Friday, 28 April 2017

Picnic at Hyde Park

I'm sure you've all heard of Hyde Park in London!
Well, we also have a Hyde Park in Perth (Australia), and only recently did I visit it, even though I had driven past it quite a few times.

My husband worked during the Easter long weekend, and because I would be on my own I decided not to do anything special for Easter. My son suggested I join them on a picnic at Hyde Park on Easter Sunday.

Situated just north of the Perth city centre, this huge park has a lovely lake, beautiful old fig trees, exercise equipment, kids playgrounds, barbecues, a couple of gazebos and lots of birds.
It's an ideal place to hold a birthday party, to picnic, walk or even for weddings.

We had thought that most people would be home enjoying a special Easter Sunday meal with their families, but we were wrong! Half of Perth was at Hyde Park for sure!!

We drove around and around trying to find parking, and eventually parked a few blocks away. Luckily for me, the cooler box I took had wheels, otherwise I would have a heavy load to carry.

Barbecues, exercise machines, gazebos and lovely trees
Swans, Ibis, lakes and shady walking paths
After lunch we went for a long walk around the park, to try and get the baby to fall asleep in his pram and came across the source of the music we could hear - the Songkran Festival - which is the celebration of the Thai New Year or Water Festival, which was being hosted by the Thai Language Centre of Perth.
In one of the park's corners was a stage with dancers and musicians, there was a jumping castle, food stalls, and plenty of people sitting on the grass enjoyed a beautiful sunny day outdoors.

Songkran Thai Festival
 As we left the park and returned to our car I took a photo of the city, so you can see how close the park is to the city centre.   
It certainly was a lovely Easter Sunday!


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

25th April - Anzac Day in Australia and Freedom Day in Portugal

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance celebrated in Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, and Tonga, to commemorate those who served and died in all wars and conflicts and honour all those brave men and women who fought in those same wars and conflicts the Anzacs - the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, formed in Egypt in 1914, operating during the battle of Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

I've been wanting to go to Anzac Dawn Service, at Kings Park for ages, but once again I didn't manage to wake up at 4 AM to make it to the 6 AM service. I've been far too tired with too many badly slept nights, so I decided to rather catch up on sleep.

But I didn't want to let this day go by without remembering such a poignant event, so later in the day I drove to the main road of our suburb to take photos of the Anzac Memorial plaque laid out by the local RSL (Returned & Services League of Australia).
Hundreds of Anzac services are held across many towns in Australia.

Dozens of crosses with names of the fallen soldiers
Flowers, garlands, messages and crosses for the fallen soldiers
Our Autumn (Fall) weather has been so great, with temperatures in the high 20's C (77 to 82F), so in the afternoon, I decided to get catch a bit of sun by doing some gardening as it's such a relaxing activity too. And I spent about 3 hours replanting, moving plants around, etc. Hopefully the relaxing day will mean I'll have a good night's sleep too.

Strangely enough, the 25th of April is also celebrated in Portugal, as Freedom Day,  
since on this day in 1974 a military coup in Lisbon overthrew the Dictatorship that had been in power since 1933. 
Known as the Carnation Revolution, it comes from the fact that almost no shots were fired, and the population celebrated the end of the dictatorship and the war in the Colonies, by putting carnations on the soldier's uniforms and into the muzzles of their riffles.
(Only 3 people died in this revolution).


Monday, 24 April 2017

Monday Mural - Squares

I found this mural on the grounds of St Patrick's primary school in Fremantle.
One wall has a fish painted on it, the other walls were painted with squares in various colours.
Painted by Brenton See a younger graphic designer from Perth, who enjoys depicting animals and objects in his works and has been greatly influenced in his art by David Attenborough's documentaries.

For more murals from around the world please click here.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Icons of Influence Walking tour

One last post about my outings with the family while they visited in March, and I'll be back to posting about current events.

Because of a 8 hour delay on their departure flight, the family managed to win extra time that we used doing a walking tour of Perth.

We took the train into the city, but were about 10 minutes late to join the walking tour that departs at 11AM from the Information centre at the Murray street Mall near the Perth station.  I decided we could still go ahead and got a map to follow the same trail.
These are some of the highlights:

State Buildings - is a group of 3 buildings which includes the original General Post Office, the Lands department and the Titles Office, all built in the late 19th century. They are situated in the corner of Barrack street and St.George's terrace, marking point zero, from which all measurements of distance from Perth are taken.
The buildings were empty for many years and have recently been renovated, now housing a top class hotel, restaurants and bars and some boutiques.

St George's Cathedral -  an Anglican church in St. George's Terrace, it was completed in 1888,  and it's interior is worth visiting because of it's many beautiful stained glass windows. 

Perth Library - not an old building, but a recently constructed one, stand just behind the Cathedral. If you climb to the 1st floor you can see a rather interesting painted ceiling.

Government House - also in St. George's Terrace, the residence of Western Australia's Governor, was completed in 1864 and is set in 3,2 hectares of beautifully manicured gardens.
Although not able to go inside (the house is only opened to the public a couple of times a year), the gardens are open to the public on Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's from 12 to 2pm.  (the photo of the house below was taken last year, on one of the open days)
And by the way, the present Governor is the Honorary Kerry Sanderson, the first woman to hold this position.

Perth Boys School - it was Perth's first Government school building, constructed by convicts in 1854, to look like a church so as to impose a sense of duty.
Next to it stands the Perth Technical School, built in 1910.


Forrest House Replica and Bishop's gardens-  At 221 St. George's Terrace, stands a replica of the home of Alexander Forrest - an explorer, investor and politician, Mayor of Perth in the 19th century, who built a house on the terrace in 1895.

The replica houses a popular bar - Rigby's. You can also visit the gardens behind the Forrest Centre building that stands right next to the replica - Bishop's gardens, a lovely relaxing refuge for the office workers with statues and waterfalls.

Barracks's Arch & Parliament House - At the top end of St.George's Terrace stands the Barrack's Arch, all that remains from the former Pensioner's barracks built in 1866 to house the ex-soldiers employed to guard the convicts.
Due to public protest, it avoided being demolished in 1962 to clear the view for parliamentarians at Parliament House. Eventually the back part of the building was removed to make way for the Kwinana freeway in 1966, but the main Arch was preserved.
From here you can look back and have a good view of St. George's Terrace.

Parliament House was opened in 1904 and can be toured on Mondays and Thursdays at 10,30am.
All along the Terrace there are plaques on the pavement recognizing the many people that have influenced the growth of Perth and Western Australia. (below right)

You might have noticed too that all these original buildings stand along St. George's Terrace, which was designed to be the city's powerhouse, a large avenue parallel to the Swan River. 
Today St George's Terrace is still Perth's powerhouse, housing many of the world's biggest names in business.

And so ends our walking tour of Perth's iconic buildings. Hope you enjoyed the armchair tour. We walked close to 12 thousand steps that day!!

                                                                                                                                  15th march