Here we are in Fremantle on the shores of the Indian Ocean. We are on our second day here in Australia. We are here to see the wildflowers. It is the 5th Mediterranean area in the world and the only one we have not visited. Until now.
Our trip to Sydney went smoothly. The lines at Sea-Tac were long but went smoothly. Of course, I got caught with a banned item - a corkscrew! Fortunately it was just an extra one we had thrown in the pack a while back and I didn't mind losing it.
The trip to Honolulu was fine. We arrived on time and had about an hour layover to change planes. We wanted a snack and ended up grabbing some trail mix before our second leg. We had tried to stay awake but the movies sucked so we did sleep a while.
Our arrival in Sydney was a breeze. Our bags were the first off for once and no time to go through customs. We found the shuttle and headed over to the Holiday Inn at the airport - functional and clean. A nice long hot shower and then to sleep. It was nice breaking up the long trip with the quick overnight.
The next morning we woke around 6am and had the expensive and boring breakfast buffet. We were hungry so it did the trick. We took the shuttle on to domestic for our next leg. We were surprised at how quick we checked in and got through security. No taking off shoes here. Our flight was on Virgin Blue the low-cost no frills airline of Australia. Nothing free on this flight. $2.00 for headsets and $2.50 for a Coke. We arrived on time around 1pm and caught the shuttle to the Sebel Residence.
The apartment is nice with a great view of a small inlet on the Swan River. The decor is modern in grey and greens. It is well equipped with a full kitchen and even a washer/dryer. I love the bathroom with the modern fixtures and large walk in shower. But it was time for a quick exploration of the CBD.
We walked into the CBD since we needed to stretch our legs. It was about 15 minutes. We noticed the birds right off - parrots and cockatoos. Lots of noise. George also noticed the plants in bloom including huge bottlebrushes.
Overall Perth is much smaller and quieter than we expected for a city of 1.4 million people. The CBD was pretty quiet especially since it was Monday. We made a stop at the Visitor's information to get information about the flowers. It sounds they have finished blooming already in the North but we will see what we can find starting Friday.
Most of the restaurants are closed on Monday but we found a nice cafe No 44 King Street and had a late lunch. I had the spring risotto - peas, fava beans and aspargus with a nice scoop of goat cheese and George had the goat cheese pizza. The breads are made on site and both dishes were yummy. I had a local white semillon-Sauvignon Blanc wine and George had a local microbrew.
Next it was to the Woolworths for breakfast provisions. Wow! was that crowded at 5:00pm when everyone was picking up stuff after work. The line snaked through the store but moved very quickly. We caught the last free CAT bus back to the apartment and watched the sun set and lights come on the riverfront walk.
The travel finally caught up with us. I fell asleep at 7:30 with the TV going and the lights on. George said I snored! Of course, I say I didn't. :) He was asleep soon after and we both slept a full night.
Today, we walked a little bit more around Perth before catching a ferry to Fremantle. It was a lovely hour ride down the Swan River. The houses that line the river are gorgeous. It feels a lot like a cross between California and Miami. The weather had been fine with bright sunshine.
Tomorrow we hope to go to the Aquarium and on Thursday the wildflower show. The show will get us familiar with what we can see. We'll pick up our car on Friday and head off in search of flowers.