Western Australia – Day 19

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It was after 12am when I finally got to sleep last night so i didn’t wake up till around 6.30am. The usual morning routine and picked up Nan & Pop at 9am. We headed into Freemantle. Again, the rain was on and off all day but somehow we always managed to be indoors when it got heavy.

We had planned to do the tram tour, hoping off at the places we wanted to see but we just just missed the first tram (passed it on the way to park our car) and the next was wasn’t for another 90mins (we had assumed they’d be much more regular). Not quite sure what to do we consulted a map and realized we were right by the Maritime Museum so we decided to go visit that.

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Nan was excited to see a statue depicting migrant children as this is where both she and Pop first stop when they migrated to Australia from Scotland (Nan was 5, Pop was 8).

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Once inside the museum we were invited to have a bit of guided tour, which we did, and were then left to explore on our own.  It’s a beautifully put together museum – three levels which allows you to see the boats from below and at deck level.

The hightlight would have to be seeing Australia II.  It was a time when my family was very into sailing and I still remember staying up to watch Australia II win the America’s Cup (way back in 1983).

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It bought back a lot of happy childhood memories and I loved hearing Pop teling the girls all about the boats and sailing in general.

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It’s not a very hands on musuem but there were a couple things for the girls to do – like row, skipper a ferry, and grind some spices.

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We left here just before 12pm in search of some lunch. We decided to collect the car, so after driving around for a bit we finially found our way to Fisherman’s Wharf and this lovely restaurant for lunch.

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The girls had fun drawing on the tablecloth 🙂 Amy ordered the kids pizza !!!! (she left half for dinner tonight)

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And I had a DELICIOUS Winter Salad. Talk about yum!!! Even the walnuts were fantastic and I’m not much of a walnut fan. I ate almost all of it.

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The rain poured down while were inside but had stopped once it was it was time to leave. We hopped back in the car and drove back to where we’d started the day. We had planned to catch the tram and get off at the Freemantle Prison but we decided to just do the round trip tram tour then drive to the prison. The tour was good, very informative. Freemantle is a beautiful city. Full of lovely old building – seems odd seeing them used for shops, businesses and as part of the Univeristy.

Tram Stop

Our tram

Lots of beautiful old buildings made from local limestone.

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A statue of Bon Scott (ACDC) – he grew up in Fremantle (you can take a Bon Scott tour on the weekends)

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By the time we finally drove to Fremantle Prison it was nearly 3.30pm.

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We booked  both the Doing Time and Great Escapes Tour. Both really good and well worth doing. So much information and we saw lots of the prison throughout the two tours. It’s certainly an eye opening place having being built by convicts and used as a prison until 1991. It was the last “punishment” prison in Australia where buckets were used as toilet until it closed (and was the main reason it closed). Not a very nice place to stay.

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The Doing Time tour focused on life as a prisoner/convict. We saw the cells – which were terribly small with no sink or toilet, yards where the prisoners spent 8 hours a day no matter what the weather, the kitchen, flogging area, solitary confinement and the gallows.

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The Great Escape tour focused on the escapes and attempted escapes from the prison. We also went up one of the watch towers.

Watch tower at Fremantle Prison

Keep out signs

Escape proof cell

and the cell built for the man who kept on escaping. He escaped again by making a big pile of rubble from the stones he was breaking up and  digging a hole in the wall hidden behind it. So many great stories. I thought the girls might have been getting cold and tired but they loved all the tales – and we were the only ones on this tour so we had our own personal guide again.

When we finished both tours it was dark and after 6pm (so much for an early finish today). Luckily we all really enjoyed the tour (despite it being a chilly afternoon). Def. go to the prison if you find yourself in Perth. We got back to the cabin after 7pm, had the leftover pizza for dinner (Amy was shared with me), and we were in bed just after 8.30pm (and all asleep very shortly afterwards).

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