At home with the Jefferson's
28.11.2013 - 02.12.2013 24 °C
Singapore airport was amazing, it had TV area’s, a 3D experience, free Wi-Fi, free internet PC’s, an indoor garden and a children's wax rubbings area! Brilliant for entertaining us for a few hours before our 5 hour Tiger Airways flight to Perth.
The flight was the usual budget airline deal but we enjoyed an amazing sunset too.
We arrived 21:00 and were greeted by Milly, Nick’s cousin, who we haven’t seen for a year. It was so lovely to see her and very kind of her to pick us up that late. Once at Milly, Andy and Baby Finn’s house we were given a warm welcome instantly feeling at home. While snacking on nibbles we caught up until we all realised we were extremely tired, although Milly and Andy had the excuse of work and chasing after a 17 month old.
After a great nights sleep, Milly kindly dropped us off at Fremantle for the day, while they were at work. Fremantle is a lovely seaside/port town with lots of the old buildings from when the town was founded in 1829. The weather though was freezing, ok, so it was 22 degrees but after being used to 30’s this now seemed cold to us and it had started to rain. Deciding to shelter from the rain we made our first stop the Fremantle Gaol (Prison). For AU$19 (£10) each, we took a brilliant tour of the prison with our funny and knowledgeable guide. We were surprised to see the very basic conditions of prison life and liken it to some of the concentration camps we have seen and so were even more surprised to find this was still used until 1991!
After an overpriced coffee stop we visited the sights; the Roundhouse, a photography gallery, the covered markets, the port and finally stopped for lunch at Sail and Anchor. We then windowed shopped at many the lovely, quirky and creative shops, making sure we stopped at the Tin Tin shop, although we couldn’t afford anything. Stopping for another expensive coffee, (these will have to stop in Perth) we finished our drinks just in time for Andy to pick us up, on his way back from work.
Once back at Andy and Milly’s we introduced ourselves to Finn who wasn’t even crawling last time we saw him. Finn decided we were ok and we played lots of games until it was time for him to go to bed and us to have dinner, enjoying a few beers too.
The next morning while Milly and Andy took Finn to a Christmas party we went round the Kings Park, a huge park in Perth City. The weather was still cold, but this time we had dressed correctly and had our umbrella ready for the rain, which it did a lot. The park is massive with lots to do and as usual we crammed in as much as we could, going over the Millennium bridge, visiting the water garden and women memorial before racing each other up the DNA structure (a set of stair cases twisted like a double helix) and finally sitting down to take in the river and cityscape.
Andy, Milly and Finn picked us up later that afternoon in the now warm sunshine and took us to Swan Valley. This is a wine region where you can go from vineyard to brewery to vineyard having free tasters. We opted for some free coffee and chocolate tasting (they have a huge bowl full of small white, milk and dark chocolate buttons which you could help yourself to, with a spoon!!!), before going to lunch at a lovely pub and having more tasters, but of ales this time. Which Andy and Milly very kindly treated us to, thank you! It was then time for a bit of chase and an attempt at distraction with Finn who had wanted to take another child's ball. By now Finn was wiped out from all the fun, so it was back home for a bath and bed (for Finn not us).
Being our rubbish indecisive self we had decided last minute to hire a car and follow in Susie and Hughie’s footsteps to go to Albany and Margret River. Again Milly kindly dropped us off in Perth City so we could see what deals we could find. Finding a car for a week at only AU$42 (£32) a day we booked it for a Monday morning pick up and headed off to see the city.
Perth is quiet a small city and very easy to walk round, but if you can’t be bothered or are in a rush you can take one of the 3 free cat buses running loops of the town centre. The city is a melting pot of different architectural styles with everything from very British Victorian structures to modern glass skyscrapers and everything in between, somehow living in harmony and making the city the exciting place it is.
We of course did the free activities visiting the beautiful churches, London Court shopping lane, seeing the very still Kangaroo's and the art gallery. The it was a quick stop at Woolies (Supermarket) to get supplies for our picnic in the Supreme Court Gardens.
This time the weather was glorious and in it’s late 20’s, so Nick decided he would like to go back to Kings park to get better pictures. So after a quick stop at the Bell Tower (a tower with 18 bells, twelve of which were cast from the bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields and are one of the few sets of royal bells to have left England) we did a 2.5 mile walk to Kings Park, going up Jacobs Ladder on route (a steep set of stairs that people run up and down for exercise, crazy!).
Our last morning with the Jefferson family and we headed into Perth using bus and train (only AU$4.20, £2.30 ) to pick up the car and start our 4 night holiday South of Perth.