Saturday, September 23, 2006

Weekend in Oz

Not many Brits spend a long weekend in Australia, but that's what we have just done! As you know we decided to cut our trip by cutting out Oz, in order to get home for Lily's operation in 3 months time. As we had flights to Perth we thought we may as well spend a few days in Fremantle, suburb of Perth which we really liked when we were here 4 years ago (4 years ago- that's scary)!.

Unfortunately, immigration were a bit dubious about our flying visit. After an overnight flight it was a bit worrying when immigration officers asked us in a “casual” tone, “Oh that's a long way to fly just for 5 days” . At that point I got all nervous and immediately started to feel guilty and bumbled an answer which although was the truth, somehow managed to sound really fake and to make matters worse he misunderstood me and thought I'd said we stayed longer in SE Asia and just thought we'd come to Oz for a little while! At that point he looked “interested”, in a policeman kind of way, and asked some more “casual” questions. He was obviously convinced I was a drug smuggler and when another member of staff noted that we were travelling light I was convinced our number was up. As we walked on to Australian soil I realised that there was no number to be up as I wasn't actually a drug smuggler. Airport staff make me feel nervous. We went through baggage check in Singapore before the flight to Perth and my bag flagged up something on the x-ray machine. They all looked really stern and checked my bag and camera bag, then put it through again. The girl checked again and found out they were my batteries but the x-ray man didn't look happy and she had to persuade him not to put it through again as they were definitely batteries. After that Tim got called over the tannoy which didn't help either. (It was just to tell him his TV didn't work in his chair so we'd been moved)!

Anyway, we made it through immigration and into Fremantle after having to put up and pretend to be amused by the bus drivers Little Britain impressions and witty remarks about what my home town name Lowestoft sounds like. A combination of no sleep and the fact that it was 15 degrees cooler than we were used to contributed to me feeling quite miserable on the journey to Fremantle from Perth. Unfortunately this feeling only grew until we were able to check in. Until that moment we wandered round Fremantle and I thought we were actually in Gorleston. Which is fine, but it didn't feel like the place I remembered and I was worried I 'd been wearing Rose tinted specs for the last 4 years. It didn't help that it was a drizzly thursday morning and everyone was at work except people who like to drink all day. However, it all changed as soon as we checked in. The B&B was lovely and I had a shower and went to sleep. I think every time I feel negative I should just sleep as the world seems so much nicer after!

After the dubious start, we had a lovely few days. We spent them eating (although I still haven't had that jacket potato) and drinking at caf├ęs and bars, walking on the beach ( we went to Dog beach where dogs and their owners hang down the beach together. Last time we were here it was summer and it was packed with dogs and their owners swimming and sunbathing together!) We had a night out, watching a band who played “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes. When we were here last every live band played this song and we were glad to see things hadn't changed. Tim surprised a few people around by dancing hard to it!We walked round the streets, the Market and basically just hung out! It was really nice and a bit of a nostalgia trip as well as we really loved it when we were here last. It doesn't feel 4 years ago though. It just feels like it could be last week now were here.

Our last day was spent in Perth and it was a lovely sunny day with blue sky. After checking in we caught the free bus (I like free things) to the Waterfront area next to Swan river. It was good to see Parrots and Galahs again (hadn't seen any in Fremantle) and I was really happy when I spotted a couple of dolphins in Swan River. We spent the next 15 minutes running down the river bank to follow them as they rounded up fish. The river is right next to the city centre, so I hadn't exactly expected to see dolphins that day! Afterwards we tried to find our way to King's park having to go up loads of steep steps to get there. Loads of people were running up and down them for exercise. It made me feel sick watching them. I felt even sicker when I got to the top!

Kings Park was as lovely as I remembered and it was really nice just wandering round taking photos. That is until the mossies realised I was there. I am NOT going to get paranoid over it....

On the way back to the hotel we dropped into our old haunt, the Hare Krishna restaurant and got a cheap meal for $2.50. All in all we've had a nice few days in Oz.

No comments: