Category Archives: Australia

Cruising!  Fremantle to Fremantle via Albany and Busselton, Western Australia 4 night cruise on the Sea Princess.

Never done it. Thought about it, but have never actually taken the plunge until now! Love, love, love it. Sure there are lots of people, but they don’t get in the way much.
We boarded the #PrincessLine #Sea_Princess.  It’s a lovely little cruise ship. 857 feet long, 77,000 tons, 1950 Passengers. We decided we don’t think it is full, but how would we know – we are first timers in this cruising thing.

It’s been extraordinary already. The mood on board is ‘buoyant’,(pardon the pun!) expectant and everyone everywhere on staff wants to help you. The crew are an eclectic bunch of nationalities. More Phillipinos than any other group, but we’ve met a man from Trinidad and Tobago who lives in Winchester, England, and a Welshman who claims his name is Robbie Williams.

We mustered this afternoon so we could be told how to put in our life jackets and how to leave the ship if it is required. All done with people moving all over the ship heading for their Muster Point.  We have a letter on the front of our life jackets so the people checking can identify where we should be or should have come from.

The ship has 14 decks which can be found by stair or lift. Stairs tend to be quicker sometimes but the lifts are efficient. The carpet is thick and springy underfoot.

The pools look lovely and inviting and they are heated so if you wanted to, you could swim. The food is fresh and delicious and the presentation is excellent.

There is a library, Internet cafe which charges like a wounded bull for access. Not going to bother until we get to Albany.

It’s a cruise ship. It has an outdoor theatre and bars, a gym, a casino, restaurants and decks for strolling on.


Day Two

Today we woke to a calm sea, blue as far as the eye could see. The stateroom is perfectly adequate and the bed is wonderful. The shower is terrific, great pressure and hot. The cabin is so quiet, sometimes you can hear people in the corridor but generally nothing. Very peaceful.


We had breakfast around 7:30 this morning at a window table facing west. The food is good and plentiful and the walking needed to get places helps with the calorie burning required. We have both had heavy colds so sleeping was necessary today.  I read for a while and later we had dinner in the Rigoletto. This is our pre-booked table with other people.  We had a great group on our table and have enjoyed lovely meals and conversations.

After dinner we went to the Princess Theatre to see the #Scared_Weird_Little_Guys perform.  They were great, professional, well practised, clever, funny, irreverent and comfortable. The harmonies were tight and beautiful. Good show.  Just 30 mins.​ 


Day Three

We started early today after an reasonably early night. Slept pretty well, in spite of the continuing cold. Disembarked and found our hire car. We drove directly to the #National_Anzac_Centre. 

I was able to take some photos before anyone arrived. We were they around 8:30 about half an hour before the venue opened.


After that we drove through Yorke Street, Albany on our way to Denmark. Once there, we parked and found a cool cafe called #Chilli_Lime_Salt. Had a pot of tea and I had a most wonderful, Date Slice. Beautiful. After our refreshments we meandered in and found the Denmark_Co-op. There I happened upon some #Sloggers. Own some purple ones already but bought some with chickens on them. So cool!

We returned to the National Anzac Centre and had a proper look around. Very moving, very detailed, very informative. Beautiful sculpture of a man using his upturned hat to give his horse a drink of water.

We skipped our arranged table, for an early night in our stateroom.  The sea was getting a little more active. It’s an interesting feeling when you are sleeping. It was rougher last night than it has been the whole trip. But not in an upsetting or unsettling way. The rocking of the boat while you are lying in your warm bed is almost comforting. I slept through it all, and having heard In the lift from a well travelled woman, with much cruise experience, said it was rougher than any she had experienced before.  Well, if that’s the worst, cruising looks like a fairly good idea.

The parts I like the most are the fact you can run your own timetable. The only thing you need to do at a specific time is dinner but that is also option really. There is entertainment provided all day and night. Take it or leave it. Also our stateroom has a balcony and just being able to, open the door and feel the fresh air and stand outside and look out is wonderful. Today we saw a whale in the distance. It is one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever experienced.

If I was doing a cruise to places I had never been, I may do more ‘shore time’. Having the option to stay on board is lovely.

Have had a great time.  

Advertisements

Breakfast at Tropico – North Beach, Perth, Western Australia

Poached Eggs with bacon and hash browns.  The presentation was magnificent.  The attention to detail was marvellous. The Hash browns were the best I have had, and inside in the soft mashed potato, I happened upon mustard seeds’throughout the soft white deliciousness.  The sprouts on the eggs were a nice touch, and the bacon was beautifully crispy. The meal wasn’t the hottest, in fact the eggs were a little cool, but the yolks were golden and the food was scrumptious.  I really enjoyed the meal, completely.

The restaurant was not very full when we arrived at about 7:40am. It filled quickly and the sun shone through the large windows on the north side. The seating was good, right height for the tables and the noise was abated with clever wood and fabric around the large room.  It was cosy in our area without being cramped. There were different height tables which added interest and the casual nature of the venue lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere.  The staff were very good and attentive, but I did notice a pair beside us went and got their own menus.

Overall we had a terrific time and stayed almost two hours.  A beautiful morning, great food, terrific service and a nice vibe.  We will be back.

Thanks.

Adelaide, South Australia

image
Moreton Bay fig tree on Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide at Botanic Garden

Had a great day yesterday wandering around the Botanic Garden in Adelaide. The most beautiful day and the surroundings were very peaceful and relaxing. It is important for us to ‘get back to nature’ away from phones and work stresses and just be!

 We went through the Conservatory full of rainforest plants we continued on our day of peaceful meanderings and discovery.

Next we happened upon a female duck and her five ducklings foraging in a man made waterway nearby. Also, on the same path was a sculpture made of glass sheets in the shape of a wave. Very impressive.

The sun was out the birds were everywhere, and we trundled along towards the Santos Economic Botany Museum. Wonderful place which was probably fairly dated looking until, it was restored recently.

The building was constructed

#Globe_Coffee_House_Patisserie and Restaurant

Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Had lunch here, with two of my workmates and one beautiful 4 year old. He wasn’t some random child, he belonged to one of my people.

While I waited for my mates to arrive, I set about writing – as I do – about thoughts that whirl through my head.

Here’s what I wrote today:

The crisp air bites at my ears as I cross the road, looking towards my destination but completely missing the crosswalk at my feet. I wondered why that car had stopped for me.

Sometimes, I think I am so in charge of my life and I am enjoying my freedom, but I am apparently away with the fairies at times. Ah well, ’tis real life n’est pas? Pretentious? Not at all. Everyone understands the context, if not the words. The rhetorical question, oft used to pique the reader’s interest. I am currently 8% fluent in French, and my phone app encourages me to add it to my LinkedIn profile. Now, that would be pretentious. How could 8% fluency be an asset in my employment. I am certainly aware of my increased understanding of the language but I am not sure if that would ‘translate’ into a useful addition to my resume.

Just received an email with a list of 14 foods that boost my thyroid. Oh, the constant desire to lose weight, manage weight, spend money on losing weight etc etc.

The venue I am in now is not air tight but not unpleasant. I have covered my bases with four layers of clothing and a scarf. L’ escarp. I think that is the word. Asked a guy in a shop in Paris what the word was and he said ‘escarper’ but that was just the pronunciation. He didn’t seem fazed by my question. I did buy a lovely jumper in Paris. (Made in Bangladesh and its washing instructions were a plastic book attached onto side of the jumper.) So fine and soft and I tried on some pants but nothing was quite right. The shop assistants were not around so I had to make all my rash decisions alone.

The day was just perfect, and I was swayed by the romance of just being in Paris. I loved it and I want to go back and spend more time in France in general.

 

 

 

 

Melbourne on one day of our travels.

 

image
Brunswick St Fitzroy
image
Brunswick Street, with photo effect
 

image
Autumn leaves in Brunswick
image
Melbourne Tram
image
Pay Attention!
image
Bourke St
image
Colourful Windows – Bourke St
image
Beautiful buildings
image
Architecture as Art
image
Autumn leaves
image
More wonderful buildings in Bourke Street
image
Louis Vuitton
image
More buildings to feast my eyes on.
image
Looks like a movie set
image
The old and the new
image
Wonderful Sandstone
image
Contrasts
image
Style
image
Bourke Street
image
China Town
image
Tram on Bourke St
image
Clocks at Flinders Street Station! Melbourne

image
Flinders St Station, corner of Swanston St
image
Some of the locals

Last day in Melbourne

We decided to go to a swimwear shop I had found out about from my Melbourne friend and this involved catching trams and walking to Fitzroy. This is a pretty old but funky part of town with sculpture in the streets and around shops and buildings.

We went to the shop but on the walk on the way I took copious photos of buildings, railings, fences, patterns and I will show you most of them here.

Fences and Railingsimageimageimageimageimageimage

Patterns and Graffiti

All day it blew a cool wind but it was fun looking around Brunswick Street, in Fitzroy – enjoyed the funk!

On our last night we met up with some Perth mates over for the weekend and went out to dinner at Universal, in Lygon Street. I had the most amazing Pizza – small – cut into four pieces with the works plus jalapenos. I drank a Fat Yak beer and was completely full and satisfied. After dinner we went to the famous Brunetti’s and had coffee and cake.  I had a beautiful hot chocolate.  Yummo!

We did not stay out very late – we had to get up at about 3:30 in the morning to return home. After our ride home, we walked past a group of taxis and talked about availability for a 4:30am  ride to the airport.  Sorted that and he arrived at 4:15am – perfect.  Once ensconced in the Qantas Club we had a cuppa and toast ready to fly home at 6:30am.

On the flight into Perth I saw a rainbow out of my window. A lovely welcome back, considering the storms that had plagued Perth while we were away.image

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne has always been one of my favourite cities in Australia. It continues to charm me, and make me feel part of something bigger and better organised than my own small existence.  I love the food, the trams, the trains, even Uber. We were Uber virgins until yesterday.  Had a lovely ride with Vijay, a Singaporean Professor of Film Making. Terrific guy, works 55 hours a week as an Uber Driver.

The next day we had a ride with Ahmet, born in Turkey, came to Australia as a 6 year old, is a father of 4, who borrowed money from the bank for the $300,000 Taxi License, which he is still paying off. He says it’s worth nothing now Uber is here.

I love seeing the people I know in Melbourne – can’t see them all in two days though.

I did see a lot of my favourite parts of the city and an area or two I had not seen before – Yarraville.

In Yarraville we saw the Sun Theatre – Art Deco and had a cuppa in The Vault. Also saw a film crew working in the same street, filming in a cafe.

image
Yarraville Station
image
Cobblestone patterns
image
Almost Autumn trees
image
Outside Sun Theatre, Yarraville
image
Sun Theatre
image
Inside The Vault

 

image
Orchid on The Vault’s windowsill

We walked for about 25 mins to see a friend of mine, with whom I went to school. It was a tad chilly and windy, but we soldiered on. After the visit we Ubered back to our apartment, I then ventured out to see another friend who had travelled from Elstenwick to meet me in town.  Lost all track of time but we were to meet around 4:00pm. Once we had found each other we toddled off to Cookie, which turned out to be a Thai restaurant in a very staid, 6 storey building, called Curtin House, whose interior was anything but.

I was messing around with effects on my camera and took some photos inside using the ‘HDR painting lo’. Here is the result.

imageimageimageimageimage

 

Hobart to Melbourne

Left Hobart early – left our unit at Seven Mile Beach at around 4:30am and we flew out at 6:05.  Landed in Melbourne at 7:07. Most impressive.  One other thing of significance is the Qantas Entertainment. I had tuned into a movie on my flight from Melbourne to Hobart called “Finding Grace”.  An gentle little Aussie movie about a family who needed to reconnect. Anyway it was a usual film length but due to the flight being short, I had not been able to finish watching it.  On my return flight from Hobart, I opened up the Qantas app and continued from where I had left off. I was gobsmacked. As a result was able to watch the rest of the movie before we landed in Melbourne.  I was very pleased.

Our room in the Wyndham on William is lovely, complete with kitchen and balcony.

Once we had dumped our bags we caught a tram to the South Melbourne Markets. We met our friends from Coburg, great to see them again and had breakfast.

Later, we returned to find we could check in early. So we did.  We were tired from our very early start.

I later ventured out to meet another Melbourne mate. So lovely to see these people who all live on the wrong side of the country.

We ate dinner at Cookie – pub/Thai Restaurant. I used my illustration filter on my camera.

image image image image image

 

Mt Wellington, Hotel SOHO,Part Two

The road to the top
The road to the top

image imageThis is a continuation of the yesterday – was getting too long. The drive to the top was about 30 kms but it was well wooded and fun to watch the trees changing the higher we drove.  It is a pity that some drivers don’t share the roads a little bit more freely.

Once we were at the top the view was spectacular.  The day was as clear a day as you could ask for.  So perfect.

The view from the top
The view from the top

image

The view from the top
The view from the top

image

image

There were little patches of snow and people were throwing snow balls and building snowmen.  A couple of kids were experiencing the snow for the first time. Screams of shock as snow dared to venture down the back of a hoodie.  I laughed.

The air was magic.  Clear, tasty but a little thinner than further down the hill. The rocks were very different all across the top of the mountain. We stayed a while and went to the lookouts and just marvelled at the land we could see from the top.  Just fabulous.

After driving back down the mountain we went to the pub I had seen on the upward journey called Hotel SOHO.

Hotel SOHO
#Hotel_SOHO

image

It was a warm and friendly pub and they had $10 meals.  We had roastpork, with crackling, apple sauce and wonderfully roasted vegetables.  A wonderful meal all round.

A lovely day in beautiful weather.