South Australian Museum

9 04 2012

A trip to the South Australian Museum, on North Terrace in Adelaide. A few photographs of the Pacific Islander collection and the building, the war memorial and an abandoned building on North Terrace that has fallen “victim” to some street art.

breast decorations made from shell

Fiji Times declares peace in the Pacific (WWII)

Pacific Islander mask

the War Memorial, North Terrace, Adelaide

an attractive but abandoned building on North Terrace, Adelaide

faces at the window (detail)

ornate plaque


Troglodyte village of Rochemenier

11 03 2012

Rochemenier is a tiny above-ground village in central France but it has an amazing tourist attraction in the centre of the village. Until 1920, some of the rural-dwellers of this village lived underground in caves. Troglodyte living – literally meaning cave-dwellers – occurs all over the world (notably in Coober Pedy in South Australia, where, to escape the heat, much of the town is built into underground caves).

The caves at Rochemenier are not quite so modern as the dwellings in Coober Pedy, but they show a functioning farm and several houses which formed the cave-dwelling community, including communal halls, wine-making presses and enclosures for the animals. Photographs on display show large families in full 18th century dress, weddings and other community gatherings. They might have lived in caves but their lives were probably not so different from other rural folk at the time.

The dwellings and halls were built into caves in the walls of a very large pit in the ground. Various holes and openings allowed light in and smoke out while protecting inhabitants from the worst of the elements. The paths and open spaces between the dwellings were open to the sky. The front of the houses were built across with stone, leaving doors and windows (the latter were glazed), but the inner rooms had rough-hewn walls of stone, where the caves had been extended and cut back into the rock.

The caves have been restored and are open for tourists to visit. A quiz for children is available at the front counter, with a prize for children who complete the questions. In the photographs above and below, ground level is usually at the top of the picture (they were taken from the bottom of the pit within the village). Surrounding the caves on the ground level was an orchard which belonged to the original form, and the village of Rochemenier.

The website for Rochemenier ishere.

Want more photos of France? Here are a few more….
Arrival in Paris
Caves of Lascaux
Notre Dame
French menus
Standing Stones of Carnac
Les Grottos en France
The Louvre
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
Streets of Paris
Arc de Triomphe
The troglodytes of Maison Fort de Reignac
Fontainebleau – Versailles without the queues
An unknown Chateau
La Seine
Theme Parks, French Style
Where Da Vinci lived
Pretty pictures en France

Life is a beach

30 01 2012

These pictures were taken at Goolwa and Middleton beaches at the end of January 2012 – the end of the summer season. Goolwa and Middleton, and the nearby town of Victor Harbor, are traditional summer holiday places for people from Adelaide. The towns are a combination of retirees (God’s waiting room, as they say) and holiday homes. This is where the “schoolies week” is held in South Australia. Only an hour’s drive from Adelaide, this area is very accessible even for a day-trip, and is often a couple of degrees cooler – very important in an Australian summer.

wild weather

leave nothing but footprints (which are quickly washed away)

swim between the flags

jumping off the rocks into the surf

rocky island

surf school

dog chasing ball

where are the chips? Being held hostage in the car by a flock of seagulls....

If you liked this post, you might also like At the edge of the ocean

Hahndorf Lantern Festival

12 11 2011


Our leader!

The Hahndorf Lantern Festival was held for the first time last night, 11/11/11.  It replicates a German tradition, Laternenumzug, and celebrates the life of St Martin of Tours.  St Martin was a soldier in the Roman Army who apparently at age 18 saw a beggar who was cold and tore his own cloak in half to share with the beggar. That night he dreamt that Jesus presented him to the angels saying “Here is Martin, who has clothed me”. The next morning the cloak was miraculously restored. He later became Bishop of Tours (or as it was then known in Roman / Gaul times, Caesarodunum.) For further information, see Wikipedia.