Getting to know Perth

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April 7th 2012
Published: April 12th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

This morning we had a lie in until 8am, although we were awake from 4.30am as the fire alarm was faulty and beeping throughout the night, and our room also overlooked a train track. But we were used to being up early from our nights in the outback so we got up and had a quick search of the Internet to sort out accommodation for later in the trip, as well as a winery tour for the following day.
Once organised we headed into the CBD which was only a 10 minute walk from our hostel. We picked up a coffee on the way and got a couple of maps from the the tourist office with suggested walks around the city. We made a plan to combine the suggested walks and cover off the main sights in the city centre within the day. The first stop was the town hall, which was built by convicts and is suggested to include a couple of rebellious marks from the convicts which they built into the structure such as a hangmans noose around the clock face. From the town hall we walked along Hay St, one of the main shopping streets in Perth to take a look at London Court which is a little alleyway built in the style of an old London street with tea rooms and souvenir shops lining the alleyway. We then made our way towards the Mint, passing the first purpose built fire station in Australia where the horses used to be kept in unlocked stables and were trained to respond to the sound of the fire alarm without prompt from the firemen. We also passed the Perth Royal hospital where one of the main health issues they had to deal with was alcoholism as locals turned to alcohol as an escapism in harder times. The Perth Mint is an impressive building which is now used as a museum for precious metals. From here we made our way back to the harbour picking up a sandwich on the way and passing the Deanery and Government house on the way. We passed by the bell tower which has been built to house one of the 'Bells of st Clements' just as it was starting its hourly chime - playing the song 'Bells of st Clements'. We stopped on the waterfront to eat our sandwich in the sunshine before continuing our walk around the harbour towards Kings Park. We passed by an outdoor gym on the waters edge during our walk and tried out a few of the exercise machines. We then tried to find our way up to Kings Park which is set on a hill overlooking the city - it contains the worlds biggest inner city botanical gardens but wasn't easy to find an entry point! We eventually found a way in which was via Jacobs Ladder, a long set of steep steps which led up to the hill overlooking the city. The views from Kings Park were beautiful with city and the harbour glistening in the sunshine. We met Hannes (from our Adelaide to Pert tour) in Kings Park and had a stroll around the gardens, taking in the views before heading back towards the hostel. On our way back through the town we discovered the Margaret river chocolate company shop where they were giving out free tastings of chocolate, jams, relishes and olives - that made for good antipasti! Back at the hostel we went to the bar and enjoyed a cider whilst catching up on some blogging before meeting Hannes to head out for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. After dinner we were ready to sleep so headed back to our room to watch a DVD and catch some z's.

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