Monday, January 14, 2008

Wandering around Perth

Well I am learning the hard way that you shouldn't drink a Vietnamese iced coffee at 9pm or you will be up forever! It is now 11:30pm and I am still wired! Oh well, I am still on holidays and can sleep in!

I realize that my blog is getting a little dull and boring but really, my days have been very low-key lately and relaxing. Oh - I did spend some more time toasting the marshmellow today but I am still fairly white!

Today was a day of exploration around Perth and it's suburbs. My first stop was Subiaco which is akin to 17th Avenue in Calgary with all sorts of great shops and such. One thing that I have learned while here is that that I would have to totally change my style if I were to live here. There seems to be a real absence of suits for women and there are many more dresses and such. I would probably also have to lose 100lbs. in order to fit into the clothes as I have previously mentioned, everything is made in China and is sized as such! I also encountered many shoe shops that seemed to specialize in synthetic uppers that are made in China for shoes - all I can say is "holy sweaty feet!" I did however find probably the only shoe store in all of Australia that sells shoes from Italy and managed to buy a pair - yeah! It shouldn't surprise you that I bought more shoes!!!

After Subiaco, I took the train out to Freemantle which seems to be the antithesis of Perth - kinda like Calgary and Edmonton but a little more extreme. Let's put it this way, Freemantle aka Freo is much more white trailer park trashy than Perth. Freemantle is located on the coast and is the main port for the area - Perth is located more inland on the Swan River. There is great transit service in the Perth area including free bus service in key areas. I took the "Pussy" as in cat, bus around Freemantle which gave me a good overview of the city. The city is definately a port town and there is some amazing architecture for the late 1800s and early 1900s. Who would have thought I would be interested in looking at old buildings - but it really neat to see the English influence on the buildings here. Also while in Freemantle I had probably the most amazing gelato - I could have just sat down in front off all of the flavours and gorged myself - it was the good!

Freemantle also allowed me to explore one of my passions - church architecture - I love taking pictures of churches as you can see. The Church of St. John the Evangelist in Freemantle was open and they allowed you to wander about and take pictures - this is where all of the stained glass photos are from. It was a very beautiful church and allowed me some time for quiet reflection.
Another key learning that I have had while I have been here in Australia is not only do they drive on the opposite side of the road but they also walk on the left side of the pathway. (You know how you are supposed to walk on the right and pass on the left on the pathway - it is the opposite here). It took me a while today when I was walking in King's Park. I think I was about 3km into my walk when I realized that as people approached me that they were having move over and around me. Speaking of my walk, once again I decided to go wherever the paths would take me. Little did I know that I would be walking for 2 hours in my flip flops and covering about 12 kms - I am pretty sure that I am going to hurt tomorrow! Another thing that I have noticed (and like) about Perth is that people are out and about using the parks all of the time. It is really common for people to go on "picnics" or take their food to the park and eat, or just go and sit on the grass and hang out. The other thing is the real absence of people being out and about with their dogs - I am finding that odd.
I am sad that tomorrow is going to be my last day here in Perth. It is hard to believe that my holiday is almost over and that I have to go back to work in a week - ugh! I am liking this whole holiday thing but I do miss Horton dearly!

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