Exploring Perth

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April 3rd 2014
Published: April 3rd 2014
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Today I am in Perth on Australia's west coast and it is my first full day without Maggie. I missed her all day. I kept thinking she would enjoy some aspect of what I was seeing and a couple of times I even started to turn around to say something to her. At least I got to Skype with her this morning (Thursday morning here, Wednesday afternoon there). I was up early because my circadian rhythm is still on Sydney time. After breakfast I walked down to the bell tower, a landmark on the waterfront (see photo), where I caught the free bus that took me to King's Park. This is a large green space that overlooks the city and also serves as a site for memorials - war and otherwise. I took a number of photos including the eucalyptus trees, the war memorial originally built for the Great War (1914-1918), a pair of colorful Galahs (aka "Pink-and-Grays"), and a view of Perth. The water you see is the Swan River which flows past Perth to Fremantle and thence to the Indian Ocean. Next I took the free bus up to the Perth Cultural Centre, a collection of museums located near one another in the center of of the city. I will just mention that Perth has a very civilized transportation system. There are free buses in the city center that run four different routes that go anywhere you might want to go. Armed with a map, it took me no time at all to figure out how to use the bus system to get around. My first stop in the Cultural Centre was the Western Australia Museum. This is equivalent to the Australia Museum in Sydney. It deals with natural history and I was pleased to see, in the Birds section, a specimen of a Dusky Moorhen, which is clearly the rail that Maggie and I saw in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. I am pleased to know, finally, what it was, and if any of you were losing sleep over the identification of this bird, you can now rest easy too. I ate lunch at the cafe in the museum and then went next door to the Art Gallery of Western Australia. It had works by a number of Australian artists I was familiar with from Sydney. There was an emphasis on contemporary art. I was intrigued enough by a wood carving of a kookaburra to take a phot of it. Next door to the art museum is the State Library where there was an exhibit of photojournalism from the previous year. I'm sure this was more interesting to people who knew something of the stories behind the pictures, but I am a fan of the photographic art, so I was pleased to see it. This was especially true of the photo of an Aborigine man who is apparently thriving in his life - so often one hears about the native people who are suffering - plus I like the fellow's bright smile! I took the free bus back to a bar near my hotel. I am currently sipping a beer as I write this. The Australian dollar is trading just a little lower than the US dollar (AUD$1.00 = USD$0.92) and everything here in Australia is rather expensive as a result. Here is an advertisement that I can see from where I am sitting. (See last photo) It seems to indicate that they think ten dollars (USD$9.20) is a good price for a pint of beer. It seems a little steep to me, but, hey, I'm on vacation!

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3rd April 2014

Neat Bill!

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