Saturdays in Perth #1: Freo

In our time here, we've had 3 full Saturdays which we turned into mini day trips of sorts. For our first one, we went to Fremantle, which is a (city? suburb?) of Perth by the coast. This area is full of good places to eat, a nice indoor market (kind of like a farmer's market) and a prison that has been partially converted into a hostel.

We started the day eating something that is apparently very Australian -- smashed avocado. I'm not sure how you feel about avocado toast (love it, hate it, think it's overpriced, too hippie, etc.) but this was next level avocado toast.

Top view of the avocado toast... but you probably can't even see the avocado (possibly a lighting issue...)

Had to include this for size comparison, but I'm not sure if it's clear how much avocado there was. It was delicious :)
We also had earl grey rhubarb cake (also pictured here)

To the markets! I didn't take many pictures inside but it was really nice.

Fremantle prison -- I think this is the only world heritage site in Western Australia. As of 1991, it's no longer in use as a prison, but most things were left pretty similar to how they were and only guided tours are allowed.

My history knowledge is not very good (nor is my memory) but I believe the story goes something along the lines of... people didn't want to move from England to Australia, so they sent convicts to start early colonization. One of the first things they had to build was their own 'housing'... this prison. 

They had to use buckets for their toilets and every morning they'd have to dump them out here (or some place similar). I'm pretty sure this continued up until the prison closed in 1991 o_o

Some of the prisoners were very artistic. Originally they weren't allowed to paint on the walls but this inmate was granted permission for therapeutic purposes. I think he taught some of the other prisoners, so there were a few cells that had such paintings.

After going to the prison, we walked around the town and saw these random yellow lines on the streets and buildings.

Turns out they formed some ellipses!

Winter is a bit rainy here but given that we've been getting highs of 19 deg C, I really can't complain.

Do you see the double rainbow?

One thing I've learned about Australians is that they like to abbreviate everything. Hence, Fremantle = Freo.

Gotta have some fish and chips by the ocean! (I forgot to take a picture when they were just served...)

There was also a small museum that had a lot of history about Dutch ships coming to Western Australia. (I've decided that I think Australia is kind of a hybrid of the UK, Europe [specifically the Netherlands, but maybe it's because I only pick up on Dutch things] and North America.) 

... okay, and Asia to some extent... Australia is basically like everything in one and its own thing, at the same time.
We went back to the market later to eat more food. Mochi-filled bubble waffle with red bean, matcha and strawberries! (Unfortunately, the savoury kangaroo one was sold out... that was the one we were originally going for.)

Sushi roll snack -- you can get these almost everywhere in Perth. I guess when you think about it, it's an efficient way to eat sushi... you could even pack it for lunch.

Well, I thought I had more pictures but I guess I didn't. Anyway, tune in next time and next next time for the other two weekends... one at the wildlife park, and the other at Rottnest Island (aka Rotto)!

comparing campuses and being a tourist

Yesterday I went back to UWA (another one of the major universities here) and it was not raining, so I had a much better experience. I've definitely decided that I am not one of those people who love the rain. Maybe if I'm inside, curled up in a blanket and going to sleep, but that's about it.

My assessment on this second run is that UWA is a lot nicer than I originally thought, but definitely different from Curtin. I found Curtin more cozy and quirky, and UWA felt more historic and grand. Also, UWA has a pretty sweet location -- it's close to the city centre and right next door to Matilda Bay.

Good morning, UWA.

They have gigantic, super climbable-looking trees.

Not sure if this is adequately communicating the size of these trees but they felt pretty big.

Also... yea... like I mentioned in my previous post, ping pong tables are like a public-space-staple. I have yet to see someone playing.

The view from there student centre area. I would more or less equate this to Mac Hall at U of C, except there isn't really a food court.

Walked down a short ways (basically just had to cross the street) and this could be your lunch view. Food is courtesy of a food truck (it wasn't that amazing, sadly. Opa fries are better and half the price.) But it's pretty cool that both campuses regularly have food trucks around.

This is what I mean by looking/feeling historic and grand...

The inside of the above-pictured building. I think this was some kind of theatre lobby but it was dark and closed and empty so I didn't venture any further in.

Also from some views, the campus looked like a jungle.

So the nice day definitely improved my perspective of the school (or at least the campus from the outside). The people were really nice too.

After the day at UWA, I met up with J at the blue boat house. I think this once functioned as a proper boat house but has turned into something like a tourist icon (based on Google reviews). I would have tried to take a picture with it but there was a queue. Full of asians.

Strategically framed photo to avoid the tourists.

Demonstrating the photogenic quality of the house (as in... everyone wants to take pictures here)

Opted for a less "intimate" view of the house instead... not patient enough to wait in line.

This was conveniently located maybe 5-10 minutes downhill from an entrance to King's Park, which is supposedly one of the world's largest inner city parks. It also has a botanic garden (which would probably be amazing in the spring, but was still pretty nice for winter) and some nice vantage points of the water and the city.

DNA tower -- the design is modeled after a castle in France (Chateau de Chambord), which I really thought I would've blogged before but I cannot find it. Anyway, been there too, pretty cool.

View from the top (it reminded me a lot of the Arc de Triomphe view)

The picture might not be the best but we could see (roughly) where we live.

I think this is the bridge that the train crosses over to get into the city (not a bad view for a regular commute)

This could be a pretty nice wedding venue!

War memorial (and happened to be a clue box location for TAR season 9, I think)

Elizabeth Quay during sunset, view from the park

Perth's version of the Crescent Heights stairs 
We topped off the busy day with a visit to the Chinatown area for some food. Got the Australian game experience as an appetizer, plus some super spicy Thai food for the main course, and finished it with Asian/hippie-inspired gelato.

Sampler skewers at Outback Jack's: kangaroo, buffalo, wild boar, crocodile and emu.

Doo dee noodles (I think that's what it was called) at Bangkok Brothers

Super delicious, super spicy tom yum. I think I accompanied it with at least 5 glasses of water.

Had to cool down my mouth. Top scoop: black sesame & grilled banana; bottom scoop: lavender & honeycomb. Did I mention that Australians seem to love honeycomb flavoured stuff? It's great. I love it.

Okay, that pretty much summarizes an eventful, tourist-ey day. Til next time...

Uni life on semester break

One of my favourite tourist-ing pastimes is checking out university campuses. So naturally, that's what we decided to do here. (I also got in touch with one of the researchers here, to fulfill the "working" part of this working holiday... not that it's actually a working holiday, since neither of us are getting paid, but it is kind of a working holiday in that we're both doing some work and also holiday-ing).

First stop... Curtin University! I'm not sure if it was just because we were blessed with some amazing weather last week (it got really rainy on the weekend so being enamoured with Australian winter was short-lived), but I loved the campus. It was seriously so cool -- there was greenery everywhere (I can only imagine how nice it would be in the spring!) and funky little places to hang out, including a mini Japanese garden, two hammock hotels, napping pods in the library, hanging chairs in the main entrance, etc. Also, they keep their fields here so well... it made me feel sad that I didn't have people to play frisbee with. Speaking of frisbee, they even had a frisbee golf course on the campus.

Anyway, obviously words don't do this justice so I'll just post a bunch of pictures now.

Hanging chairs near the main entrance to Curtin. (Named after a wartime prime minister, not poorly spelled window coverings.)

I'm not sure if Perthians just carry ping pong balls and paddles in their pockets everywhere, but so many public spaces (including the campus) have random ping pong tables all over the place.

Main entrance area

More of the main entrance cause it's so grand-looking. J told me that one of the researchers he's collaborating with told him that they have their convocations out here. And then they shoot fireworks. Yea.

Not sure what they use this for but seriously! It's just out there in the middle of campus.

Need a break? Why not visit the hammock hotel (which, despite its name, looks like it's totally free... and is surprisingly clean for a public space).

Engineering building! (One of several, but this happened to be the best-looking one)

Beautifully maintained fields. The grass is like... 1 cm tall... but the field feels so soft. I want a frisbee 😭

If you're tired and you can't quite swing an outdoor hammock, you can visit the library instead. The so-called energy pods (I would just call them napping pods) are equipped with a privacy visor, built-in alarm system (wakes you by vibration and ambient music/light) and reclining capability.

Randomly wandered through an outdoor hallway and stumbled upon, y'know, just a little Japanese garden. No big deal.

They also have a collection of these little huts, each uniquely furnished.

Oh and they have an open edible garden. So you can go and pick yourself some thyme, if you'd like.

So much random fun stuff, just hanging out in between buildings.

So we decided to hang out too...

y'know. :)

Anyway, the pictures just show a little sampling of how exciting the campus was (to me). It did have it's less-attractive parts (I had a meeting in the physics building, which was... well-worn, to put it nicely. But it's probably like math sci at U of C -- old and kinda sketchy but it grows on you.) but overall, so cool. Added bonus -- they're on a break between semesters right now, so the campus wasn't super crowded.

That was most of what I did last week. This week (yesterday, to be exact), I visited the University of Western Australia (UWA) but it was raining when I got there, so it did not seem nearly as exciting. Hopefully I'll have some pics on a nice day in the future.

Tune in next time for... adventures in Fremantle? Or something.
on faith, food and flying
The thoughts and experiences of a college kid on faith, love and life in pursuit of Christ, the loveliest One, while enjoying misadventures and quests for food, which so happen to take her around the world.
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