Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, Carrick Hill, Dan Koh, East Gate Lodge, Hahndorf, Hans Heysen, Mitcham, Mitcham Bridge, Mitcham Park, Old Bellair Road, South Australia, The Cedars, Tony Knight, Torrens Park, Windy Point
DAY 8: LAST DAY – HAHNDORF & MUGGS HILL
Today was Dan’s last day in Adelaide, being due to fly out later this evening. I had intended to take him to Carrick Hill, a wonderful old mansion that was nearby, with a spectacular garden, and also housed one of the largest private collections of the work by British painter Stanley Spencer. We got there but only to discover that it was closed. This was to be the first disappointment of the day. We then drove up Old Bellair Road to the lookout Windy Point, overlooking Adelaide.
I should have brought Dan here first as it has such great all encompassing view of Adelaide and its surrounding area, notably Glenelg that we had visited only a few days before; something for me to remember next time when I have guest to stay – go to Windy Point first.
From Windy Point we drove further into the Adelaide Hills towards the town of Hahndorf. The main reason why I wanted to take Dan to Hahndorf was to go to the home and studio of Hans Heysen, called ‘The Cedars’, which lay just outside Hahndorf. Hans Heysen (1877-1968) is one of my favourite Australian landscape artists, and ‘The Cedars’ is a truly wonderful place. However, when we got there we discovered that like Carrick Hill it too was closed for the day. 2nd Disappointment.
By this time Dan had announced, ‘I am hungry’; so we drove to Hahndorf for something to eat, and ideally something very German.
Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest German settlement, being established by essentially Prussian Lutherans in 1839-39. Originally involved in agricultural production, it is now a major tourist attraction, mainly because it has retained its unique German flavour with many original buildings still standing and in excellent condition. During WWI the town was briefly re-named Ambleside, and many of its German inhabitants, including Hans Heysen were interred and/or help under house arrest, simply because they were of German descent. The town reverted back to Hahndorf in 1935.
Hahndorf was quite busy when we arrived. We found a park off the main street and then wandered up to find a restaurant. We did – and ate. Dan had – guess what? Fish and chips (again), but with some more vegetables. I had a larger German sausage with vegetables – delicious.
After lunch we meandered up and down the main street of Hahndorf, admiring the buildings and occasionally venturing into one of the many shops along the way.
We came across the Hahndorf Art Gallery, which is housed in an old building that once was an educational academy. We went in – of course. To say that it was quite eclectic would be an understatement in that not only did contain a museum, but also two very sizable galleries that were exhibiting new works by local artists, plus (of course) a very large shops that was full of delightful but very expensive things for tourists.
The Heritage Museum & Art Gallery – Hahndorf
Ground Floor Gallery
Beyond the Gift Shop on the ground floor lay the first gallery. It contained an exhibition by a solo local artist – and it was all about insects. This strangely enough was to become a bit of a motif throughout the gallery; little wonder that I then started to think of Starship Troopers (haha).
2nd Ground Floor Gallery – The Museum
The 2nd Ground Floor Gallery was the Museum, and contained a lovely tribute to Hans Heysen, as well as having some of his original sketches and water-colours. In another adjacent room it housed what could be called historic artefacts from a by-gone era, or just simply tatty old junk – some of the pieces were great whilst others???
The Upstairs Gallery was reached by climbing what was a rather steep staircase located in the gift shop. The exhibition that was being held in this gallery was called The Artist’s Voice, and was an eclectic mixture of modern work by local artists, some good and some not so good.
Dan was rather overwhelmed and had to leave the building and recover outside until I joined him.We then continued along the main street – more lovely old buildings, and more shops – and a Lutheran Park.
We decided that we had had enough of Hahndorf and so drove back to Muggs Hill Road, via Crafters, Aldgate and Sterling. Dan’s final hours in Australia would be spent at my wonderful old 1862 sandstone cottage, East Gate Lodge on Muggs Hill Road. For those of you who have followed this journey. ‘Dan Does Adelaide’, as well as my settling in Adelaide, here are some more pics of my beautiful garden, the cottage, and the surrounding historic area of Mitcham.
Home & Garden
Muggs Hill Road / Evans Road
And so – one chapter comes to and end – and another begins – ‘To New Life’.