Bet this place gets packed in summer

Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As it had been getting quite dark when we arrived at our accommodation we got up and had a brew outside the chalet. We were on a slight incline so we were looking over the area.  It looked lovely and very farm influenced.  We were staying two nights in Hahndorf so we could have a look around Adelaide Hills and not be rushed. 

Normal morning routine completed we prepped up for the day's adventure.   As we sorting ourselves out for the day a young lad was cleaning the gutters of the chalets.  Clearly Health and Safety has not come to some areas of Australia as he was just climbing up a ladder which was not fit for use and with only one hand.  The other hand was on the air blower used to blow the leaves out.  On our chalet he had not conducted a look around to see if anything needing moving, like our car.  Five minutes later with our car covered in crap the lad said sorry and that he did not mean for that to happen!  At least he had a hi-vis jacket on!

The walk from the accommodation to the village centre was a lovely little stroll.  We were pleasantly surprised by the village and it looked completely different from what we had seen the night before.  It was beautiful, had a very European feel to it and was just so clean.  At the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) we found some strange exhibition of a cardboard castle just outside for which we could not find information that is not to say there wasn’t any.  We collected some information for the Hills as well as catching up with the history of the village.  It was established by around 1839 and is the oldest German settlement in Australia.  The founders were Lutheran families fleeing religious persecution in Prussia.  We found a monument to a Captain Hahn who played a big role in the negotiations between the families and the land owners.  He got a fantastic deal for them.  For his work he was offered land to stay but returned to the sea, not sure that was the right decision as he would have been a bigger icon than he was to the Lutheran families.  The village must have been named after him.  Who ever he was he had make a large contribution to this town.

Now we had this information we could not get away from the German influence on the village.  We were slightly shocked to find a Scottish shop slap bang in the middle of the main street.  There were a couple of hotels with bars we liked the look of so decided to pop down later for a couple of quiet ones.  We headed back to the chalet to pick up the car to explore some other villages in the Hills.

Our road trip took us through Oakbank and Woodside but we did not stop as they did not look as nice as Hahndorf.  Maybe we had been spoilt by Hahndorf and were expecting too much.  As we were a bit peckish we finally stopped in a place called Birdwood.  No way near as beautiful as Hahndorf but it did have some places of interest like the National Motor Museum.  Neither of us is too hot on vehicles so we gave it a miss.  What was interesting was a plaque we found about how the settlement was another Lutheran village which was originally named Blumberg.  Due to the anti German feeling during the First World War it was re-named Birdwood.  It sounded like this had happened all over the area.

We could not resist taking a photo of a van over a pub before finding a secluded picnic area not far from the main street.  We were joined by a couple of grey nomads who were very nice.  They were yet another couple who were travelling around the country.  It is amazing how many older people we have come across who have upped sticks and travelling.  Who can blame them when you live in such a big and beautiful country.  They did giggle when we took our photo with a big caterpillar!  It was here we first heard about the earthquake in New Zealand from a local who stopped to talk to the Grey Nomads, we love that phrase.

We were like little kids as we made our way over to Gumeracha.  This was the home of the world’s biggest rocking horse so who could resist it.  The village itself was not that big so it was a quick photo call then back on the road to return to the chalet via Lobethal.  We had found all the villages lovely, clean and tidy but not as nice when compared to Hahndorf.

Back at the chalet it was still quite early so Jacko got his media fix about the NZ quake.  It looked pretty bad and the buildings looked mashed.  In fact some of the presenters were reporting about a building where they had friends working in it.  Things are not looking good for planet earth at the moment.  There was some news for Jacko on the diving front.  The dive shop in Adelaide were diving the HMAS Hobart on Sunday so it was a green light for that however there would be some logistics to sort out first.

It was the same walk into town we have completed in the morning.  The only difference this time was that we noticed Chicken Poo on sale by the side of the road for 5 dollars a bag.  We both had to smile about that one,

After sorting out some food for our evening meal we sampled a couple of the pubs.  The first one was nice and we could sit outside.  There was a group of people there who clearly had enjoyed an afternoon’s drinking of large steins of German beer.  It was not the level of the noise that was causing the problem but the bricklayer’s bum on display when they decided to sit on the backs of the benches’.  They also had a game of making a lorry use its air horn when passing them.  One chap had been unsuccessfully for some time but when one of the girls stepped up to the mark, the lorry drivers honk their horns every time.  Read into that what you like but we thought it was a bit sexist!!!

The walk back to the chalet seemed shorter maybe it was the beer.  We were back, fed and watered in no time.  Most of the channels were continuing their coverage of the NZ earthquake so we watch a bit of it.  As we hit the sack we were saddened to see the loss of life and the Christchurch Cathedral we had visited in 2005 had been badly damaged.
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