In no prosperous country in the world can you find such a combination of welfare with untouched nature and limitless open spaces …
Today, Aeroflot refused to fly to Australia, citing economic reasons. However, the KLM Boeing 747 crammed full of passengers (including from Russia) suggests that the “economic reasons” for canceling flights are associated only with inept management at our airline.
The Amsterdam – Sydney route is the longest for KLM and the execution of it is entrusted to the best crews. We landed at Sydney International Airport in the afternoon and two hours later I flew on, to Adelaide, on the Boeing of the local ANSET airline.
Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia, is a tranquil millionth city on the ocean. The central multi-storey part with several modern skyscrapers is small, and the main city consists of one or two storey houses in which Adelaideans live. Striking is the ideal cleanliness, accuracy and impeccable decoration of buildings.
Leaving the hotel in the morning, I was surprised by the vociferous singing of birds. At first it seemed to me that this was just music from the player, noting the inclusion of green light at the crossroads (in Japan and Korea, green light is usually accompanied by birdsong), but there were no traffic lights around, and the singing continued. The low transparent blue sky with clearly defined clouds and a completely unusual flora for us leave a strong impression. The first thick book I read as a child was “Children of Captain Grant” by Jules Verne, and I was surprised to recognize the drawings from this book that seemed almost fantastic in the landscape surrounding me.
I was interested in the art of Aboriginal Australia. The fact is that in 1990 an exhibition of paintings by Aboriginal artists was held at the Museum of Ethnography of St. Petersburg, it made a great impression on me and wanted to know more about this art. Adelaide is home to the Tandanya Aboriginal Art Center, which has a rich library and hosts exhibitions of Aboriginal artists. A good original picture can be purchased for 300-400 US dollars. Of course, for a professor from Russia this is a large amount, but for our businessmen it is quite acceptable. Outwardly, the picture is attractive even for a person of an average cultural level, but their value is very great for Russia, if only because I don’t know a single collection containing paintings by Australian authors. I highly recommend to those who have managed to steal quite a lot, fork out and buy some of these paintings for themselves, while realizing that they partially atone for their guilt by importing cultural property to their homeland.
Despite the advice of friends, I decided to take a bus from Adelaide to Melbourne. A ticket costs 40 Australian dollars, but you get great pleasure contemplating the Australian landscape, getting to know the small neat towns that meet along the way (350 km). I left at 8.15 in the morning and already at 19.30 was in Melbourne. Small cities are characterized by wide streets, beautiful buildings of the colonial period, in excellent condition and plenty of greenery.
Australians are calm and friendly, on the streets, in shops, in cafes and bars, I have never encountered rudeness and have not witnessed loud-voiced clarifications of relations.
At first we drove along the freeway with a split traffic, but very soon the road narrowed, resembling our regional roads, and only 90 kilometers to Melbourne again turned into the freeway. Passing the hills surrounding Adelaide, we drove on a flat road with endless fields of wheat that alternated with forest stands. After Horsham in Victoria, the road again went along hilly terrain, giant thuja trees and magnolias began to appear, we drove through virgin forests and picturesque valleys. The small cities of Apart, Borfort, and Ballarat were surprised by the accuracy, beautifully preserved architectural monuments of the Victorian era and cleanliness.
Melbourne appeared unexpectedly. A huge group of modern skyscrapers stood out clearly on the plain scorched by the sun. A few more minutes – and we were at the city bus station. Melbourne and Sydney are rightfully among the five most beautiful cities in the world. Beauty is achieved by a mixture of architectural styles. Here, modern buildings of glass and steel are adjoined by administrative buildings and banks of the colonial time. The city center is a rectangle, the perimeter of which runs until 6 pm the so-called “city ring tram”, the passage on which costs nothing. The four-axle tram cars themselves – buildings of the beginning of the century – are in excellent condition and riding on it is a great pleasure. In addition, using it, you can explore the entire city center. In general, the city tram is the most important form of public transport. Tram tracks, as well as rolling stock, are in excellent condition.