Having woken occasionally in the night to the sound of rain pelting down on our roof, we weren’t expecting to awake to a world of sunlight and warmth. Which is good as we didn’t. Being on holiday, we enjoyed the luxury of staying in bed past the time we would usually be in our offices, then got up, checked out, and hit the street. The first order of business was to get to the post to send Swedish chocolates off to my parents. Then we had a mission.
Scott has food fantasies. When we travelled in the US he fantasised about enormous portions of good but deathly unhealthy foods, stacks of pancakes so large he could only eat an infinitesimal part, and home made pies that were so good it made him cry. The reality didn’t really meet his fantasies. We did have an enormous meal or two; I remember one Mexican meal we took leftovers from that lasted us for 2 more meals. He had some decent but not gigantic pancakes. However the only ‘homemade’ pies we ever had definitely came from the kitchens of people who used tinned pie filling.
Scott’s Hahndorf food fantasy was for decadent German pastries. Not some soggy supermarket pastry, but for something flaky and luscious. We’d done a bit of research in the dark the night before, however none of the bakeries or cafes we passed seemed like they’d have what we were looking for. Disturbingly, as we passed one of the pubs on the way to to the Post we saw some very convincing looking pastry, but that just seems wrong. It’s the pub!
Scott asked the woman at the post for a recommendation, and between coughs and wheezes she mentioned one or two of the places we’d passed and ruled out as well as Otto’s, at the other end of town. So we headed down there for a look. To be honest I wasn’t terribly impressed by the looks of the place, however it turned out the pastries were good and the coffee was great. Hahndorf was settled in 1839, so I assumed that the town was banking on a German-ness that had long since been Australianised, however the baker at Otto’s is (according to his daughter who works behind the counter) from Germany. It made for a pleasant breakfast.
Caffeinated and back on the wild main street of town, we enjoyed the autumn colour and noted a bit more about the buildings of the place. Aside from the stone-with-heavy-mortar-and-brick-framed-walls style we had seen in Adelaide, there were two other things that seemed distinctive to the area: fachwerk and huge columns on porches. The fachwerk had a distinctly local flavour: between the timbers would be the same style of stone and heavy mortaring we’d seen in other buildings. I wondered if these were more modern buildings, which had been done in a half-timbered style when the town thought it could cash in on it’s German heritage and grab some tourists’ dollars, however they seemed to be of a genuinely old.
The other distinctive architectural folly of the town was a habit of putting large, elaborate columns onto porches that must be more decorative than structural. Large, wide columns – that support only the most modest of beam. We saw this several times on Main Street and thought it was a local peculiarity, however as we travelled around we saw it everywhere – in the Barossa, in Adelaide CBD.
Scott was interested in going to the candle maker’s shop, however they weren’t open yet – so we took a walk to another cache. It wasn’t apparent how to get there from Main Road, so we ventured into some of the back streets of Hahndorf (yes – there were some!). I must say the stone buildings and autumn leaves were most fetching. Of course I decided I’d get the cache first and take photos later, however once we were at the cache site it was apparent that there was easy pedestrian access over a creek,so we didn’t pass that way again. By now the candle maker was open, so we looked around, I spent quite a bit of time petting the dogs and wondering what Lottie was doing. (Most likely she was busy watching Naomi’s budgies.) In the end we wound up getting two stained glass/ Moroccan-ish candle holders. As our major purchases at Ikea the day before had been a candelabra and a lamp, we decided to name our trip the Luminosity Tour.
With our Hahn now truly Dorfed (Am I the only person who seems to think this town name translates to something like ‘Chicken Village’ and is therefore rather comical? Sorry Captain Dirk Hahn.), we were ready to head on. We had no plans other than to make it to Tanunda, where I’d booked our accommodation for the night. So I just told the GPSr to head there and we just drove and picked up caches as we came across them. We were driving through hilly, agricultural land. In the rain. Occasionally the rain would REALLY pelt down – usually when I was headed to a geocache and had left my Gortex in the car. But the drive was pleasant and beautiful. A bit rainy to photograph well; lots of raindrops on the windscreen and sideways rain when outside the car!
We arrived in Tanunda in early afternoon. Nothing exciting food-wise struck us in town, so we headed out to Maggie Beer’s, which Scott had visited on his brief trip to South Australia in November. We had a pleasant lunch of yummy nibbles – a collection of pates, chutneys, cheeses, breads, etc. with quality coffee. Her farm shop has views over an artificial dam, which I’m sure is gorgeous in sunny weather but which looked grey and cold and made our seats indoors all the more cosy. We headed on after tasting her other products and after I took a silly number of photos of peacocks and different varieties of pheasants.
When Scott was last in South Australia, he and his brother-in-law and sister took their mum on a wine tasting bus trip to the Barossa. Scott’s favourite winery was Langmeil, not just for their delicious wine but also because he was impressed by their vines – some of the oldest in the world. When we first arrived at the winery, Scott took me on a walk to see the old vines.
Since we were at a winery, we did some wine tasting. Tough job and all that. It was great. Not only were the wines delicious, but it was cold and wet outside and warm and cosy inside. Our favourites were the Blacksmith Cabernet, Orphan Bank Shiraz, and The Freedom 1843 Shiraz. It was a bit cold to get too excited about white, but the Eden Valley Riesling was nice too. Scott got 2 bottles of the old vines wine, one Orphan Bank and one Freedom. We didn’t want to get any more and have to carry it back on the flight home.