The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise


The Train Still Leaves From Here

This is the final photo safari post from my last Adelaide trip. Over the years Adelaide’s city fathers have done much to diminish the railway station. The (underused) marble entrance halls were turned into a casino. An uninspiring conference centre was plonked on top of the tracks. Exotic trains such as the Ghan to Darwin and the Sydney – Perth Indian Pacific still run, but not from here.

Not all is lost. The station retains some of its character, it hasn’t been turned into a bland mega mall full of franchise stores.

Seppelts still makes fine wine, so this isn’t quite a ghost sign. wpid-img_20150421_122721.jpg

The columns are interesting, they look like they’re ceramic. wpid-img_20150421_122823.jpg

The old ticket booth, now a coffee shop.


You can get some sense of the vaulted ceiling.


Street art from a nearby side street. wpid-img_20150421_123038.jpg


Birdwatching At Largs Bay

More from my latest Adelaide safari. The Largs Pier Hotel is a sacred site for me. The photos can’t capture the excitement of the 1970’s, when I saw Australia’s greatest bands there. What remains is an elegant pub that does a good lunch and the local birdlife. There’s lots of memories too, but I’ll write those up later.

The Largs Pier Hotel.

wpid-img_20150420_141437.jpgThe View From The Jetty.

wpid-img_20150420_141342.jpgThe Largs used to be the German Consulate, the eagles remain.


A rare sighting of the Largs Bay Street Emu.

wpid-img_20150420_141104.jpgA proper bird. wpid-img_20150420_141037.jpg




Photo Safari 3

I’m planning three Photo Safari posts this week. They’ll all be more sights of Adelaide, architecture, the railway station and the legendary Largs Pier Hotel.

Despite the best efforts of successive generations of councils, there are still some interesting buildings left in Adelaide.  Often you have to look up to see them. One floor above the underwhelming Rundle Mall  ‘shopping experience’ you can still find quirky buildings with personality.

A standout is the CML building on the corner of Hindley and King William Streets. The odd decoration scheme makes it look like the headquarters of some gothic super villain. You can spot Aztec style owl gargoyles, rampant lions, green men and a host of odd shapes.


Boring clothes shops and fast food joints cropped out using Aviary


Photo Safari 2

Like all good drifters, sometimes I ride across the dusty plains back to my home town.  I stride like Clint Eastwood through the wide streets while men dive back into the saloons and women peer out from behind the curtains.

The dusty plains are now covered by smart new housing estates and some of my favourite saloons are long gone.

It’s Adelaide, South Australia. There’s nothing like being a tourist in your own town to start noticing the quirky buildings and slightly mad architecture.    I’d taken it all for granted.

Here’s a selection of some of the sights I’d forgotten.

One for the door fans. I like the Inca motifs. wpid-img_20150212_105958.jpg

A deco Inca/Aztec temple in the backstreets, just round the corner from the ancient Pancake Kitchen, site of many exploits.


The Beehive corner, where Adelaidians still meet. Over the top Italianate stylings, it’s got gothic crocket finials and moorish hints too…. and, of course, a bee on the top. This one’s worth clicking on to enlarge for the details.


The East End Markets, now developed into housing and posh shops. I miss all the musty mysterious smells.  Highly recommend the Eros Kafe for lunch.

NB. There’s a weird thing on top of the roof, it’s a TV aerial, a relic in itself now.


Taken from a car window, another closed down cinema, such a brilliantly modern look. On the Anzac Highway.


Ah memory!  Such fun I had there in my youth. Next trip (soon) I’ll take the SLR and make it a proper photo safari.

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Photo Safari 1

Now that I’m back in Australia I’ll be blogging a few of the sights {and sites) that I love. Expect more writing from the crabs on the beach and the wonders of inner-city Sydney.

Today, King St, Newtown, home of my imaginary time-travelling coffee lounge and many other interesting places.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

The Aboriginal flag flies proudly. Back in the ’80s there was a fabulous indigenous band that played brilliant Creedence covers on a Saturday afternoon.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

The Marlborough has never been a rough pub!

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

Newtown terrace houses.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

Street art opposite Mostly Frank’s Coffee Lounge.


Annotated phone, somewhat kewl, as Quarksire would say.


Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

I confess I’ve taken many more photos at dusk than at dawn.  I grew up in Australia so I’m still fascinated by the long European twiight in the summer. I also love the opaque light in The Netherlands, so beloved of their great painters.

My selection for this week…..

Twlight in Brussels.  The promise of escape ….

through the bars and out into the world

Evening clouds and a thunderstorm brewing… Aveyron,France.


Weak winter sun going down over the North Sea.  Scheveningen, Netherlands.


Tide going out, sun going down, going home.  Hawkesbury River, Australia.


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Kookaburras, Hawkesbury River, NSW, Australia.

Kookaburras are only found in Australia and New Guinea, but their harsh laughing call is always heard in jungle scenes in movies. They’re always there in Tarzan films. They are large confident birds that live by hunting.

They enjoy watching humans digging in the gardenas as they can swoop down and get worms or other tasty morsels.

I tried to encourage them to be in my garden by leaving scraps for them. Pretty soon there were ten of then, very noisy first thing in the morning!

I’m not an ornithologist, or even a ‘twitcher’, but I do love these strong and beautiful creatures.

kookaburra1 kookaburra2 kookaburra3