A Travellerspoint blog

A thirsty camel and a pinot noir later (cont.)

"May as well be here we are as we are" ~Aboriginal saying



Good morning! After a short nights sleep (jet lag doesn't let me sleep past 8:00 a.m.) I'm ready to continue my story.

Day 2 (May 23)
Today we spent most of the day shopping. Our first stop was to get our SIM cards. After much debate we decided to go for Vodafone as our chosen carrier in Australia. Though they had good deals, $40 for unlimited text and call in Australia and free international calling on weekends, we got the slowest worker there to help us. I'm pretty sure it was the first day on the job. It took us maybe 2 hours to get our SIM cards. I unfortunately forgot my passport so I had to walk all the way back to our apartments within those two hours and back and they were still having trouble when I got back. On my way back I met up with two other students on our trip and it literally took them maybe 5 mins each to get their SIM cards. I don't know what our guys problem was, but slow service is part of the abroad experience, right?

Our next mission after we got our SIM cards was to get essential household items (laundry detergent, paper towels, etc.). We thought maybe the Target on the mall would have that kind of stuff...We were quite wrong. Target in Australia are much like Macy's in America. They have nice clothing, home decor, amongst other things, but not what we were looking for. I had forgotten my belt in America which was a huge problem because none of pants would stay up, so I got a belt at Target. Made my day! Since Target didn't have what we were looking for we decided to head for our next destination the Central Market.

The Central Market is your typical inclosed fresh produce market. Now Adelaide is a pretty quite city during the day most of the people come out at night, maybe they're vampires...either they're vampires or they are all at the Central Market. I think the later is probably true. The Central Market was packed with people! We only did the first story of the Central Market where we saw lots of forbidden fruits, meats, candies, bakery items, anything you could imagine that wouldn't be factory produced. My only purchase was 3 apples which were grown outside of Adelaide, I got them for 4 Australian dollars which is about 2-3 American dollars so I thought that was pretty good. After we got our fresh produce, we still need our household essentials so we headed back to Rundle Mall.

We finally found our household essentials at a store literally right beside Target. I don't understand why we didn't go there earlier...I guess we just like taking the long way (Central Market is not very close to Rundle Mall). This store is called Woolworths which is probably the closest you will get to Walmart in Adelaide. Lesson learned at Woolworth: dryer sheets are not a thing in Australia.

Once we brought our loot back to our apartment, I was not ready to stop (otherwise I would have fallen right asleep). So I dragged some of my apartment mates out into the city again. Our goal was to find a wine bar. We unexpectedly ended up at this lovely little bar called Benjamin's on Franklin. It was a nice lounge bar with a old fashion/modern vibe. With out pictures on the wall and those kind of couches from old mansions that you feel like you would break if you sat on them. It was actually quite lovely given that it was not our intended destination, which we believe would not have been as lovely. The pictures attached are from when we were at Benjamin's. Those pictured are Katie and Jiaorui.

For dinner I picked out a student pub for our group called Edinburgh Castle. This was much better then the restaurant we chose the night before. We dined outdoors on a colored twinkle light patio. The other patrons were around our age so we didn't feel too out of place. Someone had reserved the other half of the patio for a 21st birthday party! Either that person doesn't have very many friends or that party was starting pretty late. It was good fun though. We all ordered pizza, which in my opinion was unsatisfying (not enough cheese), but the company and atmosphere made up for it!

Good gosh we did a lot yesterday! Until next time.


Posted by kmnelsen 16:14 Archived in Australia Tagged food market shopping mall adelaide Comments (1)

A thirsty camel and a pinot noir later

"May as well be here we are as we are" ~Aboriginal saying


I've made it to Australia! Many hours later through turbulent skies, crying babies, and airport meals I'm finally in Adelaide. I'm now ending my first day in Adelaide and boy am I tired. We, my fellow W&M students and I, have maybe walked 20 miles since we've been here a bit of an exaggeration maybe but it definitely feels that way. We spend much of our time walking up and down Hindley street, which is the street we live on, to RuLe ndle mall and wherever else our poor feet will take us. Let me start off with yesterday and bring you all up to speed.

Day 1 (arrival day for 7 of the 10)
I was the first one to arrive in Australia from our group, which was a bit alarming since there were supposed to be three other people arriving before me, turns out I'm just awesome. Air New Zealand is the way to go apparently. I'm not just awesome, I also seem to look like a criminal. Our professor said that custom in Australia is a breeze, but when I went through I got grilled with so many questions. It would have been find but were not supposed to say that we are studying in Australia because we aren't actually affiliated with the college so I said I was visiting and then I just got drilled on what I was planning to do. And after a 13+ hour flight I was not prepared to answer so many questions. So when I finally met with Professor Ball after customs and getting my bag scanned again, like I said I'm obviously a criminal, I looked pretty dazed. Once we gathered everyone else whose flights had been delayed we headed for the apartments.

Not much to say on our apartments. There your typical white washed low ceiling apartment. We have a little kitchen, a sofa TV area, and two bedrooms. The craziest part about the apartments is probably the shower. It's like a hurricane in there. I don't know if because we're upside down on the earth that the water pressure is greater but it is like a down pour in there.

For dinner we went to an interesting restaurant, the Black Bull. It was the biggest contradiction in itself. So it had this really cool kind of steam punk decor with leather chairs and big wooden tables, but then it had like neon disco lights and pre-pre 2000s music with weird music videos playing on all the TV screens. We were also the youngest people by far in the restaurant by at least 20 years. It was a very strange experience. The food was good though I had a chicken schnitzel and I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir from Australis of course, which was terribly exciting because I'm legal here!

After dinner we went to a bottleshop called the Thirstycamel, which is the Australian equivalent to a Virginia ABC store. Not all bottleshops are called the Thirstycamel though this one just had a funny name. The thing to buy is wine and beer or cider because hard alcohol is incredibly expensive, like $50 for a small handle. I opted for an Australian Shiraz called the Misty Lane. It was pretty good haven't finished it all yet. I'm beginning to think that Shiraz is not my choice of red wine. Can't put my finger on exactly why but just a feeling.

To top off the end of the night my sorority sister Paige, who is doing the semester abroad program, invited us to a pre-party at her flat. It was exciting to see Paige again, much hugging occurred. We met several other foreign exchange students there. Some from Chile, Germany, and Sweden. The party was a bit much for us though this still being our first day and all the jet lag was seriously starting to set in. We still haven't actually met any Australians really I'm sure we will meet more once we are actually on campus.

I would continue on with Day 2, but we did a to today and I am still struggling with jet lag so I will update that in the morning hopefully.


Posted by kmnelsen 04:26 Tagged food walking travel australia adelaide Comments (0)

Traveling...LAX (longest layover ever)

"Those who lose dreaming are lost"~Aboriginal Proverb

I'm one of the last men/women standing in my lounge in LAX airport, which is in Los Angeles for those who don't know. I've been sitting here for about six hours waiting out my layover and I still have three more hours until I can board a flight to sit for another ten hours or so. I've watched many travelers come and go. All of different nationalities, languages, backgrounds. I always wonder where they may be going. Are they going home to their loved ones? Or are they off on an adventure kind of like myself? I've learned a couple things already on my solo journey. Lesson #1 I learned on my plane ride to LA, which was a very small plane and completely packed. I was wedged in-between two middle aged men, which was good because middle aged men never want to talk on planes but unfortunately they were both had colds (I promptly bought germ-X once we landed). Anyways the lesson was that it is awkward to read Cosmo magazine beside two older men because you never know what crazy stuff Cosmo is going to write about. Lesson #2 was after I arrived at LAX airport. I had wandered around for probably a half mile trying to find my terminal, which I found out was not actually in the building I was in, when I collapsed in a Rolling Stones cafe because I hadn't eaten in a what seemed like an eternity (food was crap by the way, disappointment). Being the novice solo traveler that I am I sat at a table set for two by myself, but I quickly learned that as a solo traveler the best place to sit is at the bar. That way you can just turn to the person and just ask "Where are you flying to?" (I observed two probably about my age travelers do this...yes their is hope for our technology centered generation). So if you want to make a friend I believe the bar is where it's at, however if you don't want to talk to people go the table set for two route. I'm sure there are many lessons to come for me as I make my way through my travels.

I'm not sure what to expect of Australia. Apparently it is a lot like America with American TV shows and Australian copies of American TV shows. Australia also sees themselves apparently the little brother of the United States (but I mean doesn't everyone). I also see Australia being more influenced by the British given their accents are similar and they're still attached in a way. The more I think about it the more I realize how little I know about the country and the people. I expect some of the Australian stereotypes to hold true such as, rowdy people, ample amount of kangaroos (ah yay!), and outback scenes, but I also think it will have a very modern vibe especially in cities. This whole trip is definitely going to be a learning curve.

Australian word of the Day: station- large piece of land used for livestock production...so like a ranch


Posted by kmnelsen 18:04 Archived in USA Tagged travel australia layover lax lessons_learned Comments (0)

Packing...T-minus 1 day 11 hours

"The more you know, the less you need" ~Aboriginal saying

It's not everyday that you pack for a two month trip to Australia and New Zealand. It is actually kind of hard to conceptualize exactly what you need because the climate down under is the complete opposite of the United States. I keep on thinking that I need dresses, shorts, and sun hats because when you normally go out of the country that's what you pack! However, given that it's turning summer here in Virginia means that it's turning winter in Australia and New Zealand, which means I need to be thinking jackets, pants, and warm hats instead. Where I'm going in Australia, a little town of 1.75 million people called Adelaide, is supposed to be around upper 40s to lower 60s, fahrenheit of course (if you want to be a true Australian thats around 8 to 15.9 degrees celsius). New Zealand will be a bit colder given it is further south than Australia. So I am pretty much pulling out all my winter clothes that I just put away and packing them up again. And I thought I had escaped winter for good! I don't really mind it being winter in Australia and New Zealand. It being winter just gives me a reason to go back in the summer...or I guess the winter here in Virginia! Australia and New Zealand I believe will be beautiful in any type of weather. I'm also biased because I've had an ongoing love affair throughout my entire life with these two countries. Despite their dangers (killer octopi, snakes, spiders, crocs...you name it they got it) I've always found them magnificent and the ultimate destination. An endless fascination with their indigenous cultures and what the country is like in modern day. Going to Australia and New Zealand has always been a dream of mine, what will I do when I come back? Maybe I just won't come back....got to see how it goes first though! I can't believe it's only a little over a day till I depart! Can't wait!

If you wanted to know what I'm packing clothing wise here's my list:
-3 pairs of jeans
-1 non jean long pant (carbon-colored trekking pants from Eddie Bauer)
-Little Black Dress
-Patagonia Fleece
-Light weight waterproof jacket
-Sports Jacket
-Wool Socks
-Athletic Socks
-Tennis Shoes
-Leather Boots
-Toms winter boots
-Leather flats
-Shower shoes
-2 pairs of Black leggings
-Swim suit (wishful thinking)
-2 weeks worth of underwear
-2 bras, 1 strapless
-2 pajamas
-2 short sleeve shirts
-2 athletic shirts
-2 athletic shorts
-3 evening shirts
-5 long sleeve
-Black cardigan
-Hat and Gloves

That's it! I don't think it's too bad of a list could be worst. Keep checking back in. I hope to keep updating this frequently!


Posted by kmnelsen 17:28 Archived in USA Tagged winter travel australia new packing zealand list Comments (1)

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