This morning we met up with my brother, Rod, and his wife, Cornelia, at Melbourne Airport and flew to Perth to begin a three week-long drive up the Western Australian coast to Broome. It was good to leave the chill of Melbourne behind and be welcomed to Perth by blue skies and sunshine. We caught a taxi to the hire car depot near the CBD and from there it was a short drive to our hotel. The taxi took us past the fabulous Optus Oval. I’m hoping we’ll return to Perth in a year or two from now to see a footy game there.
We took the opportunity to drive down to Fremantle for the afternoon. I spotted a pair of black-backed magpies, which I really enjoyed seeing as I can’t recall seeing too many with that colouring before. We stopped at a pub for lunch, then walked over to the old Fremantle Market, situated just next to the footy ground. I suspect we’ll find a new purpose in exploring markets like this now that we’re grandparents. Our luggage doesn’t have much space left for any new purchases, but Marg did find a couple of things to bring back for Layla.
Fremantle is such a beautiful town to walk around. Its streets aren’t too busy. Its cafes and craft stores look inviting. And its heritage architecture is magnificent. I really enjoyed looking at all the old buildings, the majority of which appear to be maintained in excellent condition and really add something special to Fremantle’s charm.
We walked up the steps to the Round House and down on to Bathers Beach as the sun was going down. Just to the north of us we could see the loaded container ships in the Inner Harbour. To the west, across a short stretch of water, Rottnest Island was clearly visible. Beyond that lies the Indian Ocean, which will be our constant companion for much of the next three weeks.
Our walk took us past the Boat Harbour as darkness fell. There were what looked like some really nice eating places there. I imagine this could be one of the best places to come for a meal in Freo on a warm summer’s night with views out over the water as the fishing boats return to the harbour at the end of the day. I really enjoyed the statues here, especially the tributes to Bon Scott and to the Italian fishermen who contributed so much to Fremantle’s thriving fishing industry.
Marg and Cornie found a really nice little French restaurant just near the market. It’s called Angel’s House. Slow cooked beef bourguignon paired with a French pinot noir was a fitting finale for our time in Freo. Tomorrow we leave Perth and drive north to Geraldton.