Friday, May 20, 2016

Perth Impressions

No Western Australian, no Perthite and certainly not Grace will thank me for saying this but our impression of Western Australia and certainly Perth, is that it is a very rich city. It is beautifully green and the state sensibly uses its desalination plant. We could not get over how green everything was and totally puts Melbourne to shame. The public gardens were incredibly neat and trimmed.

The reason I say no local will thank me is because of the breakdown of Commonwealth money distribution. Perth is arguably the most isolated city in the world, with its nearest city of any substance being Adelaide, but you would never know that when you visit. It is a sophisticated city, with plenty of art, culture, sports and entertainment for the masses. Western Australians always argue that they don't get a fair share of the Commonwealth pie but then most states do that. WA's at times feel like they are the forgotten Australians, so far from anywhere important, and there is some justification for this. 

I managed to spy one old car, broken down, but there are very few old cars on the streets and highways. On the river and seas is an endless number of boats.


The streets are litter free, trains and buses run to time and work well. Perth's transport card works instantly at readers, unlike our Melbourne Myki card, and R noted the balance shows on the screen.  If there is graffiti, I never saw any, which is quite remarkable along train lines (ah, maybe there was a little on the Fremantle train line). Road lines and pedestrian markings are all freshly painted and clear. Street signage is excellent. Train station signage is clear, as is bus stop information. Trains and buses are quite new and serve well.

We were puzzled about our public transport tickets.The tickets lasted for two hours but it seems for one journey to your destination, not for a return trip within the two hours. You could catch a ferry, train and bus within that two hours to get to your destination on the one ticket, but only to get to your destination, not to return, even if that was within two hours. That is very different to how our system works where you can simply travel for two hours, in any direction on tram, bus or train.  Oh dear, we cheated.



The city is an interesting mix of old and and new buildings, and while the streets are not as busy as Melbourne's, they are busy enough. It has cafe culture galore. The coffee is good, high praise from a Melburnian, although a little more expensive than here, say an average of 50 cents.

Buses are free to use within the city and there is a terrific dedicated four route free bus service operating on a frequent level to get you around the city up until 8pm.

Are the locals friendly? I have no reason to say not, although that may not be the case if you are Australian born of Asian heritage, as I heard earlier in my Perth posts. There is an adequate number of foreign students to make the city busy and interesting and Western Australians must becoming used to 'different' faces in their midst.

The city has mixed old and restored buildings with brand new towers in a manner that I can think of happening no where else. I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but I thought it all worked together very well.

I thought this was an interesting building.


And I didn't mind this one, which quite dominates the skyline from many vantage points.


But unless something miraculous happens at the top of this building as it is completed, yuk, just another boring glass building.


This apartment building viewable from our studio is fairly cheaply built but yet some work has gone into the design and I find it quite interesting.


I'll leave you with a 17 second video of our rough crossing to Rottnest Island. For once it wasn't entirely me who was responsible for the camera shakes. A couple of the ferry staff were very handsome young men, who happened to get into my shot quite accidentally.



17 comments:

  1. I had similar thoughts when I was in Perth (lots of years ago now).
    Good management? Necessity? A combination? Lots of money did flow through during the mining boom of course.
    The nation's capital is looking tired in lots of areas, and not nearly so well maintained.

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    1. EC, that is disappointing to hear about our capital. I would have thought there were plenty of influential people who ensure it does not look tired, but maybe the fly in fly out workers don't care so much.

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  2. You noted the endless number of boats on the river and seas. I remember that very fondly; it was a relaxing and healthy highlight of life in a modern bustling city.

    My husband worked about 4298239829852183 hours a week as a young hospital doctor, but every Wednesday he and all his mates left work early and went yachting.

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    1. Hels, that must have been wonderful for Joe to look forward to. Perth is just a very pleasant place.

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  3. I have not travelled to WA or therefore Perth, but you do make it sound very appealing.

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    1. CM, I would highly recommend visiting the state, and try to spend at least one night or two in the Margaret River region.

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  4. That does look like a rough crossing, I don't really remember when I went across, the sea was choppy and the ferry bounced up and down a lot with an occasional wave splashing against the windows, but it felt smooth enough to me. Maybe because I really like being out on the water.
    I agree one hundred percent with your first paragraph, which brings forth a question: if THEY can do it, why can't WE? Why can't our leaders do as Perth is doing?
    re the transport cards, our metro cards also show the balance left when touched to the reader, unless you have a seniors card and are travelling between 9am and 3pm, then it just says "free travel"; outside those hours it will show your balance. Our paper tickets are good for two hours even if returning, same as Melbourne.

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    1. River, I don't seem to recall that Adelaide looked particularly shabby. Maybe I am too critical of my own city, perhaps because I know it well.

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  5. A good plug for Perth.
    Free buses in the city - oh my.
    I noticed when we were there several years ago and within the State of WA, they don't talk about the East only if WA is in the football, once they are not, not a word!

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    1. Margaret, that is an interesting point about them not talking about the east. Perhaps they cover their ears and say I am not listening. I did notice our ABC did not seem to cover WA local news terribly well, or perhaps is was there just wasn't much newsworthy happening.

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  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit here Andrew, it really was good to meet yourself and R.. faces to names :) I'll keep my eye on that ugly building and see how it looks when fini :) Bon weekend.

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    1. And both of you two as well, Grace. What do you think of the building? It seems to be just a glass tower without much interest to me.

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    2. Can you remember where it was Andrew? Was it at the top end of the terrace?

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    3. Can you remember where it was Andrew? Was it at the top end of the terrace?

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    4. Excuse my bad language Grace, but yes, outside our bloody window. It is just horrible and how it was allowed to be built and dominating the area is beyond me. It is in Mount Street between the freeway and The Terrace, nearly occupying the whole block down to Mounts Bay Road, and there is room for another building too.

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  7. Love a good uniform.

    😉

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    1. Victor, their uniforms were very flattering.

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