• 27 . 04 . 06
  • A pleasant day in Perth, Western Australia, a lovely city which is a little sleepy but easy to relax in.

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Swanning About Town

Lots of people told me I shouldn’t bother coming to Perth because there wasn’t much to see. The city itself is quite widely distributed and getting around is much easier with a car. Luckily, North Perth, where I’m staying, is pretty close to the main centre and on a bus route, which, now that I’ve figured out how to go everywhere not via the airport, can get me into town in less than 10 minutes. Transport in the city centre is free!

I spent the day wandering round the town today and it reminded me a lot of Manchester’s main shopping street, with a lot of the same shops. It’s finally sunk in that I’m back in the West, even though I’m still almost as far South East as is possible. Perth’s a pretty city, as far as cities go, with lots of greenery and a long waterfront with cyclists and joggers. With its distributed layout and lots of tropical tree-lined avenues, it feels quite like Los Angeles, albeit with a soul that I didn’t find in the Californian city.

One of the city landmarks down by the dock is the Swan Bells, which bills itself as one of the world’s largest musical instruments. It’s actually a glass spire housing 17 bells, the majority of which came from St Martin’s in the Fields in England. Most of the locals I spoke to despise it, dismissing it as a vanity project for a former mayor that’s just an attempt to artificially create a tourist attraction. Its actually not that bad, and I was there just as the bells were being rung which was cool. I think it’s probably the first time I’ve heard Church Bells since I left university.

From there I hopped on the ferry across to South Perth and lazed around in the park on the waterfront over there. Although there might not actually be much to see in Perth city itself, it definitely does have a lot of places you can just relax. On the way back, I stopped off in another of those places, the Supreme Court gardens. Hardly an action-packed day, but satisfying nonetheless. I plan to go down to Fremantle and Rottnest Island at some point, which promises a very relaxed atmosphere as well.

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