Today we hit Adelaide. We didn’t have a shore excursion planned, so we just took the train into town, then walked to the botanical garden a little over a kilometer away.
This one is a little more formally laid out than Melbourne’s, but it had the most amazing thing: the Museum of Economic Botany. Remember that fake “genetic library” at the Museum of the Future in Dubai? Well THIS was the real deal. Plants collected over about 150 years by explorers going all over the world.
The plants were grouped in the cases by family, and there were some surprising groupings. For instance, I didn’t know that tobacco and petunias are part of the nightshade family. There were so many plants, many with labels in faded, spidery writing or beautiful copperplate cursive. I could have stayed all day, but we needed lunch.
We went looking for a particular vegan restaurant, and as we walked along a street lined with restaurants, I was shocked at how many were not yet open at noon on a Friday. They didn’t have the shuttered look that the ones in Darwin had – these looked like if we waited around another couple of hours, they’d be open.
The place we were looking for was hidden behind a normal, residential-looking door that led to a steep staircase the width of the door. At the top of the staircase was an adorable, tiny little tea shop that took the place of the vegan restaurant we were looking for. No matter! They served vegan food and delicious tea. They also had a cute little mailbox with paper and envelopes next to it with a sign that said “Write a letter. Take a letter.” The mailbox had the customary slot, but also a door in the front that you could open and take a letter out. And friends, you KNOW that I left a letter there.
From there we went to the Art Gallery of South Australia. This place was a little larger than the museum we’d gone to in Sydney, and we took in every exhibit. I love a museum!
At that point, we were adventured out. We made our way back to the train station and got on the train for the harbor.
It’s a 40-minute train ride, but the great thing is that the downtown train station and the harbor station are at opposite ends of a single line, so it’s not like we had to be paying attention to which stop we needed.
We felt great about having had a better adventure by ourselves than we would have had with a tour group.