Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Fremantle, Perth: A Fulfilling Day of Exploration


Venturing out into the fresh air of Sunday, I took a leisurely walk from my hotel to Perth Station, feeling a bubbling excitement in my chest (PERTH PART 1 & PERTH PART 2). Today was the day I had earmarked for discovering Fremantle, the port city nestled in Western Australia. As I bought my ticket for the day's adventure, a grin crept onto my face as I pondered the adventures that awaited me.

Fremantle, often seen as the jewel in Perth's crown, teased me with promises of captivating maritime tales, striking Victorian buildings, and echoes of Australia's past as a British penal colony. Stories whispered through time hinted at a city steeped in history, with secrets hidden in its streets dating back to the 1850s.

Joining the bustling crowd of fellow travelers on the train, I found myself standing by the window, eagerly gazing at the passing scenery. With each mile closer to Fremantle, my excitement grew, eager to explore what this historic city had in store for me. Stepping off the train at Fremantle Station, I let my instincts guide me. Without a set plan in mind, I wandered through the streets, casually glancing at the shops and crossing roads with no map to direct my path. Embracing the spontaneity of my adventure, I welcomed the unknown with open arms.


Wesleyan Church 
As I strolled through Fremantle, I stumbled upon the Wesleyan Church. Although it wasn't open, I couldn't help but admire its rustic brick exterior. Despite not being able to go inside, the quaint charm of the building made it worth a stop. I even took a moment to pause and offer a silent prayer.


Maitland Brown Memorial (Explorers Monument) 
My journey then led me to the Maitland Brown Memorial, also known as the Explorers Monument. Situated near one of the entrances to Fremantle Esplanade Park, this memorial stands tall as a tribute to the late Mr. Maitland Brown. The monument, in the form of a bust mounted on beautiful marble, gazes out over the water, offering a moment of reflection.

After paying my respects, I decided to spend some time in the park itself. With the sea breeze gently blowing through, and the sound of waves in the distance, it was a peaceful retreat. I even had the fortune of meeting a kind stranger who graciously offered to capture some photographs of me amidst the serene surroundings. As I sat in the park, I felt a sense of calm wash over me, allowing my mind to unwind and soak in the tranquility of the moment. 

WA Shipwrecks Museum

Located across or close to the Explorer's Monument, the WA Shipwrecks Museum is an absolute must-visit, especially for history enthusiasts. Housed in the historic 1850s-era Commissariat building, this museum offers a captivating journey through maritime history.

 

Entry to the museum is free, but donations are appreciated. Once inside, you will be transported back in time through galleries filled with relics from shipwrecks along the coast of Western Australia. From original timbers of the Batavia, which famously wrecked in 1629, to artifacts recovered from Dutch ships like the Zuytdorp, Zeewijk, and Vergulde Draeck, the museum is a treasure trove of maritime heritage. Additionally, the museum is home to the skeleton of one of the first Europeans in Australia, adding another layer of historical intrigue.






As a history buff, I found myself immersed in the exhibits, gaining a newfound appreciation for the stories preserved within the museum's walls. It was a truly enriching experience, leaving me with a deeper understanding of Australia's maritime heritage.

Fremantle Sea 
After my time at the museum, I couldn't resist the allure of the nearby Fremantle Sea. As someone who finds solace in the therapeutic embrace of water, I spent at least 20 minutes enjoying the tranquility of the sea. With my feet buried in the soft soil and the gentle waves lapping at my legs, I felt a sense of serenity wash over me. It was a simple yet rejuvenating moment, reminding me of the beauty and healing power of nature.


Lunch in Cicerellos 
Upon seeing the bustling crowd outside Cicerellos, I felt compelled to join in the culinary adventure. Standing in the long queue, I eagerly waited my turn to indulge in the seafood delights. Opting for the seafood platter, I marveled at the array of crispy fried fish, squid, and prawns, all freshly caught from the Fremantle sea. As I carried my tray outside to enjoy the meal grilled fish platter, I couldn't resist admiring a fellow diner's grilled fish, capturing a quick picture before digging in.


The seafood platter did not disappoint. The crispy coating atop the seafood perfectly complementing the tender flesh beneath. Even the chips were a delight, with their crunchy texture and undeniable freshness. Despite the generous portion size, I found myself unable to finish it all and ended up packing away three-quarters of the platter for later.

 

Fremantle Market

After a satisfying lunch, I ventured into Fremantle Market, located at the corner of Henderson and South Terrace. The market was a vibrant hub of activity, with stalls offering everything from handmade crafts to a plethora of food options. Among the bustling crowd, I found myself drawn to a stall selling costume jewelry, where I purchased two necklaces to add to my collection.





To curb my sweet cravings, I simply couldn't resist treating myself to strawberries dipped in chocolate as I wandered through the bustling market. It was a delightful indulgence that perfectly complemented the vibrant atmosphere. Notably, it wasn't surprising to find that a significant portion, perhaps even three-quarters, of the traders were of Asian descent.

Reflecting on my day of exploration, I felt grateful for the experiences and memories created in this city. As the train pulled away, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sentimentality, particularly for the serene beauty of Fremantle sea.


Lessons from my trip to Perth

Smiling and being friendly isn't part of Aussie culture. 

People mostly keep to themselves, even during sightseeing or in eateries. 

They're polite when asked for help with photos but otherwise, interactions are minimal. 

Even attempts to reconnect with Aussie friends from Perth went unanswered, while my Asian friends who are residing in Perth showed true hospitality. 

Holidays in Perth are expensive for Malaysians due to currency differences, and the cuisine doesn't match ours. 

Shopping isn't worth it either; even local brands are pricey. 


Would I migrate to Perth

Never. The cost of living outweighs earning in Aussie currency, and migrants may not reveal hidden challenges.

 

 


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