceramic frogs were nicely decorated, it was very creative since each artist gave its own vision. We saw great pieces and we actually spent a lot of time gazing at each one and trying to understand the point of view of the artist.

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We particularly both enjoyed Emma Hack’s work (she is a famous for her body painting and owns an art gallery in North Adelaide), her ceramic frog was the expression of beautiful mother nature.

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Emma Hack’s flowery frog

I also liked Sophia Nuske’s frog and the Women’s and Children’s hospital’s decorated frog. There were many beautiful smily frogs and  I wish I could get one for my home!

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I have really enjoyed this exhibition and I thought it was a beautiful way to honor and celebrate this South Australian heritage. Nearly all the cute frogs were sold to help a good cause!

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It seems that South Australians still have a sweet spot in their heart for this unusual but classic little froggie cake ❤

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Adelaide Convention Center painted on a singing frog

Sadly the exhibition in Light Square Gallery is already over but if you have missed your chance, you can always cheer you up by biting into this typical South Australian cake… and what a better place than the iconic Balfours Bakery!  For those who are not into frogs they also offer an amazing range of pies that must be delicious! As for me, it should not be an issue, since French people have the reputation to eat frogs legs and to LOVE it… so this sweet version should be a… piece of cake for me haha!

Balfours Bakery – baking since 1853

91 Exeter Tce

Dudley Park, SA 5008

Tel. 08 8368 5305

http://www.balfours.com.au

Adelaide Writers’ week

No wonder March is Adelaideans’ favorite month. There are so many shows running at the moment. It is such a lovely time of the year and a beautiful way to say goodbye to summer!  The offer is massive and the hardest part is to choose because you want to see everything! Actually, I wish I could party everyday… but as a “working/student”  I must save money so I have to restrain myself. Hopefully there are many free events and that is what I love about Adelaide, they do their best to please every taste and  every budget!

Each year, Adelaide hosts the “writers’ week”: a  unique free event! This is an absolutely charming festival celebrating an important art form: WRITING. The writers’  week offers the opportunity to meet national and international authors, to hear about their books and to share their visions. http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/2015/writers_week/adelaide_writers_week

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It is an outdoor event taking place in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden. The park is beautiful with the garden roses and the palm trees. It is a very relaxed atmosphere, very casual… I like the way they keep it “simple” and intimate. It makes it even more special and appropriate to share a true passion between writers and readers.

My friend Nasim (from Iran) and I decided to go to the Writers’ week on Thursday 05 March afternoon and we listened to Esther Freud talking about her book Mr Mac and Me set at the onset of the First World War. Esther is a  British novelist and actress. Her family is famous: she is the daughter of painter Lucian Freud and great grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud! It was really interesting to listen to her talking about her book, the war and the little village where the story takes place. It was a little bit hard for me to understand as we were sitting in the back so I had to real focus on the words. I must say the Q&A session was really good and it was also interesting to hear about the author’s personal life as she had quite an original childhood. As a child when she would visit her father’s studio, she was so used to see nudes paintings, it was very natural for her and part of her life. So when she was 16 and he asked her if she would mind sit for him, she immediately accepted and took her clothes off. Actually she said that posing naked for her father was much easier than taking her clothes off in front of a lover – which made the audience laugh! I hope it does not sound like the typical French cliché that the only part I got clearly is this episode  😉 haha…  Actually I recall seing Esther’s nude painting at the Tate Modern when I was living and working in London and I am glad I could hear the true story behind this piece of art as I felt a little bit uncomfortable at the museum.

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My favorite presentation was from the author Favel Parrett “When the night comes. She is such  a lovely and interesting person! Basically, her story explores the relationship between two different characters who left their mainland to seek for a better life. Isla is a isolated young girl who lives in Tasmanian and Bo is a Danish sailor on his way to Antarctica. Bo enjoys sharing his fascinating stories about the life on board of the Nella Dan ship that transports people and cargo between Australia and the Antarctic research station. The power of the story lies on the amazing description of the journeys and the detailed life on board which will make you travel with the characters. All inspired by the author’s own experience during her Australian Antarctic Arts fellowship used as research for her novel! http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2012/fellowship-to-tell-the-story-of-longest-serving-antarctic-ship

The Q&A session was also very interesting since the author explained how hard it was to let the characters go when the book was finished. She spent 2 years writing this novel and it was like Isla and Bo were part of her life. She also explained why she chose this title since people were surprised because when you think about Antarctica you think about light, ice, white snow, sun (by the way leave me a comment once you have read the book and I will reveal you why she picked this title). She also told us how hard it is for her to come up with a title as she changes her mind quite often. She also insisted on the fact that it is useful to have a good editor to walk you through and to say “ok, now it is done, stop” since she could have kept on doing more and more researches and re-write again and again about her story and her characters. She added she would be thrilled to work again on a ship like she did a couple of years ago because it is just you and the immensity of the sea balanced with the confined life on the boat that becomes your home and your family! It must be an incredible experience… Anyway, I have really enjoyed her presentation and I will definitely read her book!

Actually it is quite funny because I happened to have a conversation about Antarctica 10 days ago with an old friend of mine…  Life is funny sometimes, don’t you think?!  So my friend John (from California) told me that he would love to take a trip to Antarctica and he is meaning it! I was like “well, good for you” but maybe I should be more enthusiastic about it too since I have never been that “closed” from Antarctica! I must say I was feeling a little bit skeptical… probably because I have never considered this destination before, why would I!? It sounds like a cold no man’s land to me… but now after hearing about this lovely book and story I am willing to give it a go, I have totally changed my mind about it. It sounds like an expedition, an exciting and unique adventure!!!

Adelaide Zoo - 063This is what I like about books, it touches your heart and gives you new perspectives. Writing is about creating, communicating, expressing and connecting with the world… I can’t see better events than Adelaide Writers’ week to celebrate this overwhelming feeling! All in all a fantastic journey where imagination and creation have no limits!