Freo Pt. II

Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
Trip End Jan 08, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday was a glorious day, so it was back to Fremantle. This time, rather than spending time in the prison, it was to take in the more touristy side of it, starting with the harbour. At a harbour, you would expect to see things associated with it, like boats, ships, possibly some cafés etc. What I did not expect at all as I approached the harbour was a statue of a singer. Not just any singer, but a statue of Bon Scott, the late front man for AC/DC. It turns out that he grew up in Fremantle and is probably their most famous son. However, as one Aussie tourist put it, it's a sad state of affairs when statues are being erected to drunk (he had died of alcohol poisoning). The tourist was an older man and if I’d been quick enough, I’d have pointed out to him that Elvis Presley was not much better, but he’s widely lauded as the King.

Armed with this new information about Freo’s rock roots, my soundtrack for the day, naturally, had to be AC/DC, which leant a great perspective on my walk around the rest of the harbour. The centre piece of the harbour is, undoubtedly, Cicerello’s, a fish and chip shop. Not just any old fish and chip shop, but supposedly the best fish and chip shop in the whole of Western Australia. Unfortunately, I wasn’t hungry when I went past it, so I can’t comment on that, although I have it from a good source (Paul) that standards have slipped and now it merely lives off its reputation. However, there was something rather strange about the place. At the front of the shop, there’s a statue of a man thrusting his penis out. Like I said, odd.

Helen insisted that we visit the Round House next. It is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia, built in 1830. With a name like the Round House, I was expecting a theatre or possibly a pub, but, how stupid of me to overlook the obvious. It used to be a prison, which leads me to the irony of the naming of Fremantle/Freo. What’s so 'free’ about Fremantle, if it’s most famous for, not one but, two prisons? One of the good things about it was that it explained in shockingly gory detail the conditions of the prison and, somewhat incongruously, put into perspective the size of Western Australia; the whole of the UK, Ireland, Texas, Malaysia and Singapore would fit comfortably into W.A. with lots of room left over. What is the population of Western Australia? 2.3 million, mostly in Perth.

There was also a big wheel, similar to the London Eye, in a park by the harbour called the Sky View, so we had to have a go on it. The London Eye takes about 30 minutes to complete a revolution, so I was somewhat surprised when told that the Sky View only lasted about 10 minutes. Once onboard, the Sky View sped round super quickly, so fast, to our consternation, that many photo opportunities were missed. However, unlike the London Eye, the Sky View went round three times, but I’ve got to admit by the end, I had had enough and looking at the other cabins, so had the other passengers.

One of the beers that I like here in Oz, is called ‘Little Creatures’ and it is brewed right here in Fremantle. So, obviously, that was on the itinerary for the day. It was not like any other brewery I’d been to, there were huge vats everywhere, only they didn’t seem to be working, it looked more like a museum, added to that it was also a functioning pub at the same time. I’m sure there were tours around the brewery, but by just sitting in the pub, you could pretty much see what was going on. By this time, it was lunchtime and Helen introduced me to a uniquely Australian experience; chilli mussels, which is similar to mussels in a marinera sauce, but spicy. Yum! An excellent way to round off a complete day in Freo.
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Joe on

In spite of your drinking, your pics show a remarkably rejuvenated George.
Keep up the good work!

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