2-25-2013 Day 51 Fremantle/Perth, Australia

Most of today was a sea day since we didn’t arrive into Fremantle (the port for Perth) until 4 p.m.   So, I was able to enjoy some of my sea day activities. 

One of my favorite things is Good Morning Amsterdam.  Not sure why I enjoy it so much, but I really do – usually learn something new either about the ship, the activities, or a crew member or guest speaker.  Well, today there was no guest and just questions about life at sea for the staff.  At the end, the cruise director Bruce, had a surprise for everyone in the audience.  He had bought Tim Tams (a special Australian cookie) at the last port and had one for everyone to try.  I had already bought some because I remembered them from my last time in Australia and really liking them.  Well, you would have thought he was feeding people who had not seen food for a week!  It was rather sad, actually, to watch the mass swarm to the front to get a cookie. 

I also enjoyed the “sit and knit” gathering that followed.  I am trying to knit some squares for this good cause, Project Linus.   A passenger has organized all those interested in knitting for this and so all these (mostly) women sit for a couple of hours every morning and knit and chat.  It was actually refreshing and fun to meet some new people.  They were very nice and welcoming . . and in my case, helpful with how to actually knit!

After lunch as we approached Fremantle, which is the port town for Perth and the surrounding area and at the mouth of the Swan River, which winds up to and beyond Perth.  Our ship’s travel guide gave a little commentary about what we saw as we sailed in.  We passed a small island called Rottnest Island which is a popular get-away for a day or weekend for both visitors and locals and easily accessible by ferry.

Fremantle is a small, P1070149but interesting little town with lots to experience here.  I wish I had had more time to actually walk around Fremantle with all its little shops and cafes.  It also has one of the most stellar Maritime Museums in the world – which would have also been interesting to check out.  But most of my time was spent in Perth.

I went to a high school with only 48 girls in my graduating class.  I had remembered that one of my classmates had moved to Perth years ago so before we set sail, I had contacted her about getting together.  She generously offered to take Doug and me around for the evening we arrived and the next day until our ship departed.  We gladly and happily accepted her kind offer and so when the ship docked, we were off quickly to meet (and hopefully recognize after 20 plus years) each other.  Her name is Ginny.  And once we did, all those years just seemed to melt away. 

Ginny had planned a great introduction to Perth for the evening.  We P1070216began with a quick over view tour of the city as we came in from Fremantle.  The skyline is great and we took many, many pictures of it from different approaches.  This is a view overlooking the city from King’s Park.  Perth is a beautiful and clean city with a combination of old and new architecture.  The modern is what you mainly see here. 

Before arriving in Kings Park, we drove through one of the more affluent parts of Perth called Cottesloe.  They are expensive because they are close to (and some overlooking) the water.   We drove throughP1070207 the city to get to Kings Park where we stopped to walk around the manicured part of this park.  It is expansive with both a more manicured look and then a more “bush” look with walking trails throughout.  It also has a war memorial monument where you can also look out over the city of Perth.  The street where we parked the car was lined with beautiful gum trees. 

We then drove to Subiaco, the area of Perth with many theaters and artsy venues.  We had dinner at Metro, an Indian restaurant, which was excellent.  We had and Indian meal in keeping with what we were going to do next.

We were lucky enough to be here during Perth’s International Arts Festival.  Ginny got us tickets to a special Indian dance performance at the Regal theater.  It was called Shiva Shakti and was one of the most P1070232interesting and unusual performances I’ve seen.  I was fascinated with it.  It’s about energy and the male Shiva and female Shakti.  This simplifies it too much.  It is something that just needs to be experienced to appreciate.  I felt fortunate to be able to do that. 

Ginny brought us back to the ship after the performance. We got back in time to see the ship’s folklore performance with the Wadumbah Dance Group showcasing the Bibullmum culture.  It was really weak after what we had just seen in Perth, but the didgeridoo player was good.

Looking forward to seeing more of Perth with Ginny tomorrow morning!

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