The Bells, The Bells!
Into Perth CBD to get the hop-on hop off bus. For 3 of us it made it was no dearer to drive into town and get an all day parking rate. (A park and ride would have cost $5 for the day and then 3 train fares.)
Our 1st stop was the bell tower, which was surprisingly interesting. Some of their bells are from St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square. They were too heavy for the belfry there and (after the first couple hundred years) were damaging the building. They had been taken down and one option was to re-cast them into a smaller set. This would have lost their history. The oldest one (cast in 15?) had tolled for the victory over the Spanish Armada. The rest were cast in 1725 to make up the carillon. They rang to celebrate Cook's return from Australia, as well as many royal weddings and the end of the World Wars.
So this Perth entrepreneur and passionate bellringer negotiated for St Martins to gift the bells to Perth for the Australian bicentenary in 1988. He organised a shipment of copper and tin from Perth to London for them to cast their replacement bells. Initially there was nowhere to hang them, until the re-development of Elizabeth Quay over the last 10 years. The idea was to let the public back to the river's edge, which had previously been lost to commercial development. It included reclamation and is now a waterfront worthy of a capital city.
So the Quay included a new bell-tower, the only secular one in the world, and the carillon could once more be heard.
When you are ringing a full peal it takes 3-4 hours. You do it non-stop, with no line repeated in the music and all off by heart. If there are more than a few mistakes it doesn't count. These people are nuts.
Australia cast a 6.5 tonne bell in remembrance of fallen service-people, and it marks the hour.
Next was the Perth Mint, where they did a gold pour for us. (The artisan/demonstrator was from Auckland.) This same lot of gold has been poured into an ingot about 7,000 times. They have a 1tonne Australian gold coin there with a face value of $1M. It is worth way more in gold, and way more again to a collector.
Our other main stop was King's Park again, which is how Kelly got the Swan Brewery shots and exposed her mother's past as a squatter. It doesn't sound quite as bad when her companions were from university in Sydney with her - she'd been shouted the fare over by her father but didn't have enough money for accommodation. The roller-blind tent was a masterstroke though.
Back into town for a cruise to Fremantle and back which included a smorgasbord lunch. The skipper drew our attention to a private floating jetty. The council asked for it to be removed, not allowed on the Swan. The couple's lawyer got them to incorporate the world's smallest yacht club - 2 members. At that stage that was acceptable - the law has now been changed so that no-one else can do it!
More exploring of Queen Elizabeth Quay
Sun1 Sept, Spring
Started with a spa, (none of us braved the pooul), then Father's Day Breakfast at the caravan park cafe that you saw when you went to the website. (you did go to the website?) - Karrinyup Waters Resort
As it was Moving Day, we had to be out by 10a.m and sure enough, the rain came down on schedule, while we were packing out. Just like the FMG ad., I do like a good weather report.
We're currently in a caravan park in Mandurah (inexplicably pronounced Man dra.), just south of Perth. We've been getting a lot of rain, but the temperatures have been a lot better than winter in Christchurch. Today we got rained on while checking out thrombolites at Lake Clifton. (You wouldn't be here without them you know) (unless you're a Creationist, then you're O.K) And then we got rained on while dolphin-spotting during the Mandurah estuary tour. That's the 3rd boat trip that we've taken KD on without her objection! They have a big canal system with floating jetties at each house. Many opulent, many of the boats very large, and a surprising number of Sunseeker Party Barges, with 3 large couches and roof and clears all around.
Tomorrow we're shifting to Busselton (Busso, Bro) where we can day trip to Margaret River. Once we've returned #1 daughter we'll be exploring it better.