Sunday, April 10, 2016

A quick visit to Perth

After a busy, but relaxing 2 days in Adelaide, we packed up again and flew to Western Australia and Perth.  Although it's a pretty easy 3 hour flight, we were a bit delayed that day, so unfortunately arrived in Perth later than we had hoped.  Still, we checked into our hotel and grabbed the train south to Freemantle.  We had planned to spend the afternoon poking around in and out of the little shops, but most were closed by the time we got there.  

Since the shops were closed and we were hungry, we grabbed a table outside at The Monk.  After sharing a taster flight of their beers and a snack, we wandered on.  It had become dark and was a bit chilly sitting outside!

As you may know, M is afraid of heights.  We were walking through a park heading over to our dinner stop when we passed a Ferris wheel.  I jokingly said let's go - and for some reason he agreed!  So we bought our tickets and stepped into our own little enclosed carriage thing, and off we went!  Quite fun!

I was so proud of him!  We needed photo evidence - I knew my mom wouldn't believe me otherwise.

After our thrilling ride, we finished our walk to Little Creatures.  Definitely one of the most well known breweries in Australia, as it seemed like everyone we told where we were going suggested we check it out.  We went in the tasting room first and shared a sampler tray of their beers.  Then we went next door to the restaurant for dinner - we were starving at this point!  The place was packed, but we grabbed the end of a communal table right in front of the kitchen.  We ordered one of their wood fired pizzas and a few other things to share - and everything was delicious.  

The next morning, we got up and out pretty early.  We grabbed some coffee and set off on a little self guided walking tour.  The City of Perth has a few to chose from, complete with a map and building descriptions!  We just downloaded it onto my phone and off we went.  It was a beautiful day!

A beautiful little shopping arcade called London Court

Perth Town Hall, which opened in 1870.

St. George's Cathedral

Government House, completed in 1864.  Just as we walked by, one of the staff members came out to pick some herbs from the garden.

Sculpture in Stirling Gardens.  We really loved the mix of old and new throughout the parts of the city we saw. 

We got about halfway through the walk before my friend Peter called us, saying he was on his way to pick us up.  Another former club manager, we met at one of my previous conferences, and I promised if I ever made it to Western Australia, I would call.  Well, we had lost touch for years, but a few months before our trip I finally found him on LinkedIn - and you can imagine the surprise when I told him we were coming to visit!  We only had a few hours together, but he took us on a great little tour of Perth!  

First, beaches.  In the few short minutes we stood on this beautiful beach, a coast guard type truck drove by warning folks that a 30m shark was just off the coast, and people should stay out of the water for 'just a few minutes while they shoo him away.'  There was a helicopter just hovering overhead to do the shooing... guarantee I would not be getting back in that water!  But apparently this occurrence was not out of the ordinary! 

Next he took us up to Kings Park and Botanic Gardens.  According to their website, "Kings Park is one of the world’s largest and most beautiful inner city parks. It is rich in Aboriginal and European history, contemporary culture and offers innovative design, displays and services. Kings Park is home to the spectacular Western Australian Botanic Garden, which displays over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora. Two thirds of the 400 hectare park is protected as bushland and provides a haven for native biological diversity."  

It was packed on this beautiful morning.  We stopped to enjoy the sweeping views, take a few photos and then grabbed a coffee from their cafe to sit and visit for a bit.  It was great to catch up, and we promised our next trip to Perth would be longer!

He dropped us back off at our downtown hotel.  We walked around the CBD a bit more, stopping for a delicious lunch at Grill'd.  We really loved Perth, and hated not having more time to explore the city.  It was beautiful and had a really unique, new design feel to it - that's what you get in a modern city built from new coal money!  But alas, it was time to go south, so we grabbed our rental car and set out for Margaret River!

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