Sunday, May 22, 2011

Things I liked about Perth

I have to finish Perth’s post series and I wanted to end in a very positive note, those things I liked the most about it. In a way, I need this positive note right now because of different factors:
  • Firstly, the hideous migraine has been visiting me more frequent in the past few weeks and is highly probable that I am not handling it right.
  • Secondly, sometimes I feel I am not at my best at work... I really would like to give more of me but I have been bumping against walls and I haven’t been clever enough to early detect it and change accordingly.
  • And thirdly, I just need to get a couple of things out of head to make room for new ones.

In response to those points I have decided to take a sit (while I eat a meat pie) and start taking a look to 23 gig of pictures recently taken, stored in my hard drive and share with you a couple more of our Perth adventure.

As you may have already read in previous posts (such as 'hop hop hop and off to Perth we go', 'how did we get to Perth', 'Perth first impressions' and 'Comparison Sydney/Perth'), Kathy and I went to Perth to spend some time with close friends and the result was outstanding; our friends were delighted taking us out every single day (to all of them I am truly grateful) trying to sell us the best of their city and nearby areas; we were delighted as well with their attentions, treatment and love.

Even though I have written a comparison between Sydney and Perth, impressions and a very descriptive report of how Virgin Blue raped our wallets took us to there, I felt obliged to add those things I liked the most from Perth, and here there are:

Bell tower

Also known as the home of the Swan Bells(1) is a gorgeous crystal and copper building between the Perth’s CBD and the swan river; it was built to host 18 bells provided by city of London and the British and Australian mining company in commemoration of Australia bicentenary.

Colours and shapes... that incredibly attractive, isn't?

I don’t know if I am in love of the wave-alike shape, or its similitude with the Opera House, but truly is a magnificent building that everyone has to visit once in Perth.

I love that shape, it was extremely well played and beautifully finished.
We got there elevenish with the purpose of walking around the city, have some meal and keep our tour, Kathy took advantage of our good friend to take as many pictures as possible (and took my camera and started taking pictures of whatever; it really did not matter what it was, she was taking a picture of it. Meanwhile I stood there watching it, impressed with the shape and how crystal-like fragile seems to be as seen from the outside with its huge amounts of glass and its two shells on each side. It kind of reminds you a big, big clamp with a piece of glass on its middle and I was totally intrigued about the internal structure and the sound that could produce. So we walked in all the way to the highest level we could get... and at that precise moment, a bunch of blokes and two ladies started pulling the cords through series of pulley, generating leverage on the mechanism that finally rotated the bells, striking its clapper against the walls of the metal cup, making a very loud ‘CLANK!!!!’ followed by other different clanks and bangs which variates on intensity; pushing the entire structure to its maximum, vibrating its pillars inducing you into the feeling of being in a boat with small shakes every now and then. At first I could not understand how the entire building was moving just by the fact of someone playing the bells... till I actually got the look of the 2 metres high bells and weight up to 1480 Kilos.

From level 5 of the bell tower the view is outstanding

I know there are plenty of stuff in Perth, and some of those could be even more important than the Bell Tower, but for me this building casted a magic spell on me and now is one of my favourite modern buildings in the entire world (right behind the Sydney Opera House, Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Chrysler Building in New York City).

The Swan River

Water has been always a topic of fascination among the human kind and I am not the exception to the rule.

Our first encounter with it was while our welcome committee was picking us from the airport and driving us to Maccas (McDonalds, btw) while our friend Victor told us ‘Now that you are looking at the swan river you must feel great, don’t you? Is here where is celebrated the biggest event of Australia... Perth Skyworks...’ to what I remember and made the immediate analogy of the grateful and independent republic of Zulia (one state in Venezuela where anyone and everyone believes they are not Venezuelans, they are citizens of Zulia which has been giving the royal honour to Venezuela to be part of it). Anyway, I took a look to the brownish waters, the shores and the view around it. It wasn’t something extraordinary and I must say I could not understand why lots of people were so excited about the river... I mean, the water wasn’t crystal clear as the Parramata River (in some areas I must remark), beside the bell tower, the blue house (to which I still don’t know its name) and the CBD’s view from the south shore I could not find any extraordinary thing about it...
One of the multiple points were you could stop and enjoy the view.
Is not precisely in the swan river shore.
Our second encounter was the next day, Victor took us around to show us the beaches and nice spots to take pictures, and it was in one of those incursions that I saw a couple of old folks in their boat placidly driving it in the calmed waters. Maybe it was a matter of scale or maybe it was the moment, but I felt like part of it, so nice and relaxing... and I started wondering... is this the feeling some of the pertains have talked about?

Third encounter, fourth day of our holidays, driving to the Swan Bells and then to the blue house (that I am going to show the picture in a bit) to take pictures and I realised the entire city is surround it by the river, like a huge serpent around a leaf... a big leaf obviously. So pretty much anything you want to do in the water will be probably on the river.

A black and white image of the Swan river and Perth CBD
I know... it looks extremely small...
Click on it to see a bigger version of it.
Fourth encounter, our last day there, we were coming back home from an amazing meal in ‘Eat Greek’, an all-you-can-eat restaurant where our friends took us to give us the farewell and enjoy with us the last night. Driving us back home we notice bunch of cars parked on the kerb (as well as a police patrol) staring at the water. We wondered what could be that impressive when it happened, dolphins jumping out and in, teasing between each other and teasing people to throw them things and then keep playing between them and with the occasional new visitor. It was an incredible and magical experience which I did not capture in photos (I am very sorry).

The blue house on the river, known as Crawley edge boatshed
You start understanding that is not just a river... is pretty much the entire view of Perth. It gives them life, it gives them joy... the Swan River makes Perth what it is, a nice and peaceful place full of gorgeous sceneries, outgoing people and relax above all.

Sculptures around the city

In different occasions I wondered about events in Perth based on the number of pictures I have seen with mates and sculptures. And I always asked myself... why is everyone taking a picture of this bronze bloke?

And yes... we also took our picture of the bronze bloke...
Otherwise people could had told us 'but you did not have the picture with that man!!'
Well, as we discovered later one, Perth is filled with sculptures anywhere becoming almost a challenge to keep looking around to find more of those, but for some odd reason, people visiting Perth only have eyes to take picture to this funny looking fellow.

A 'pee-pee' man - Sculpture by the sea - Cottesloe
Our first day we went to the beach when an interesting sculpture got my attention which made me start to play with my camera and the object, trying to get interesting images, capturing the texture, the colours and the shape... But more interesting was that I was totally pleased to find new shapes and objects every now and then.
Even in the fish market you will find it.
Now, that last comment could suggest to some of my readers that Sydney lacks of sculptures or interesting stuff to see around, but I think the key difference in here is that fact that Perth is pretty much flat and trying to find sculptures is kind of easy; all you need to do is walk and look around, while Sydney gives you a more challenging situation because with its big buildings, streets and people rushing to their lives without taking a minute to look around, the Sydneysider has grown unaware of these little details, and most of the times they don’t even know where to find it.

Dragonfly - Cottesloe, part of the sculptures by the sea

Walking men - Sculpture by the sea - Cottesloe

Walking around the fish market we found a sculpture with interesting textures
and beautiful mosaics

So what’s the difference?
I was walking to friends that took the time to appreciate the city, which is a fantastic way to spend some of your time; it gives you the opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and creativity.

So Rod... is there anything else you liked about Perth?
Short answer, yes, there are plenty of stuff to remark... But if I highlight lots and lots of stuff, I will be totally unfair to another set of items present in Perth... I could spend a long time talking about beaches, parks, scenery, etc, etc but the main idea of this post was to highlight those things that I would recommend from Perth to anyone to enjoy on their trip plan.

I think this post completes Perth post series. I hoped you enjoyed these words and I will back in now time to take more precious moments with our friends.


(1) Ring my bells website suck big time on Google Chrome (I haven't tried in Firefox). Use Safari or Internet Explorer if you plan to check it out.


El Lado B Del Planeta (Monólogos Bipolares) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Lado B Del Planeta (Monólogos Bipolares) said...

Rod, what a great structure the one of Bell Tower, I'm really impressed. Now I have to go to Perth and I blame you for that! (ha!)

Now, about the sculptures... So beautiful the one of dragonfly! and the sunset on the "pee pee man" hahaha... I really loved this post... Well I really love everything about tourism =)

Rod said...

Why are you going to blame me for it? you really love travelling and visiting new places, aren't you?

Instead, you should be utterly thankful to me!


(I am glad you liked it)

Gabriel said...

Hi Rod, I´m just a little worried about your headaches. Are you getting better? I hope you are.
Congrats for the pictures, they are amazing.

Rod said...

Getting better in comparison to what?

Ever since I got to Oz my headaches have been about 40% what it used to be in Venezuela...

Sadly I have been without treatment for a long time and now the headaches are starting to catching up... Part of the problem is related to poor sleeping habits... Need to improve it.

shenanigans said...

Hi Rod. I like your blog. One thing: I can't be sure but when your friends boasted that Perth Skyworks was "the greatest event in in Australia", I think they may have been using the subtle irony that foreigners sometimes don't quite get in Australia. Australians are proud of their country... but not that proud.

Rod said...

Hi mate,

Thanks for your commit, highly appreciated.

Related to my friends boasting about the greatness of Perth Skyworks (or Perth in general), they are immigrants just like me =P (not all of them, but those you were conceptualising this event as something beyond of the world are Venezuelans just like me =P) in which case I might failed to get the irony, even with them =P

Related to being proud, sometimes I really wish Australians to be more proud of this nation... Yes, it has their issues and yes, it could improve tons and tons... (and not because it gave me the opportunity to live here and enjoy its good things) but I truly believe Australia can solve all the minor details and become a utter role model for any other country.

Again, thank you for your comment and feel free to add some more.

shenanigans said...

OK, well that is weird. Maybe they were talking about the Red Bull Air Race and thought you might have seen it on TV. That's the only thing I can think of that might have put Perth on the international map recently. As for Australians being proud... not sure who you're hanging out with but, believe me, when you meet some nationalistic bogans with southern cross tattoos you'll probably have a different experience.