Ferry to Fremantle and Cottesloe Beach

Ferry to Fremantle and Cottesloe Beach

We left the house early and popped on the train to get to the city. I am not an early kind of person, never have been, probably never will be, unless my body clock changes in my late years and I start coo-cooing around the house at 5am. For now though, mornings need to be slow, undemanding and full of coffee to be my friends.

After an hour of getting ready and sipping the warm brown liquid, we were on the train. Not sure how awake and free of puffy eyes, but we were there – ready for adventures.

The city was still slow and we had a nice walk to the jetty.

Nina likes flowers ;)

I present to you the Bell Tower, one of the main tourist attractions in Perth. It houses the Swan Bells, which is a collection of bells that ring at certain times of the day. A bunch of them are from a church in London with a long history dating back to 15th century or so. The rest have been added recently.  As a true local now, I have never been in there, so dont ask me if its worth visiting.

The city is in a period of construction now and it has been like that for the last year or two. Cranes, scaffolding and annoyingly changing streets have become a part of the heart of Perth. I, for one, cant wait til its over, although after visiting New York, which is surely the scaffolding capital of the world, I know that its possible for this process to become deadlocked in time.

Once at the jetty, we grab our tickets and make our way onto the ferry.

We get evil eyed for not wanting to be snapped as we step on it. See, there was a dude with a camera and flash stalking us while we were going on and asked us to stop and pose. We were not interested and politely declined. Unhappy with our rebellious nature, he makes a comment of some kind, we affirm our decision to refuse his forced picture and walk in the ferry. And that is when we got the evil, melting eye, or so I was told by Nina.

We wondered why our decision was so surprising since I obviously didnt need his help, carrying a hunk of a camera on my shoulder. I will never try to sell cucumbers to a fella with a basket of cucumbers,  but maybe that is why I have not made millions by now. And if he aint buying I should give him the evil eye…twitching.

The only open air section of the ferry was at the very front and was quite small. Thankfully though, most people didnt seem to want to be there, so it was not full and the more than an hour long trip was more than pleasant.

The Swan river runs through Perth and its name comes from the black swans that were part of the scenery few hundred years ago. I have to say that I have not seen them around much these days. The river is beautiful and despite its history of the usual sewage and toxic dumpings, has managed to stay somewhat healthy and living. People fish, kayak, surf and yacht all over the length of it and it sure makes for a wonderful living environment.

We did enjoy the trip.

Yacht clubs are not hard to find.

As well as silly waving at the water female specimens.

If you visit, and want a good photo opportunity, a ferry or the river sure does deliver.

I took this photo from the inside, while we were having a coffee, notice the reflection on the right side.

While we were inside, we also discovered why our refusal to be photographed was met with such disdain – there was nothing they could sell us while on the ferry. One of the crew was walking around with prints and selling each for $10. Call me whatever you want, but that is plain tacky, more so if you are forcing folks to pose as they go on the ferry. What made it even more unpleasant was that he would ‘kindly’ leave the photos with people and come back later to pick them up – see, hoping that people would fall in love with them, get attached and then find it hard not to spend the money. Tacky. Then again, I am not a millionaire, so what do I know about business.

Thankfully, we were not attacked and bothered by this process and were free to enjoy the views.

Like the view of the most expensive mansion in Australia. No kidding. How much would you pay for this?

How about $57.5 million?

Nina and I concurred that we could spend that kind of money way more wisely and aesthetically. A lightly orange prison on the banks of the Swan river didnt quite cut it. I often think that there are way too many people out there with way too much money.

We did “Queens of the World” and snapped another self portrait at the very front of the ferry. Cool, huh?

Our destination was the Fremantle harbour.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a dredger.

Yes, its wonky, and it basically removes sediment and sand from the port to keep it deep and usable for the big ships that stop by.

Before we knew it, we were on land. The day was perfect and just begged to be used for exploring.

So we went into the E-shed markets ;)

We didnt stay long, just a quick walk through, as these are not the best markets and I knew we would go to the Fremantle market anyway. But we were here, so we visited.

If you want touristy, this is your place.

I love Fremantle. It has the old charm with the new creativity buzzing about and keeping it alive. Its the home for struggling artists and hippies, for unique shops and small cafes, wooden bookstores and charming second hand treasure nooks. You can find witch stones and fairy clothes, as well as mind-blowingly expensive hand-carved wooden furniture.

My worry to visit on a Saturday was relieved when Mr.Blab told me on the phone that the reason the place is so empty was because The Grand Final was on that day – something like the Super Bowl of Australian-rules football. Tom, Dick and Harry would not be found strolling along the streets of Fremantle, but sitting on the couch of their suburban homes.  Destiny was smiling on us and we enjoyed the most relaxed, free of crowds Saturday possible.

Eventually we made it to the Fremantle markets.

Who knows what didgeridoos are?

These markets are worth visiting.

Back to the beautiful sunny day, we were ready for lunch, so we made our way to the water.

…for it is here when one should luncheon:

And why not on this table, surrounded by water and fishing boats?

And when a sunny, lovely, friend brings over a platter of yumminess, life seems to be impossibly blissful.

Add to this some cold, sweating beer, mix and enjoy!

Not enough?

Then finish it all off with some gelato and a stroll in the sun.

I got coffee and chocolate, while Nina got coffee and baci. We have very similar tastes and it was well known in our group of friends. This fact was finally, unequivocally confirmed in a double blind study years ago. We were in Sydney and ordering lunch, but we ended up ordering  separately, and when the food arrived for all of us, Nina and I had ordered exactly the same. Case closed.

And the pleasure of sharing your time with someone that shares your tastes, I am sure I dont have to explain.

After sipping the last drips of our now gelato soups, we boarded the train again.

We made our way to Cottesloe, where I had to show Nina the most famous beach in Perth, funnily called Cottesloe Beach.

The landmark you would see on most pictures of the beach is the Indiana Tea House, although from a different angle.

We grabbed some coffees and rested on the grassy hills.

Me: My boobie popped out.

The tea house:

Me: Lets do another shadow picture!

Nina: Yeah, lets.

Me: …of what?

Both of us gesticulating, the water splashing on our feet.

Nina: Teapot! Lets do a teapot.

Me (checking the resulting picture): That looks more like an emu!


My pants didnt last long and I brought home a good amount of ocean and sand.

Warning: Nina is a foot shower hog!

Suitably tired and sun kissed, we plopped back on the train and made it back home. The evening was spent sipping wine and playing block head, the game of the moment. We played it almost every day. Its simple, but fun – stacking funny shaped blocks until it falls.

Wine from the Swan Valley, kids from the depths of my body and a $10 game, add to that a dear friend and this made a great ending to a great day.

Maybe the wine got to us, because we made this woman that was kissing her boobs out of the blocks when the kids went to bed.

I prefer to call this creativity, impromptu creativity.

And then, this day was over.

But I will never forget.