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.
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.
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!
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.
The Turquois Coast
Turkey’s southwestern coastline is noted for its fine beaches and stunning scenery. This region has been dubbed “the Turquoise Coast” after the hues of its horizons and the sea. This is a popular holiday destination for Europeans. I didn’t sail the coastline here when I was in Turkey because I had just spent almost 3 months on Santorini and I had enough of the beach and coastlines at the time.
Lost means little when you’re halfway up a rock face, wedged furtively between towers of stone. Every surface looks the same from this angle; no map promises us stable footing. While other peaks in the Hazard Range of Freycinet National Park can be reached on a maintained trail, this one has not been tamed. The only proof of previous human touches are these granite guides. To trust them is to trust everyone who has climbed ahead and kept them in place.Isn’t there something all-inclusive about these wee piles? Throughout the ages, humans have written sagas with nothing more than a few stones, carefully placed one on top of the other: to indicate hunting ground in Greenland, to commemorate grave sites in Portugal, to garner good luck in South Korea. And almost everywhere, they are used to mark trails and point a traveler in the right direction. So I wedged my heel into a narrow crevice, sighed and stretched upward. We can doubt, or we can learn from the signs left by others. After all, it is always better to climb forward than to slide back down.
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.
With old colonial buildings on one side and the pristine ocean marked with beautiful lighthouses on the other; we enjoyed the mark of beginning our journey on the most amazing coastline of Thomas Bay. Rustic cottages, old mills and vintage bricks all around us got my enthusiastic photographer out and all around the place with my camera!
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!
We had entered the Nullarbor Plain, a “flat, almost treeless, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north.” It is also, apparently, the world’s largest single piece of limestone and stretches more than 1,100 km from Western Australia into Southern Australia. It is hot, dry and dusty. Used by the nomadic Spinifex and Wanagi peoples, it was described as “a hideous anomaly, a blot on the face of Nature, the sort of place one gets into in bad dreams” by Edward John Eyre, the first European to cross the plain (1841.) The main highway through the land is named for him. I find this fact a bit sad, because while the land is harsh and unforgiving — you need to bring your own water with you — it’s got a grandeur and harsh nobility to it. It deserves a better highway than one named after a guy who hated the place. Strangely, for a region named for its lack of trees, there sure are a lot of them. True, they’re mainly sad-looking eucalyptus bushes — which often look like broccoli sprouts with a hormone problem — but by any measure they’re trees. Just before we left the lush wetlands of the southwest, however, I had my first run in with The Man outside Belladonna. Despite the Beast’s large size, it just wants to lunge forward when I put it in 5th gear. And so, I tend to let it have its head, and before I knew it, a cop car was approaching. As they passed me, they flashed their lights and I watched in my rearview mirror as they made a quick turn-around.
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