27 June 2012

Fremantle and Perth

The Attic in Fremantle
Fremantle is one of those travel treasures that you really have to see for yourself to realize how wonderful it is. Freo has everything: Art galleries, beaches, shopping, concerts, pubs, night clubs, restaurants, coffee shops and museums. A lot of the buildings are beautifully preserved from early settlement. A beautiful, interesting, inspiring and thriving city. I heart Freo! 

A random variety of things to do in Freo:
Have a tour at the old Fremantle prison (served as a prison from 1859 up until 1991). Have a beer at one of the many microbreweries in Freo, the Little Creatures brewery is the most renowned. Have a stroll in busy South Terrace, or catch a free city bus to popular South Beach. South Beach comes with a warning though:  Heaps of European backpackers have set up camp, sleeping on the beach and enjoying a close-knit community. When I went past there one evening, about fourty heads of dreads were having a rave.

The Attic is a cozy coffee shop with vintage furniture and antiques, making a homely atmosphere. Pretty good coffee too! Origins is a small gallery space where you can have a sip of coffee while enjoying an art exhibition. It's on the other side of The Attic, but run by the same people. When I was there in March, they had a great exhibition called "12 months of separation", four girls showing their unique photographic styles.

For more information on Freo, check out Lovefreo, a brilliant blog about what Fremantle is all about.

The photos below are from my hectic three hours in Perth. I loved Fremantle so much I didn't really feel like going anywhere else, and postponed the half hour train ride to the last day. I didn't have many expectations because the people I met who had stayed in Perth were ambivalent towards "the city of lights". So was it good or bad? It was both.

Police demonstrating power in a shopping street
Some parts of Perth are notorious for violence and fighting. One area, Northbridge, is supposed to be especially bad, and according to my friend from Freo who kindly showed me Perth, the police has spent a great effort to make Perth and Northbridge safer. However, as soon as we came to Northbridge, my friend was confronted by a complete stranger asking what his problem was, clearly hoping to provoke him into a fight. I was so relieved to have stayed in a hostel in Fremantle, rather than one in Perth.

"Footsteps in time" 
One of my favourite art works in Perth. It depicts five business men who each represents a historical period contributing to Perth's development.

1) 1697:
Dutch exploration- discovery of Swan River

2) 1829:
Anglo-Celtic settlement of Swan River

3) 1885:
Discovery of gold

Like most modern cities, Perth has a wide variety of architectural styles. New and old buildings stand side by side. There are big, open spaces and clean-cut streets. Art and beauty is everywhere, from sculptures and wall-paintings to perfectly kept gardens and parks. The King's Park is magnificent for a picnic or a day out, and if you want to have that perfect picture of the Perth City skyline, that's the place to take it.

Wesley Uniting church
4) 1945:
Post WWII- European Immigration

5) 2004:
The Millennium Man

The general post office
London Court- a shopping arcade in the Perth City centre 
Perth City skyline
Drinking fountain from King's Park. Don't even ask me why this is the only photo I have from the gorgeous park! 

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