There is an unknown connection between Australia and me. I am talking about the times when my brother had not yet moved to the Aussie land.. When I was a kid, maybe 7-8 years old, I used to pester my Mumma, “I want to go to Australia…” My mother used to tell everyone, that maybe her child was an Aussie in her last birth. We are not sure whether I read about it somewhere or perhaps someone talked me into it. It is a mystery unsolved. And voila, 10 years later my brother moves to the country of my dreams. And the alliance is fabricated forever..
I have been to Australia before, when my brother used to stay in Melbourne. He moved to Sydney 3 years ago, and my visit to him and my sister-in-law was long due. I got onto the phone with him, planned my trip, with Sydney as my base station while deciding to wander off to a couple of cities on my own. Air Asia offers decent fares from Delhi to Perth, and my Bhai convinced me to extend my stay in Perth and then land in Sydney. I am glad and more that I accepted his suggestion. Perth is calm, has beautiful waterfronts and at the same time is one of the most expensive cities of Australia.
I stayed at Parmelia Hilton as Expedia had a super saver deal for this five-star hotel. I paid INR 8K for a night while prices for all other decent non-five star hotels ranged INR 5.5-6K. Therefore, I guess paying 2.5K more for a five star was not a bad deal. The hotel lies in CBD (Central Business District), which is quite close to the Swan riverside and the King’s Park. After hardly a 5-minute walk, I was walking along the river. Now, Perth shuts down at 6 pm, so I made a mistake the first day, leaving my hotel premises after 5:30 pm. The streets, all deserted by 6 pm along with the chilly winds forced me to head back for an early dinner. I did manage a couple of pictures of the Business District and Bell Tower before calling it night for the day.
I ate Chicken Parmigiana, commonly known as Chicken Parma for dinner, and I was so proud of my choice. The food turned out to be delicious, and later I got to know that it is a special Australian dish, though it does not originate from here. In my brother’s words later that night, “Like brother like sister, it is my favourite dish, and I am so glad you ordered it”
I had an entire next day to explore the city, and here is a list of things one cannot afford to miss while traversing through Perth:
- Walk across the Poised Swan River with CBD in the Backdrop– You need to get that camera out and click the skyscrapers of the buildings with the grounded river across the road.
- Bells Chiming in the Bell Tower– The melodious ringing of the bells will certainly grab your attention while you are strolling across the river
- Cross the Bridge over Swan– To get the best views of both sides of the city, you must go to the center of bridge and let you camera do the talking. Also, the winds will not let you be on the top of the bridge for long, so be quick with those clicks.
- Seagulls– Whether you are in city or along the shore, you will notice these birds everywhere
- Fremantle Prison Tour– I would highly recommend this tour. The prison used to be a home to the convicts, but closed due to not so humane conditions. I took a Great Escape Tour, wherein the guide takes you around the prison and details about the popular escape attempts of the prisoners. The stories are funny, insane and shocking. Well, what do you expect out of convicts if you place them in a tailor shop in the jail? To sew those black official uniforms, wear them on and run away… The tour brought back memories of the Prison Break and Orange Is The New Black..
- Boat Park and Ship Junction– It was quite a sight to watch boats and cars parked side by side. When you are in Fremantle, ship junction is another sight you just cannot miss..
- Street Art– Whichever street you step your foot in, these art forms will definitely be appealing to your eyes
- Angelic sunset– Just sit by the park across the beach in Freemantle and let the sun spread it’s colour across the prism, clouds in this case…
- Conversation with the Locale– Make sure when you are in a cafe/bus/ taxi, you strike conversation with the locals of the area. You get to share experiences and be culturally involved..
Let me quote parts of my conversation with Catherine:
Me: “Catherine, are you from Perth?
Catherine: “Yeah, always lived here, I now stay with my 7-year-old son. Where in India are you from?”
“Oh Mumbai right”
“No, Delhi, like New Delhi, capital of India”
“Oh yeah, Mumbai is Bombay”
“Right, have you been to India?”
“Naah, too afraid, friends of mine who have been to India, always get a stomach bug, too scared to visit India”
“Oh no, just do not eat the street food, you anyways have the currency advantage, so buy everything from fruits to snacks from proper stores”
“Where in India should I go?”
“You could go to south of India, maybe Kerala or to Kashmir; it basically depends on what you like”
“Oh I like historically rich places”
“Oh then you should go to Rajasthan”
I convinced Catherine to visit Rajasthan based on my recent trip to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. I hope she does… In return, she suggested me a few eateries in Perth.
Now, that was my short but a self enriching trip to Perth. My next destination is Sydney; I will update you next week of my whereabouts in Sydney…. For at least a month now, my blog would be about my travel to Australia.. Catch up with you all next week….