This past week we have spent meeting with friends of Beth and Beth’s parents. Beth left Australia in
1981 and she was 8 years old at that time. I am surprised how much she remembers from back then. Of course they had seen each other since then but there was a lot of talk about the old times and the new times. It is amazing as I heard stories from Greeks here that are very similar to stories I have heard from the same generation Greeks in the US and I also know of very similar stories from my own family’s past. It was a very hard time but most of them did well, I believe they did much better than if they had stayed in our homeland. It is unbelievable the hardship that those people had to endure
and the difficulties and challenges they faced in their new adopted countries. Most could not speak the language, the passage down here was mostly by ship and they had to work for well o
ver a year to pay for their passage to Australia. Here in Adelaide Greeks are everywhere, anywhere one turns can see sign posts with Greek names. They have left a strong influence that, together with other immigrant groups like the Italians, have left a distinct cultural mark, enriching their lives and the lives of this city in many ways. Up in the Adelaide Hills we went to Hahndorf. Lutheran Germans were prosecuted in Germany in the early 1800s and thus sought a new home. Germans were the second significant people that came to the shores of this country looking for a better future and freedom to
express their religion. They found a new country in the rolling hills surrounding the city of Adelaide, there are many small Lutheran churches dotting the area. Hahndorf has a German look and a lot of the eateries and stores sell German food, there are some Fachwerk houses. We tried the sausages and they were decent but nothing like back home. We saw people eating Eisbein and Sauerkraut with a beer outside in 30C weather! It was bizarre. We went on to Mt. Barker and drove up to the summit where we
had an incredible view of the surroundings.
Australia is now the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world behind France, Italy and Spain. Barossa Valley is most known for its Shiraz, but there are excellent Rieslings as well and of course many more. We visited the Seppeltsfield winery, they also have a self taught chocolatier on the winery, who was inspired by the movie “Chocolat”. When I watched that movie I was inspired to eat 200 euros worth of pralines within a week, I guess each to his own. We then moved on to Clare Valley, which in my eyes looked like Barossa Valley albeit much smaller. Riesling in Australia has its home in this valley. It was a great day and
we spend it with Dimi, Beth’s childhood friend, who once about 37 years ago held my wife’s hand without asking me, he is a great dude though so I let it slide.
Well, what better way to see what kind of beach town we are talking about by driving down to Glenelg, the first settlement on mainland Australia according to Wikipedia.org. Reading up on this plush and popular beach side suburb I also came across a new word that I will use when possible to impress native English speakers. The word is “palindrome”, a Greek word by the way, and Glenelg is such a word. It can be read in either direction. About the Glenelg beach there is not really that much that I can w
rite, I have never seen beaches anywhere as good as our beaches on the Mediterranean (Greece, Spain, Turkey, Italy, etc.). I have yet to see the South Sea though so there might be something better. As you can tell we were not really impressed by the beach or the waters in Glenelg Also, similar to the Henley Beach that we had visited a couple weeks ago the waters are rough, and there is just too much build around it. We like our beaches to be away from major settlements, the waters should be clear. That is nearly impossible here with the big waves pounding the beach.
December of 1836. It really is a very young country in some regards. The replica doubles as a restaurant and a museum, unfortunately both were closed when we were there.
On Saturday we were invited at a baptism, Beth’s Godparent’s daughter who was also a witness at our wedding in 1999; baptized her daughter Eirini. It was the first time that I saw a round church like that. It is a very significant event in the life of a Christian-Orthodox.