Perth: locals, beach, city centre and botanic gardens

IMG_20160611_124633What can I say about Perth? I actually loved it here: it was a smaller version of Sydney but not as serious or crowded. Unfortunately, there was a lot of building works going on but I could tell they are trying to turn it into a modern city, where more people will want to visit. It kind of had an arty vibe with loads of different sculptures and statues around the streetsIMG_20160608_104941.

After having a smooth flight from Darwin, I arrived in Perth earlier evening, where the night had started to draw in. I got a little lost trying to find the bus that would take me to the centre. looking at signs and walking backwards and forwards, I soon figured out I need ed to get a transfer bus to an terminal, which was actually pretty far away then once I had a little more confusion, I found the bus I needed to get onto. The bus driver was extremely helpful by telling me where I needed to disembark even though I was following on Google Maps the whole time. From here, I had about a ten minute walk to my hostel.The hostel was a quiet place with many long-term travellers working on a daily basis. I stayed in a huge 20 persons room full of bunk beds, two separate toilet and shower rooms. The receptionist showed me my bed, where I dumped my bag then went in search of food. By the time I arrived at the hostel, it was about eight o’clock so I was feeling lazy to cook food. Therefore, I walked the streets where I found Dominos.

In the evening, I just chilled, watched a movie and fell asleep quite early.IMG_20160612_134252

The following day, I got up mid-morning for a shower and complimentary breakfast. I decided I wanted to explore the city and there was no better way than the free walking tour. However, when I spoke to the information desk in the centre, it had been cancelled due to not having a staff member to be the tour guide. Instead, I wandered the roads with shops on and then sat in a coffee shop to chill. I had planned to meet a friend who was from Perth but I met him in Cairns a few weeks before.

After a bit of a bit of confusion, my friend met me in the coffee shop along with another one of his friends. Then we went to a vegetarian, all-you-can-eat Indian place on the river near the Bell Tower, where the price is a donation depending on how much the individual wants to give. The food was delicious. On the way, there was an arty, bronze spiral, where school children over fifteen years ago had engraved their names.The locals I was with searched for their name, which I wouldn’t have know about if I wasn’t with them.IMG_20160609_141307

We walked along the harbour, where they were currently constructing but the bridge had been completed. Next we headed to a bar in the centre on the top of a shop, which overlooked the city. Four of us carried on walking through Northbridge, where we stopped at a sport’s pub for a drink.inside was huge but empty  with huge screens around the room.

For the rest of the afternoon and evening, we went to two other pubs and one of the guy’s houses (it had a spectacular view of the river at night), taking an Uber from one to the next, where we played pool and drank different beers. The guys were kind of sneaky with pool, where they stuffed the corners with tissue so we could have unlimited games. I have to say I wasn’t as bad as I thought especially because at university I was actually okay. Also, in Australia they have this pale ale, which, to me, doesn’t taste anything like a heavy ale but more like a lager and it’s quite pleasant to drink.IMG_20160612_112929

When I woke up the next day, I wanted to make the most of my day and actually explore Perth rather than explore Perth’s pubs. My plan was to visit one of the Islands but by the time I was ready, I felt I had left it too late. Instead, I walked to the information stand to find out if the free city walking tour was going to be on. Success! Myself along with four others joined the guide to show and tell us about the city. I(t’s quite ironic that an native british person was our guide but she had been living in Australia for most of her life.DCIM103GOPRO

She took us around most of the centre telling us about the history of Perth and pointing out usually things that we wouldn’t have been able to find out about. She talked about the Coat of Arms, galleries, recent construction, hidden names in the walls and a different art statues.

At the end of the tours I decided to take a bus to Cottesloe as I got told it was a beautiful beach to see. When I arrived, my stomach was grumbling so I had a traditional beach lunch of fish and chips with all sorts of fish. The weather wasn’t amazing with the wind blowing and the clouds overcasting the sun. However, my mission was to walk about 10km to Scarborough, which I also got told was worth a visit.I walked mostly along the beach which was hard at times due to the soft, deep sand and the effort of raising my legs a little more. Most of the beach I wandered across was abandoned apart from a small section which was a nude beach. Even though it was cold and no sun, there were a few older men laying and running along this beach without any clothes on. Completely unnecessary! At one point I really struggled and thought I could no longer go any further but I had no choice as I was in the middle of the beach with no exit to the road as their was a military field with a high, metal fence enclosing it.IMG_20160612_135653

Eventually, I made it to Scarborough late afternoon where I was exhausted and ended up just getting a bus rather than wandering around.

When I got back to the hostel I cooked some dinner before chilling in my bed with a film as I knew I was getting up early the next day, where I was going to Rottnest Island and Freemantle. (You can read about this and see the photos on a seperate post: Rottnest Island: spectacular views and cute little quokkas)

The day after, I got up for the complimentary breakfast and then I casually sorted myself out. I realised the day before that my flight out of Perth was on Sunday night not Saturday, which meant I had an extra day here. I’m usually pretty organised and good about my travels but somehow I mixed up. However, it’s better to be a day early than miss my flight altogether. I just got really confused.IMG_20160609_124612

In the morning, I met a Swedish friend from travelling, where he was currently living in Perth, at the Bell tower. We then walk to the famous King’s park, which is huge and on a hill so it has magnificent views looking over the city with the skyscrappers standing tall next to the glistening Swan lake.We caught up on life from the last time we saw each other, which was five months previously and ate an ice-cream overlooking Perth. We didn’t get that much time together before we had to part ways.

The previous day I was invited to a secret, local sport by my Perth friend. Basically a few years ago, a group of teenagers set up a roller hockey competitions in local places, where each team had to have a home ground, which consisted of abandoned grounds and car parks. It now was getting pretty big and my friend was part of one of the teams so I caught a bus to Scarborough to find the top level of an empty car park. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to find. Here, there were a two teams playing each other at roller hockey with their own kit and goals with some spectators at the side drinking beer and cheering them on. It was definitely an experience I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t know a local as I’m absolutely sure it’s not in the tourist guide book.

Once all the games were finished, we packed up all the empty cans and gear. As we were walking back to one of the cars, some of the other guys got their car stuck just outside the car park due to not having any petrol left in the car. It was hilarious. With me steering the car and the others plus a random walker-by, we managed to push the car on the pavement to the nearest petrol station, which luckily was just around the corner. I just don’t know how you can get the petrol so low and I know i’m bad about filling up the car but at least I’ve never completely run out.

We drove back to my friend’s house to play pool and have a few drinks with some others. Then in the evening, we headed to a large outdoor bar in Leederville, just one stop from the city centre, where there were no tourists and only people from the local area. Sitting under the heater chatting was just bliss. We soon moved onto a night club, which wasn’t that big around the corner, where we danced. On the way home, I got my normal chips and cheese before jumping on the train back to my hostel to snuggle up in bed.DCIM103GOPRO

During the last day in Perth, I didn’t do too much. I wanted to explore some of the areas I hadn’t seen yet like the government house and different parks which brought me to the river front with beautiful view. I laid on the grass near the water from a while soaking up the blazing sun and relaxing. I decided to walk back up to King’s park as I wanted to wander around the botanic garden, which is one of the most popular in Australia. There were several different plants, planted in different group according to where they originated as well as a large wooden bridge and little waterfalls streaming from a lake. I had another ice-cream, which was a maxi bon. It is literally the nicest ice-cream with creamy ice-cream on the inside swirled with caramel the solid chocolate on one half and soft wafer on the other. It’s just delicious: one of Australian’s finest food if I say so myself.

After I went to the Art gallery in Northbridge, which was huge and free. There were a lot of aboriginal art, comic style, traditional painting  as well as some modern pieces. I find looking at art is just so tranquil and it’s always gets my imagination wondering.

I was there for sometime before heading back to my hostel so I could speak to my Mum on skype, where I found out I was going to have a baby niece/nephew. I was so excited.

Soon after, I needed to stomach some food before my long flight. I didn’t have any food and I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I thought about going to another vegetarian, donation, Indian place but unfortunately when I got there in the pouring rain, It was closed on Sundays. I was feeling indecisive and I didn’t know whether to eat out or grab some food from Coles. In the end, I walked pass an Asian food court which sold a variety of food. Over much deliberation, I chose to eat Malaysian food of rice flour rolls, a spicy soup and rice. I was so full afterwards.DCIM104GOPRO

Back at the hostel, I grabbed my big backpack and headed out in the rain towards the city centre to hop on a bus to the airport.

I have to say Perth has been awesome, seeing it through local eyes as well as experiencing the touristy parts and hanging out with friends. It was kind of a little Sydney but more artistic and calm with chilly, fresh air all around. I could definitely see myself going back and living there. It just had this feel to it which I can’t put into words making me feel safe and homely.

 

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