Size isn’t everything

I fell for it again today.

Not having much old stuff in the country, touristy spots attempt to make up for what they’re lacking in age by promoting their size.

There was the giant cassowary near Cairns, the enormous bull in Rockhampton and the whopping wool bales in Hamilton.

The other thing guidebooks and signs like to boast is that a particular building or monument is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Time and time again I’ve been sucked in by the claims, repeatedly going along to gaze at  what invariably turns out to be an averagely-sized lump of rock, lighthouse or tower.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that someone pointed out to me why I’d been repeatedly disappointed. Aside from Australia and New Zealand, there are few countries in the southern hemisphere which have enough money to go throwing about to build super-tall structures.

I thought I’d learned my lesson, but today I went to Adelaide’s botanic gardens, to the largest conservatory on this latitude.

titchy green house
Having perhaps been spoiled by the amount of real rainforests I’ve visited over the past few weeks, I can’t say I was particularly impressed at parting with my dosh to see a few trees in greenhouse which didn’t seem much bigger than the one my grandad used to have on his allotment.

Still, it was nice to see a few plants from home, even if the offering from the East Midlands was a rose called Sir Cliff Richard.

Happily the rest of Adelaide is much more impressive. The place seems to have been built by people who were more than passing fans of wide open spaces, English architecture, pomp and grandeur:

adelaide
Much better than an over-sized piece of fruit…

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1 Response to “Size isn’t everything”


  1. Simon

    Did you read the Bill Bryson Oz book? very good read. IIRC he didn’t like Adelaide much.