October 15, 2011
Day 3 Adventure
And the adventure continues! I have finally arrived in my lovely new home in Perth, Australia! This is the second morning awaking in my lovely little house with my host mummy, Merrliee. She seems like she will be great fun to live with!
I am absolutely in love with this city, and it is only my third day, not even full day here! Everything is just wonderful, the people, the food, the animals, the flowers, all of the land- just great. I have been to several places already that are on the top of the list of things to see in Perth. Yesterday, Merrliee took me to King’s Park and I met some of the ladies I will be working with at my school, Wembly Downs. I met my cooperating teacher, Yvonne, who seems absolutely wonderful. I think we are going to get along well. I told her I already want to move to Perth and she gave me a big hug and smile! I also met Anna and her two daughters, Mia and Chloe, Beth, Maxine, and Vicky. They were all very lovely and it was nice to meet some of the people I will be around for the next few months. Anyway, we ate at this little café, Botanical Café. It was delicious! I had raspberry pancakes with a fruit stew and vanilla gelato. After I finished eating, I went for a small walk while everyone else finished eating and chatting. I wanted to walk around to look at the park and all of the (naturally) grown wildflowers in Australia. There are tons of them, all quite nice! In addition, there was a lovely view of the city and the Swan River. It was just beautiful. I could have stayed at that park all day just walking around, which is very well possible since the park is over 1,000 acres! It was very peaceful and calming. I noticed there were lots of people having picnic there, something I would love to do all the time! There was also a war memorial statue, honoring the men who had died for their country/city.
By this time, everyone had finished and they came out to join me and show me around the park. Yvonne and I got along well, she informed me of the history of the plants and trees. We walked over, what I thought, was a good portion of the park, but we didn't even cover half of it. They took me to a couple of look out points with some wonderful views of the city of Perth. I saw were the Swan River and Cannon River connect, beautiful and huge. Then we walked over this enormous bridge! Very high. I have a terrible fear of bridges, so I did not really stop to take any pictures, just walked briskly over it. I want to go back to actually get some pictures on the bridge! Then we walked back on ground level (thank goodness), saw the pond with fountains that shoot up every few minutes and then walked back to go to our respective cars to return home. It was a lovely afternoon and King’s Park is beautiful and a place I know I will return during my stay for sure.
When we returned home, Merrliee and I had a nice little chat and looked up different palces near Perth and Kentucky. Not long after we had been home, John came by with Carly to pick me up and take us to Fremantle, a local beach with lots to do- shops, restaurants, museums, and the original prison of Perth, that was up and running only about 15 years ago. We walked around for a while, looking at some of the shops in the area. We went to the Round House and toured around there. The Round House was used as part of punishment for people who caused different crimes. They were locked in shackles and people were allowed to throw objects (i.e. food or rocks) at them. We were able to take turns sitting in them, with them closed! If they were really bad, as extra punishment, their ears were nailed to the board. Talk about having pierced ears! After that, we ventured to the Western Australia Maritime Museum, but decided we would come back and visit there another day. We both really wanted to see the Fremantle Prison. So we ventured over to find that! With a little help, we finally made it! Of course we had some adventures along the way, getting turned around which direction we were going and forgetting to the look to the left and not the right when we were crossing the street! Good thing we had each others backs, we might have ended up taking a trip to the hospital!
We finally arrived at the prison and were ready to take a tour! I must say, the prison tour was absolutely AMAZING! Our tour guide did a wonderful job, very entertaining and insightful on the history of the prison. It was a little under 2 hours, and not very expensive at all! Well worth the 18.50AUD we spent. It basically took us around the whole prison, got to see inside of several different cells, solitary, the different yards for recreation and separation, where various guards were injured, in Division #3 where the prisoners started a riot and set the prison on fire in 1988 (also on YouTube). We also saw were the prisoners on death row were taken and where they were executed. IT was very interesting. I learned a lot of history about the place. There is also a movie coming out called Sundown about local brothers were supposedly were set up by police officers for stealing gold- something worth seeing. Carly and I were thinking of going back on a Wednesday or Friday night when they do the night tours of the prison! Sounds like they would be a blast and perfect time, given Halloween is coming up and we will both miss it in the States.
Before dropping us off at Fremantle, John took us to Cottletstone. Cottlestone was Heath Ledger’s favorite beaches, as is where his memorial was held. Heath Ledger is an Aussie native, born in Perth! I knew he was from Australia, but I did not know he was from Perth. Cottlestone was beautiful! I would love to go back and lay out there.
Taking the train home was very interesting! First, we had to figure out where the train station was, which took us a little while to find since we weren't exactly sure our way around. However, we finally made it to the train station and were able to figure out which station we needed to head to. I think the train is a wonderful mode of transportation. It is easy and fairly quick, especially for bigger cities it makes it easier than driving everywhere.
Things are going wonderfully! I love everything I have been doing and can’t wait for more adventures and to start teaching. I am getting a little more nervous as the days get closer! But I think I will be just fine once I am in there and have met the students!