Perth, Western Australia

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I first became obsessed with Australia when I was 19 or 20. I don’t think I can pinpoint a time, but I remember being abroad in England and reading as much as I could on Australia, and buying Australian Vogue, and trying to find Australian food in England. That’s when I started doing the Tim Tam Slam with Penguin biscuits, and baking all sorts of random foods (like ANZAC biscuits).

Anyway, during this time, I also became more interested in fashion and supermodels. I think because the girls got so dressed up for college (university) classes, I was a little shocked and felt I had some brushing up to do. Fashion was everywhere, even in little old Manchester. At the time, the “alien” look was in, so Gemma Ward, Jessica Stam (who I’ve seen twice in person, that pretty lady), Lisa Cant, Heather Marks, Devon Aoki and the like were “in.” Gemma Ward hails from Perth, Australia. She was my favorite of them all at the time, and I can’t even remember why.

So to me, Gemma was Australia, and Perth was Australia. I didn’t care much about Sydney or Melbourne, Bondi Beach or whatever … so when I told my Australian friends I wanted to go to Perth, I got a bunch of “why!?”s and “I hate Perth, it’s so hot!”s.

Hot it is not in the late fall, but it’s not the most exciting place on earth … and I had to learn this the hard way. Highlights for me were Cottesloe Beach and Fremantle (much more exciting than downtown Perth, if you ask me), and I tried to kill as much time as possible on a rainy day at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, which was nice … nicer than MCA in Sydney, and larger … and just as free. Other than that, Perth is dull.

One nice tidbit about Perth, though? Apparently it’s the city furthest from New York City in distance (direct opposite side of the globe), so now I can say I’ve been to the other side of the earth. Or something like that.

Some photos …

Fremantle is famous for its prison and its port, and is
about a 30-minute train ride from Perth City

Fremantle town center

E Shed Markets in Fremantle, by the harbor

The sidewalk in Cottesloe ... Cottesloe is a beach suburb of Perth
and home to one of Australia's former Prime Ministers

Seagull at Cottesloe Beach

The Indiana (a venue/restaurant)

Apparently Cottesloe Beach was named the world's second
best beach for families by Lonely Planet in 2009

Very quiet and serene ... I hear it's packed during the summer

All those white things in the trees are birds ... lots and lots of birds

The famous Bell Tower (the Swan Bells) in Perth, 
one of the largest set of "change ringing" bells in the world

View of the Bell Tower along the Swan River, from Langley Park

Happy gingerbread (VERY buttery) from a little café 
in London Court, an English-style shopping arcade

And its even happier chai latte friend!
(I've been comparing chai lattes during my travels ... New Zealand is winning, by the way.)

Kings Park, Perth

Views of Perth from Kings Park

And a photo of my version of the ANZAC biscuit (an Australian cookie), circa 2006 …


… and the real deal.

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