There is a reason Tropical Paradise movies of the 1940s and 50s were set in Bali. It is a wonderfully exotic, beautiful, and mysterious place. Temples, rice paddies, coffee plantations abound. Wood carvings, batik clothing, delicious but unfamiliar fruit, water sports and friendly people are a staple. It has been our good fortune to visit many times. So, I am using a collage of photos from several trips to illustrate haw lovely this particular Indonesian island is!
Next, we are looking forward to a trip down memory lane while we revisit the Philippines.
Fremantle is the port city for Perth which is the capital of Western Australia. Both cities sit on the Swan River; Perth at the head and Fremantle at the mouth to the Southern Ocean. Not only a vibrant port city, Fremantle is also a college town and famous for its fascinating maritime and convict history as well as its heritage buildings. Established May 2, 1829 by Captain Charles Fremantle and settled by the first contingent of immigrants in June of 1829, it was declared a city in 1929. The capital city, Perth, began in August 1829. The first convicts arrived in Fremantle on June 1, 1850. But it was the Western Australia gold rush of the late 1800s that transformed both Fremantle and Perth into bustling centers of trade. The wealth generated during this period resulted in the beautiful Victorian buildings that are so admired today. During WWII, Fremantle was the home of the largest base for Allied submarines in the Southern Hemisphere. Up to 125 US subs operated out of Fremantle until the Americans moved forward to the Philippines.
We have concluded our adventure Down under. Now, we are on our way to Bali, Indonesia.
“Welcome to Minang Country. May the spirit of our ancient people of long ago guide your journey. Follow in their footsteps.”
And thus, we were welcomed to Albany, Western Australia. Before the Europeans settled here, the “Great Southern” was the traditional home of the Minang Noongar people. Their presence in this area dates back about 25,000 years. The first recorded European visit to this area was by Peter Nuyts in 1627. In 1791, George Vancouver claimed it as a British possession. On November 9, 1826, the Brig Amity sailed from Sydney with its crew, convicts and stock to form a settlement here. Albany is the oldest settlement in all Western Australia. Unlike the rest of Western Australia, Albany is cool and wet, with a Mediterranean climate. The average summer temperature is only 72 degrees. That was NOT the high during our visit! We exited the ship to fierce wind and bone-chilling cold! Fortunately, the day got grew warmer as we toured.
Albany is famous as the port of departure for the 41,000 Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops who sailed in 1914 to Egypt and then landed in Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. Eight years later, on April 25, 1923 it was Albany that initiated the nation’s first Anzac Day dawn memorial service to commemorate their heroism. So, it is fitting that Albany would be the home of the new National Anzac Centre. The Center is unique in that it offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac experience. The story is told through the words of the soldiers themselves. Visitors assume the identity of one of 32 characters and follow their personal experience through training, embarkation, ship-board life on the convoys, the conflicts at Gallipoli or the Middle East or the Western Front, and even the homecoming for those who survived. We did not have the opportunity to visit the center on this trip, but will definitely do so whenever we might return!
Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is known for its arts festival, alfresco lifestyle, and manageable size and pace of living. The city layout was planned by Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light in 1836 and is, today, studded with elegant colonial buildings and preserved facades.
Good friends advised us to take the train into Adelaide and enjoy the stroll along Rundle Street Mall. We did so and had a lovely day. Here are the photos to prove it!
Soon, our next port of call will be Albany, Australia.
On March 23, 1802, the British explorer Matthew Flinders, commanding the HMS Investigator, named this land Kangaroo Island because of the vast number of these animals roaming the island. Their marsupial descendants are still here along with sheep, cattle, and bees. The backbone of KI’s economy is mostly agricultural: grapes, honey, wool, meat and grain. Undoubtedly, tourism is also a great contributor. We took a ship’s tour to Cape Willoughby Lighthouse and Dudley Winery. It was an appropriate choice—we saw lots of ‘roos and tasted some pretty good wine!
Next, we continue to Adelaide, also located in this large state of South Australia, which we’ve heard encompasses 1/3 the area of Australia.
Hobart is the second oldest city in Australia. It was founded in 1804 by Colonel David Collins and is the capital of the state of Tasmania.
Our ship docked in Sullivan’s Cove, once a bustling commercial area with whalers and entrepreneurs but now filled with artists’ studios, galleries, cafes and shops in the converted 19th century sandstone warehouses. It was a short walk into town where we explored, shopped, and dined the day away.
Hobart, lying on the west bank of the Derwent River, is a wonderful capital city. Comprised of charming neighborhoods, it retains the atmosphere and leisurely pace of a small town. Salamanca Place is terraced with warehouses dating back to the 1830s. Nearby Battery Point is the site of the original seamen’s settlement. There is a large covered, but highly pedestrian, mall in the city center with all the major department stores—even a Target!
This was our first visit to Hobart and we were enchanted. We’ll look forward to returning someday. And return we must! We have learned that our stop in Port Arthur, site of the penal colony, has been canceled due to an approaching storm. We know the storm is huge because we are already experiencing high seas and a lot of “a-rockin’-and-a-rollin.” While sitting in the Lido, very near the top of the ship, I was watching the angry sea through the windows overlooking the aft pool area. I saw the lounge chairs take flight and sail overboard!!!! It happened so fast I couldn’t get a picture, but here’s what the deck looked like with the remaining lounges scattered about.
We’re now at sea and our next stop is Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. The Australian adventure continues!
The Aboriginal people inhabited Australia for 60,000 years prior to the arrival of Abel Tasman, a Dutch Navigator, in 1642. More Europeans followed, and they brought diseases with them which eventually decimated the Aborigines. Today only about 2% of the Australian population is of Aboriginal descent.
In 1768, Capt. Cook set off from England in the Endeavour. By April 1770, King George III formally claimed possession of the Australian east coast. Later, due to the overcrowding of the jails and the loss of the American Colonies in the War of Independence, Britain decided to establish a penal colony in the new land. Thus, the First Fleet, consisting of 2 war ships and nine transports, arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788. The initial settlement was 750 convicts, 210 marines and 40 women and children. Tents were erected on the rocky shoreline and the first “village” was founded, forevermore to be known as “The Rocks.”
The Rocks along with Circular Quay are the oldest part of inner Sydney. The City Centre is the central business district and to its west lies Darling Harbour. These are the areas we revisited on this voyage.