We made the 5 hour flight from Sidney to Perth and gained 3 time zones. I'm now so confused I'm not sure what month it is. Perth is 15 hours ahead of Calgary. Perth is 20 km from the Indian Ocean situated on the Swan River. Fremantle (where the Americas cup races were staged) is a short train ride from Perth and functions as the deep water port for Perth. Perth seems a lot like Calgary because the economy is driven by resource extraction. Iron ore is a big export product and the price seems to be as volatile as the price of oil and gas. Western Australia is also a huge exporter of LNG (liquified natural gas) which is a business that Alberta and BC are anxious to build. Perth is a beautiful city with a huge park called Kings Garden. This park and botanic garden was established early in the cities history and has an enormous collection of very diverse trees and shrubs. One of the most interesting is a Boab tree that is 750 years old and was moved from NW Australian to Perth via truck in 2007. This is one of the most bizarre trees in that it has a huge trunk and very tiny branches. The natives called them an upside down tree because the branches often do not have leaves and look more like roots, many of them live to be 2000 years old. Australia seems to have abundant funds for public infrastructure including parks, roads, airports and public transit. It is quite embarrassing to think of the roads and public infrastructure back home in Alberta, it is quite pathetic in comparison. I haven't done any research to know if this has all been debt financed or whether they pay cash for all these public works. Both Sydney and Perth have marvellous buses and trains which are either free or have very nominal fares. All the galleries we have been in are free unless you are attending some special exhibit they have brought in. It is hard to remembers that it is summer holiday time in Australia. Lots of people are travelling around and are on holiday, Christmas is in the middle of the summer. It's a bit disquieting to see Christmas decorations still up on city streets and in businesses. Perth has a very relaxed vibe as compared to Sydney. Everyone seems to be living the dream and knows it. It's kind of like Vancouver only with a much better climate.........and fewer street people! Australians are quite open, on a bus or an airplane they will strike up a conversation and with in moments you will learn things you didn't want to know. Actually this is very refreshing, I have seen many instances of Auzzies looking out for each other that you would never see in Canada.....we're just too reserved. Off to Margaret River tomorrow and to Adelaide on Sunday. Ciao for now.