Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Perth has a lovely riverside setting. The Swan River sparkles in the heart of the city and from Mount Eliza Scarp, where the fantastic Botanical Gardens are set high above the city in Kings Park, you can see it snaking its way to the coast. The people of Perth are justifyably proud of their Kings Park, it is a stunning place. The recent addition of the 'Lotterywest Federation Walkway', an elevated walkway which includes a spectacular Glass Bridge further enhances the natural beauty of the park and water gardens.

Perth, the most isolated city in the world is a compact comfortable place where everything closes at 9.00 pm. This caused everyone visiting the city for cricket problems. Cricket started at the traditional civilised time of 11.30 and play went on till 6.30 or 7.00. Imagine the rush around about 8.00 as thousands of hungry people try and find somewhere to eat before shut down. No wonder the Food Hall at David Jones does such a huge delicious range of picnic goodies!

There has also been uproar and confusion recently with the introduction of two new ways of doing things. The first is allowing bottleshops (similar to Offlicences in UK) to open on a Sunday. The second is the introduction of daylight saving, the clocks were put forward an hour the day we arrived amidst worries that it would shrink the curtains and cause childrens brains to malfunction somehow! Needless to say we approve of both innovations. We were actually caught short with no wine the first Sunday we were in WA and had to raid Cally's supply. She had given us the key to her grog cupboard and told us to help ourselves but we still didn't feel comfortable having to do it; we've replaced it now of course and didn't get caught out again but now we don't even have to think about getting double supplies in on Saturday!

Buses in Perth are free. They are called CATs - Central Area Transit - and there are three routes, yellow, red and blue, around the city. They are clean, air conditioned and frequent. At the stops there are digital signs telling you in how many minutes the next bus is due and on the bus there are further signs to tell you what the next stop is and so on. An amazing system. The only drawback for us visiting cricketing fans is that the bus service stops early evening and after that the taxi service goes into meltdown with long queues forming throughout the city.

A lot of investment is also going into the railways which bring in commuters from the suburbs, there is a new line being built out to Mandurah about 50k south of Perth which is being developed as a growth town on the coast. The integrated transport policy is designed to stop the city being gridlocked by cars and it is working. Perth a lovely city to walk around.

We've walked the walks and we are now back in Dunsborough. It was a bit like coming home. Familiarity and a more reasonably priced internet access!

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