Thursday 30 January 2020

December Wrap-up - Part 7 (Final)

Thursday 26 December - We were all invited to join T and G at Deep Water Point Reserve, to spend the day relaxing by the Swan river.

T and Jose went to the spot quite early in the morning, to set up a tent for shade, and Jose took our table and chairs too. T took his boat and Jose helped him get the boat into the water, via the boat ramp.

The rest of the family joined them about 10am, carrying a couple of cooler boxes laden with food and drinks.
Then our mutual friends W and L arrived (the ones that live by the river and feed the ducks and swans).

G joined much later, close to lunch-time as she had been making a curry for our lunch.

Gosh, so much food again!!  That is all we had been doing since mid-December, eat and drink too much!! Well, I don't drink much...

T's boat - Taffy with some of the boys

Before lunch most of the boys went on the first river outing, while the others stayed behind talking or reading.
Suddenly someone shouted "Dolphins" and we all rushed to the water. 
Two dolphins were about 3 metres from the edge of the river. Unfortunately not easy to photograph, as they would dive and disappear and then appear a bit further down, but still we were thrilled.

The dolphins

When the boys returned from their tour around the river we had lunch, dessert, fruit and even coffee, as L the gadget guy had brought a camping coffee machine with him!

After lunch it was the turn of the second group to go on the boat, and I went with.
In the river we saw a couple of the local Black Swans, cormorants sunning themselves, ducks and again a couple of dolphins, maybe the same ones from earlier...
Black swans and cormorants

We first went to our right all the way to the suburb of Shelley, then turned back, past our starting point and then went left up to the suburb of Applecross.
We went under the Canning Bridge which I drive over many times, so it was interesting to see what holds it up - a lot of timber poles!

Canning Bridge

Deep Water Point from where we departed to Shelley (right) (not as close to the coast, as this is a road route, then back to the left until the South of Perth Yacht Club in Applecross.

As we turned a corner by the South of Perth Yacht Club, we spotted the beautiful replica of the Duyfken.


The original ship owned by the Dutch East India Company became the first European vessel to make a recorded landing on Australian soil in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north of Australia.
Over 400 years later, Dutch born Australian historian Michael John Young lobbied for a replica to be built as an educational tool to raise awareness of Dutch exploration of Australia in the 1600's.  
An amount of $3.5 million was raised for its construction, and it was launched in the port city of Fremantle in January 1999.
In 2012 the Western Australian Government committed funds to keep the Duyfken in Perth for 10 years. At the moment it runs twilight sailing tours departing from the South of Perth Yacht Club in the suburb of Applecross.

The replica of the Duyfken
On our return back to Deep Water Point we sailed past some grand yachts, and the Raffles Building and Hotel.
The two-storey Art Deco hotel from 1939 was saved from being demolished in a 10 year campaign that ended in 2002. The site was sold to Multiplex which built a controversial 17 storey apartment tower, but had to retain and renovate the hotel.

The South of Perth Yacht Club and the boats moored there, and the Raffles Hotel and building on the edge of the Swan River in Applecross
Swan River and the city of Perth in the distance
At around 5pm we started dismantling the tent and packing up our stuff, while a couple of the men got the boat out of the water.

Dismantling the tent...
Before leaving a group photo was in order - first just our family, then we asked a passerby to take one of the whole group.

Jose, Benoit, Thomas, T, G, Karina, Sami, Isabelle, Max, W and L

Jose, Thomas, Isabelle, me, Karina, Max and Benoit

On the trees a variety of birds

The fancy houses across Deep Water Point Reserve
When we left the picnic area we drove just down the road to Heathcote reserve in Applecross, a beautiful park just above the South of Perth Yacht Club.

The buildings that previously housed a former asylum hospital built between the 1920's and 1940's, they have been turned into a cultural precinct.
The area is very popular with parents with children as  Heathcote has one of Perth's super playgrounds. The pirate ship, tunnels, secret hideouts, bridges and lookout points around the ship provide kids with endless hours of fun.

Also popular with those who like to picnic, as it has free barbecues, a coffee shop, and is also one of the most picturesque with views to the city and surrounding areas.

Heathcote building and tower - view of the Yacht club and view of the city centre across the river
Lookout bridges looking like a ship's deck, art and great playground
Here we also find a monument commemorating Perth born actor Heath Ledger who died in 2008. (bottom corner of photo above).

Father Christmas in Applecross
When we drove back home we stopped by the river in Shelley to take photos of the sunset.
This was Isabelle and Max last evening in Perth, and they loved watching the sunset and the red and orange tones it left in the sky.

Black swans at sunset, Isabelle and Max having a romantic moment with the sun setting behind them

At home we got ready to go out to dinner to an Indian restaurant - 2 Fat Indians, in Carousel Shopping Centre, just a 10 minute drive from us. 
Isabelle and Max had never had Indian food and were a bit worried about it being spicy, but we ordered mild dishes for them and they enjoyed the new experience.

Friday, 27 December - Isabelle, Max and Benoit had to check out from the Airbnb at  10am, so before then, we drove to the Airbnb to pick-up their suitcases, and they came to our house. 
We had an early lunch of pizza and then Jose and Thomas drove the 3 of them to the airport where they had to be by 1,30pm for their 4,30pm flight to Europe.

Monday, 30 December - Karina and Thomas departed to Manila, and our house was empty and quiet again 😔

And so 2 weeks  flew by with lots of travel and sightseeing and family time!
They enjoyed their time and we also enjoyed having them here.

Tuesday, 31st December - Jose and I and L and W (our friends that feed the ducks/swans) attended the New Year's Eve party at the WA Portuguese Club in Fremantle.
This year it was a small party, about 100 people, great music and a catered dinner, unfortunately not Portuguese food, but still good.
We returned home after dancing until about 2am. 

L and W, Sami and Jose

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Signs - WTF

WTF?  Not what you're thinking... it stands for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 🤣
A sign from Nando's - a South African restaurant franchise, home of the delicious Portuguese flame-grilled peri-peri chicken.

For other signs from around the world please go over to Tom's blog.

Monday 27 January 2020

Monday Mural - Autumn leaves

Another mural from the town of Bunbury, painted for Re.Discover 2016, by Ian Mutch on the side walls of Trafalgars  Hotel & Pub, at 36 Victoria Street.

The artist was born in South Africa and is now based in the small beach town of Dunsborough (south west of Perth), and draws inspiration from animals, landscapes, travelling, stories and patterns.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you;
just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  

Monday Mural Meme goes lives at 12,01am Perth, Western Australian time.
Thanks, Sami. 

Another Ian Mutch mural in Margaret River by Ian Mutch, which I posted about in January 2016:

Saturday 25 January 2020

December Wrap-Up - Part 6

Sunday 22 December - We had given Max and Isabelle (my daughter's in-laws) an early Christmas present, as they wouldn't have time to use it after Christmas - 2 tickets for a Captain Cook cruise from Perth to the port city of Fremantle.

The cruise departed at 9,30 from Barrack Street Jetty near Elizabeth Quay, so that morning Karina and I drove them into the city and saw them off.

Statues of swans wandering around near the Swan Bells Tower. Max and Isabelle at the door of the cruiseship

They were expected to arrive in Fremantle 1h15 later, so we returned home (20min drive) and a short while later Karina, Thomas, and I picked up Benoit from their Airbnb and drove to Fremantle (30min drive).
I parked my car at the Victoria Quay parking lot, paid for parking, and when we got to the pier the in-laws were just coming off the boat.

Just outside the Maritime Museum there was a free outdoor exhibition about shipping containers and their contribution to our way of life, entitled "Container - the box that changed the world", with 6 solar-powered containers, each conveying a story of how containers have revolutionized trade, transport, business and our day to day life.

The 6 containers in the "Box that changed the world exhibition"

Inside some of the containers

The six containers are: 
‘Ship’ - the history of the cargo industry before the invention of the container and the impact of its introduction.
‘Cargo’ - trade, customs, biosecurity and how perishable goods are transported around the world in the cold chain.
‘Port’ - the radical transformation of ports and port cities in Australia and around the world. It also gives visitors a peek behind the scenes at Port Botany, one of Australia’s busiest ports.
‘Ocean’ - the challenges mass shipping poses to our oceans, including lost shipping containers, cargo spills and acoustic pollution, and the current focus on sustainable shipping.
‘Build’ - the quirky and innovative ways containers are used beyond shipping, including ‘small homes’, food trucks, art installations and even swimming pools.
‘Things’ - a glass fronted container with a shop-front style window display demonstrating the origins of everyday objects in our homes.

We next walked to the Round House, the oldest public building in the Swan River Colony, built in 1830, just 18 months after settlement. 
Used as a jail until 1886, it had 8 cells and a jailer's residence, all opening onto the central courtyard. It has had various other uses since, but is now open to the public.

Fremantle is also home to many of the State's beautiful Victorian buildings.

On the way to the Fremantle Market I saw these beautiful oldies driving by.

The Fremantle Market was established in 1897, and is one of two surviving municipal market buildings in Western Australia that is still used for its original purpose. 

With over 150 stalls, it is one of Fremantle's most visited sites by tourists and locals, and is only opened from Friday to Sunday.

After the market we had lunch at the nearby pub "The Monk". The men were keen to try the tray of craft beers, and the food was quite nice. We even had a young French girl serving at our table.

The Monk - craft beers to taste

Next, we walked to Fremantle Prison just behind the market, as they wanted to do a prison tour. The tour lasts just over 1 hour, and I went to retrieve the car from the parking lot by the harbour and then waited for them in the prison's parking lot.  

The prison opened in 1855 and closed in November 1991 and is now a World Heritage site.
Unfortunately there were 44 hangings carried out at this prison, with the last one in 1964!

When they went in I called Jose, who had stayed home, to meet up with us at the prison, as we had arranged to go to past our son's house for coffee. 
After the visit at Michael's house we went home for dinner.

Various statues around Fremantle

Monday 23rd December - the whole family was invited to a barbecue, swim and boat ride in the river at our friend's house, so it was a quiet and relaxing day. 
After a swim Isabelle and Max went out on the paddle boat and the rest of us went on the electric round boat.

Some of the feathered animals in the river had downy offspring and it was cute to see them feed the young.

At 6pm our friend calls the ducks, and whatever other animals are around the area and they came and feed on the bird feed he throws them.

Feeding the ducks

When we returned home in the early evening we set out the tables on the deck for our Christmas Eve dinner the next day.

Tuesday 24th December - While Karina and Jose did started on food preparation for dinner, I took Isabelle, Max, Thomas and Benoit for a drive to the "Crawley Boatshed", also known as the "Blue Boathouse" in Matilda Bay
This iconic boathouse in Mounts Bay Road, just below Kings Park has been around the 1930's and is Perth's most instagramable spot.

Near the boathouse, Eliza a bronze sculpture in the Swan River, named after Mount Eliza, the hill where Kings Park is located, and commemorates the old Crawley Baths which were demolished  in that area in the 1960's.
Eliza is 2,2 metres high and was created by Perth artist Tony Jones. She often gets dressed up on special occasions or just for fun by humorous Perthites.

I then drove just around the corner to the Bayside Kitchen, a lovely cafe that serves breakfast, lunch or dinner with views of the Swan River and right by the Matilda Bay beach. They had a great choice of gluten-free cakes which pleased Isabelle and they had coffee and cake and a juice for me. 

After our stop I was meant to take them to one more tourist attraction, before returning home, but Isabelle wasn't feeling too well, so I drove back and left them at their airbnb so she could rest.

Bayside kitchen - can you spot the ravens perched on the chairs ready to eat the leftovers?

The guests started arriving at 6,30 for our Christmas Eve dinner which was held outdoors in our patio. 
I made the main dish - Codfish in cream sauce, made the Christmas fruitcake and two desserts and prepared a cheese and crackers platter. My daughter in law made the ham, and other guests guests brought salads and more desserts. 
It was an enjoyable and loud event with 16 people sitting down to dinner, and people speaking in 3 different languages.

The Christmas tree and presents, the outdoor patio and the first guest to arrive, an 86 year old friend

It was almost midnight when the last guests left and we moved to the sitting room to open the Christmas gifts. 
It was close to 1am when the the French in-laws left and walked to their airbnb just 5 minutes away.

On the 25th December, guests started arriving at 1pm for lunch. This time we had 12 people around the table, and because it was a very hot day, instead of eating outdoors we extended the dining table and ate inside.

After lunch we gave our two grandchildren their presents. Little J was given a small keyboard as he loves music and dance, and we all had a laugh when we set up the keyboard and he just sat down and started banging on the keys. When I prompted him to sing he started with "Wheels on the bus" and then just carried on with 3 or 4 other children's songs. A true performer!

A good time was had by all.

Friday 24 January 2020

December Wrap-up - Part 5

On Saturday 21st, we started the day with a visit to Kings Park Botanic Gardens.
It's one of the world's largest inner city parks with 400 hectares, where over 3000 of our State's unique flora is displayed.
Because of its location on Mount Eliza, the park overlooks the Swan and Canning Rivers, as well as the city skyline and South Perth.
We just walked around the main area of the park, as we had a full day of sightseeing planned.

The city and Swan River, War Memorial, View of South Perth and the red roof of the Old Swan Brewery, 
Kings Park

Kings Park

Back in the car, we drove to the Perth Mint (310 Hay st), on the east side of the city.
We paid our entrance fees and were just in time to join a guided tour group. 

Perth Mint

The highlight of the visit is to be able to watch a traditional gold pour in the original 1899 melting house, during which pure gold is heated to molten temperatures and poured into a mould to make a solid gold bar (or a star in our case).

                                                             Melting gold which would be poured into a star mould

Established in 1899, the Perth Mint holds the Guinness World Record for a 1 tonne gold coin and the second largest natural nugget in existence.
The gold coin is 99,99% pure gold, 80cm wide and 12cm deep, and the most valuable bullion coin in the world, with an estimated worth of more than Aud50 million.
One side of the coin depicts a red kangaroo and the date 2012, and the reverse side is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the denomination 1 million dollars.

Gold nuggets, the 1 million dollar coin

You could also try and lift a gold bar, read about the various uses of gold in technology and medicine, and at the end we had fun getting a printout of our weight in gold with the monetary value of the day.
Find out my weight in gold

Lunch time was approaching and we drove to the new Optus Stadium area, but were unable to park due to an upcoming match later that day, and were directed to park at one of the car parks at the nearby Crown Casino.

Perth Crown Casino
After parking we walked through the Casino and across the park to "The Camfield" pub next to the Stadium.
We've had lunch there a couple of times, the food is good and the atmosphere is great too.

Crossing from the Casino to the Stadium area, Optus Stadium and Matugarup bridge

After lunch Karina and Jose walked back to the Casino car park to get the cars and they drove into the city, while I and the other 4 walked across the Matagarup bridge, past Victoria Gardens into the suburb of East Perth, a former industrial area, now a popular chic apartment area bordering Claisebrook Cove inlet with riverside cafes and restaurants.

Crossing the Matagarup bridge, with Isabelle and Max sitting at one of the cement planter/benches
Victoria Gardens in East Perth

Claisebrook Cove with the city in the background and the lovely apartment blocks
We then a Cat (central area transit) free bus into the city, where we met up with Karina and Jose at Elizabeth Quay.
On the way there, we stopped to take photos at London Court, an open roofed shopping arcade designed to look like a Tudor castle, we crossed inside the State Buildings, we photographed the Christmas decorations in the city centre...

Inside London Court arcade
London Court
The State Buildings
Christmas lights in the city and Stirling Gardens
Christmas Kangaroos at Stirling Gardens in front of Perth's City Council and the kangaroo statues
And when we finally reached Elizabeth Quay we found a very grumpy Jose and Karina as they had been waiting for us for a long time!
A drink at a nearby bar was in order to placate their bad moods, and they did cheer up!

Elizabeth Quay, with Spanda (orbit statue), the Swan Bells and the new highrise buildings

Prancer, the reindeer at Elizabeth Quay

Time to get back in the car to drive across the Swan river to South Perth to have dinner at the South Perth strEATS food vans. 
We admired the new statues by the South Perth foreshore - the Numbat and the Frilled Neck Lizard were imposing, and the group of meerkats just too cute.

Statues - Frilled neck lizard and Numbat, dinosaurs?, Meerkats and leaves

With the best views of the city skyline as a background the StrEATS food event runs from October to April. 
The event appeared to be popular, with live music, lots of people eating either sitting down at the tables by the vans or otherwise sitting on the grass next to the river.
One of my former colleagues and her husband had their waffles van - Wicked Waffles - there too, and we ended our meal by sharing a couple of delicious waffles.

Picnicking on the grass, a musician played while we ate, the food vans, the night views of the city
The Numbat and the Frilled Neck Lizard at the South Perth Foreshore

One of the few photos with the 7 of us  - in South Perth with the city lights across the Swan River

After dinner we got back in the cars and returned to the city centre, parked our cars and walked around admiring the Christmas lights display. I loved it, it all looked so magical!

It was a very long day of sightseeing, I would say about 10 hours on the go, and it was about 11pm when we returned home for some well deserved rest.