I really didn’t want to, but man, I really like Perth. Combine Southern Californian weather with seasons, fresh air with a slight breeze, an extremely active community with a small-town atmosphere, plus great food and strong local beers, and you get Perth. Only problem is it is so darn far away!! The CBD (downtown) where I’ve spent a lot of my time:
Let’s start at the beginning – earlier this week. Tuesday & Wednesday I hit up the waterfront for a run once more and enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise. What I’ve loved seeing is all the other active people out at 5:30 AM – there are many cyclists, runners and even rowers on the Swan River. I couldn’t get over the sunrise:
Wednesday evening my colleague and I were hosted by one of the Perth locals. He first drove us to Cottlesloe, a local beach, to grab a drink. The drive there was breathtaking – we went by many nice neighborhoods you could have easily mistaken for California. The beach was nice; I wish David could have seen the kiters and windsurfers going back and forth. Our host said the wind was constant and blows every day. Pretty cool that so many people were out on the water on a Wednesday night!
We grabbed a pint of Australian Pale Ale at a local bar and sat on the patio and watched the sun set over the ocean. The beer was strong; I felt like I’d had two instead of one. Our host pointed out an island 13 miles in the distance that there is an annual swim race to. People go by relays, but if you do it solo, you get a special license plate. Which just reinforces the cool, active Perth culture.
After the beers, we headed to the Yacht Club for dinner (the host sails yachts and is an active member of the club). I’d never been to a Yacht Club, so I don’t have a comparison, but this one was quite nice. We enjoyed dinners of venison, lamb and the likes.
The cruise was a fun, different way to see the city and river.
We passed many extremely expensive houses on the waterfront (even the most expensive on in Australia at $65MM!).
Upon getting to Fremantle, we wandered the city, and I immediately found the beach. Let me tell ya, the water felt GREAT. Not cold at all. I didn’t want to take my feet out 🙂 Unfortunately that got tons of sand in my work shoes and caused some blisters for the remainder of the trip, but I’ll survive.
We walked all around the city and found a great brewery on the pier – Little Creatures. This place was so cool. I really wanted to stay for dinner and have a wood-fired pizza and beer, but it was only 4:30 PM, and the last train back to Perth was around 6. I guess Fremantle closes down extremely early on the weekdays.
So that’s the quick recap; I promise I’ve been doing work too! Here are a few more thoughts on Perth, aka the San Diego of the southern hemisphere, in case you’re curious:
– The air here is so nice – no sinus issues, very breezy, fresh and lots of nice smells (flowers)
– Food has been excellent. Breakfast has been muesli with kiwis, strawberries plus orange zest yogurt, plus fruit mid-morning. Lunches have been a variety – excellent Indian & Japanese food plus sandwiches. Dinners are a bit upscale; think lamb, salmon and venison. I notice they use a lot of fresh greens, beets, pumpkin / pumpkin seeds, oats, and fruits.
– Perth does get cold in the winter, but they say it’s “just enough to make us long for summer.”
– Perth isn’t mountainous but has lots of hills – it seems nice for biking and running.
– There’s not much traffic but a lot of public transportation.
Have I convinced you how cool it is? Well I’m going to sign off; I’ve stayed here just long enough to get on their time schedule (i.e. sleep through the night), so now it’s time for me to head home. I can’t wait to get home and see David though. I wish he could have been here with me and can’t wait to tell him all about it!