Since being here near the sea and catching up with all that jet lag, we have become early risers - so we have to make special care not to wake everyone up when we are getting ready to go out sharing a dorm with 7 other people. This morning we went to Freemantle Jail, which was rather interesting and we learned that it was the last place that someone was hanged in Australia back in 1991 when they left the jail. Later on this evening we are going to go and see the Southern Cross (Stars) which you can only see from here and then to a pub to listen to some very talented young man play the piano, didgeridoo and sing all at the same time!
A trip to Prague is incomplete without strolling down the mighty Charles Bridge and soaking in the glorious views of the city. Authorized in the 14th century by Charles IV, this bridge withstood wheeled traffic for a good 500 years until it was entirely pedestrianized after the Second World War. Today, a swarm of tourists, hawkers and street performers make sure this illustrious fairground is perpetually busy and bustling with activity. The many baroque statues stand tall and impressive despite the winds blowing with all the ferocity they could possibly muster. Soothing tunes waft from the many violins and accordions while the buskers play in a state of trance. The constant human chatter adds to the music. Charles Bridge is the soul of Prague and its magic will keep you coming back for more. Interestingly, if you do not shy away from superstitions, rubbing the bronze plaque on the statue of John of Nepomuk will apparently ensure your second visit to the city. Essential information: Kammeny Most (Charles Bridge) is open 24 hours and there obviously is no entry fee. If in case you do not live around Old Town or Mala Strana, both of which are walking distance from the bridge, taking a tram up to Karlovy lázně or Malostranské náměstí is recommended, depending on the side you are coming from.
Well there is one way to describe Perth and thats Boho! It's a great, proper surfer dude vibe here and lots of stunning beaches (not that I have got to see them all yet). Its a lot more different to what I was expecting though in all seriousness, but I love it. We are staying in a hostel called Underground (from one London to another) and its a bit skanky here. But I am willing to give the hostel a chance and see what happens... So far today we have met some crazy 'dude' from NZ called David who Jen seems to have pulled... (lucky her). I don't think that we will be here for much longer than tonight to be completely honest, as its not the cleanest of places either... we can investigate in the morning though. We are off to Nandos for dinner tonight and then for an early night ready for an early morning tomorrow!
Perth Town Hall
Built in 1986, the Perth Town hall is a historical heritage. It is constructed on the highest point in the center of the town, this structure boasts of a Victorian Gothic architecture. It was built by a majority of convicts and thus certain motifs on the walls include a hangman's rope and broad arrow. Its architecture is reminiscence of 16th century Italy or Britain, with a hall adjoining a watch tower. It has been extended and renovated several times and its significance to the town can be gauged by the people's movement to stop the demolition of a building that would affect the structure. The Perth Town Hall is an important landmark for the city and its people.
Diving into Australia's rich colonial history once again, we end our tour at Roundhouse. The roundhouse is Australia's oldest public building that was built in the Swan River Colony in 1830's. It was actually built to hold convicts. After it ceased being used as a gaol it became a Police Lock-up until the late 1890's and then was used as accommodation for the Water Police, and afterwards as a storage facility for Fremantle Ports. Today it is preserved by the state department. Our tour ends at this historic monument.
St Georges Terrace
St Georges Terrace is the main street in Perth. Some of the earliest building (and tallest ones) are located here like the Colonial Mutual Life building, Citibank House, St Martin's tower etc. The Landmark structure here is the St George's Cathedral, an Anglican Church of Gothic beauty built in 1888.
This trip includes a visit to the Murray st Mall and Hay st Mall, two of the best places to shop in Perth. Both these streets have a variety of speciality stores and the best part is that it is closed to traffic, so there is no vehicular disturbance as you hop from one shop to the other. These streets with a large number of retails stores give you a shopping experience like no other.
Moor and Moor Gallery
This gallery provides a taste of some contemporary art. More so, this gallery displays exhibitions of some emerging artists and new students. Fremantle in a way is filled with artists and musicians which is very evident by this gallery. There is also an adjoining cafe here.
Kidogo Arthouse and Art Institute
An art institute and an arts center, Kidogo is filled with emerging, as well as prominent artists of Fremantle. A great place to stop and ponder over the finer things in life (as art usually make you do). This art house is small yet displays some of the best artworks in the town. A seaside, relaxed town is bound to give birth to some freethinkers and artists after all!
Rosie O'Grady's Irish Pub
James Street is all about the cosy bars and the lavish lifestyle stores. This heritage precint is alowly developing into a high-end fashion street, with retailers selling the latest trends. Rosie O'Grady's is one of the most popular Irish bars on Jame street. A great way to end this amazing tour. The drinks are on us!
Jumbuck Hill Park
I personally think that Bell Rapids is a pretty decent place to get close to Mother Nature, which provides a short escapade from the city and work :) Besides that, it is a good choice for a family picnic! The Bells Rapid Walk Trail is relatively short but I think in terms of fitness requirement, it is a moderate one. Standing at the footbridge over Swan River, you could see the spectacular view of the rapid that serves as a vantage point for the popular annual White-Water event early August. There are two walk trails available, which is the River Walk (2.5km with mostly flat walk along the river) and Goat Walk (3 km with some steep inclines and loose gravel sections). We decided to challenge the Goat Walk and this energetic uphill climbs proved to be very rewarding with amazing panoramic views along the Darling Scarp and across Swan Coastal Plain to Perth City! :) Apparently at certain times of the year, you could spot the beautiful grey kangaroo in abundance, but sadly we couldn't spot any yesterday :( However, I am relatively happy to be able to spot some cute alpacas when we are leaving Bell Rapids :D
Fishing Boat Harbour
Where can you munch on some lovely Fish and Chips while taking in the lovely sea breeze? The Fishing Boat Harbor, of course! This harbor is the heart of the Fremantle fishing industry and is lined with hundreds of restaurants offering delicious specialties caught directly from the sea. The harbor lets you sit back, relax and enjoy a lovely meal. Soak in some sun and scenery at this lovely harbor.