Australia, Fremantle 2


If you like old maps, are fascinated by pearl luggers, and/or don’t know much about early exploration when this part of the world was New Holland and then The Great South Land, the Western Australian Maritime Museum is your kind of place.  I walked out at 5 pm with the staff and sauntered slowly along Bathers Bay to the historic, often-redone Esplanade Hotel.  Our tour schedule called for a Dine Around Dinner.  For Ruth and me this meant a delightful multi-course, 5 Compass Esplanade repast that lasted until 9:30.

The next morning we had a 3 Compass tram tour of Fremantle that emphasized its enormous port facilities.  We saw container behemoths, fishing fleets, 0cean liners, etc.  But the only time my ears really came to attention was when the too jolly driver pointed to a ship loading cattle and sheep and told us that the animals were on their way to the Middle East for ritual sacrifices.

A second harbor/port about 12 miles south of town with deep water facilities handles bulk cargo–grain, liquid gas, etc.  This Outer Harbor port handles the overflow that will continue to grow as the Inner Harbor reaches its full capacity by 2015.   Australia avoids recession as long as China booms.

On the tram we passed the notorious Fremantle Prison that beckons, “STEP INSIDE AND DO TIME WITH US”.  But we didn’t.  Built by convicts in the 1850s, it ended up as a maximum security jail that didn’t close until 1991.  Its Torchlight Tour, not recommended for children under 10 and folks with heart conditions, visits the morgue and gallows and promises “a few surprises along the way!”

Another Freo moniker is “The City of Artists”, and the rest of the morning we ducked in and out of shops and studios looking at stuff made by local artists that we wouldn’t buy because of the cost of Australian Post.  A small box of memorabilia that we didn’t need for Western Wildflower Tour, Part 2 that would take us as far north as Monkey Mia cost $75 dollars to mail home, the cheapest rate for delivery in 3 months, maybe.

Perth is only 11 miles up the Swan River from Fremantle and those who took the city highlights tram tour had no choice but to take a lunch cruise up the river.  It was about as underwhelming as the tram tour.

Back in Perth by mid-afternoon, Ruth & I checked out the Holmes à Court Gallery & the Swan Bell Tower, both 3 compass attractions, and stocked up on road snacks.  We had been warned that the next day would be our longest and get us back to the real subject of this tour, Western Australia’s abundant wildflowers, with a visit to a Wildflower Farm.   That evening, instead of enjoying Perth’s vibrant nightlife, we did something mundane but necessary–laundry.




About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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