We’ve just come back from a visit to Perth to see David, Yuki and Orin. We missed seeing them at Christmas because David and Yuki had been back to Melbourne (over east) on a couple of trips for weddings and birthdays late last year. Orin has just had his second birthday, so we thought that now would be a good time for grandparents to drop in and see him.
After arriving in Perth on Wednesday afternoon, we had some time onThursday and Friday to do some exploring whilst David and Yuki were working. We were, however, back with David, Orin and Yuki each night for dinner
On Thursday, Jill and I started with a visit to Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens. The Gardens are alive with stunning displays of flowers in spring but now that is mid summer there’re not as many flowers in bloom.
We then found our way north to the Swan Valley and had lunch at one of the wineries along the road. We were not very familiar with many of the wine brands here, so we just picked one at random and had lunch on the balcony of an old house overlooking the vineyard.
On Friday, we drove up to the hills to the east of Perth to the little town of York. This town was first settled in 1851, around the same time as Melbourne was founded. The whole town is heritage listed and there are many grand old buildings that form a very interesting streetscape. We had lunch at the Settler’s Inn which was not at all remarkable other than for the fact that in my consulting days, I had conducted a residential workshop there for some client or other. The service and hospitality where quite good but the food was really nothing to write home about.
We were eventually late getting back to Perth as we spent some time exploring some of the country roads and forest areas to see what we might come across. The forest here contains some interesting plants. One is the Cycad which is an ancient plant that has been living since the age of dinosaurs.
Another is the grass tree or Xanthorrhoea. When I was a kid, we knew these plants at ‘Black Boys’ but that is now not politically correct, so the name has changed.
At one place where we stopped by a farm gate where we found a very friendly emu. We assume that it was tame as it came right up to us and grunted at us. There must be something of a requirement for farms in this area to have piece of old equipment by the gate as it was a fairly common sight.
Saturday and Sunday were very leisurely days as we sat around the house entertaining little Orin. It’s been a bit of a tradition, whilst we are visiting, that on Saturdays, we pop over to the farmers market at the local school which is diagonally opposite David’s house and then have a Ploughman’s Lunch of bread, cheese, pickles, meat and fruit on the back deck. In the evening we cooked a barbecue although we had a problem when the gas bottle ran out of gas just as we started. Not to be deterred, David was quickly up to the local service station to replace it and we had a beautiful butterflied leg of lamb with vegetables.
On Sunday, Yuki went to her ballet class while the rest of us took Orin for a ride on the miniature railway at Castledare. The miniature railway club who operate the railway were running six trains around their circular track and they struggled to keep up with the number of visitors. The old blokes who run the railway take things very seriously and there was much blowing of whistles and waving of red and green flags as each train departed the station. The people manning the signal box kept the trains going on the right track and our ride of ten minutes was well worth the six dollars we paid for an adult ride. In the afternoon, we had a leisurely afternoon around the house and Yuki cooked a very nice meal for dinner.
Our flight home on Monday did not leave Perth until 3 pm, so we had a little time in which to see some more of Perth. The temperature was in the mid 30s C and it was a bit more comfortable to drive than to walk around. We followed the road up the coast from Scarborough to the boat harbour ay Hillary’s where the Western Australian Aquarium is located. This is a really good aquarium and stocked with many species of fish and marine animals from different parts of Western Australia. I particularly liked the clown fish and reminisced about watching the film “Finding Nemo” that I saw some years ago.
Our plane was delayed for a short time so we eventually left Perth half an hour late but we still arrived back in Melbourne on time at 9:30 PM.