Monday, March 21, 2011


Fremantle is a bit of an historic town just south of Perth.  As typical for pretty much all of Australia it is filled with convicts and criminals.  Er.. well, that is - it used to be.
According to the pamphlet Fremantle used to have a ratio of 1:3 people in favour of the convicts.  As you can imagine it wasn't very long before the prison just wasn't big enough.
I was keen to get to Fremantle as I have an interest in old places and their history, but the trip was a bit of a botched job really.  Nodnol and I didn't arrive there until about 4pm and we had no idea whereabouts all the attractions were.  It didn't help that the Chilli Festival was in full swing (so, naturally, there was no parking).  Nodnol apparently loves chillis and was keen to check it out - but not for the $15 they were charging for entry.  Not being a fan of chillis at all I was even less keen to fork out.  So we went for a wander about the town.  While we did see some lovely old colonial hotel frontages and some older buildings there really wasn't a great lot to see, historically, without a proper guide (even a paper one) so we wandered rather aimlessly and wondered what we'd come here for.  I think that I have been spoiled by the sights of Bath in England, and only other cities as old or older will be able to impress me.  Or maybe Fremantle had been talked up beyond its own capacity.

What we did find was an old record store which was very much like heaven (and made me want to move to Australia for this shop and this shop alone - to Hell with the snakes and spiders).  Like Smith's Bookshop in Chch, this store had a small entrance but went back a ways off the street.  Whether it went up or down from there I do not know for I never made it much further than halfway in.  In addition to thousands of records, the place also sold second hand stereo systems, tapes, and a few old video cassettes.
I asked them if they sold online but they said they'd tried & it was too much effort for a negligible reward.  Hmmm... what they needed was someone who would be prepared to catalogue and database all their stuff on a computer, then manage the online... wait, no, I already have a job.

There was a second hand bookstore too.  It was certainly a Very Good bookstore and I could have spent more time there.  They did combine the Science Fantasy genre with the Fantasy genre though and that really gets up my goat so I didn't give them too much of my time.

We found markets too.  Ones more like the market Ju took me to in Devizes than New Zealand's Sunday-Market-In-A-Carpark.  There was some cool stuff in there and even a guy selling Maori Koru & Tiki carvings.  He'd kindly put out pamphlets explaining the meanings of the designs but somehow neglected to inform his customers they were not souvenirs of Australia.

I haven't given up on Fremantle.  I think I need to be more prepared next time and go in with an idea of where I want to go and what I want to see.  Perhaps I should read up on the history a little first, and the buildings I look at may have more meaning.  We'll see how it goes.


Nick Ward said...

Wow you're going blog-tastic aren't you? Loving your work. Pictures of the record shop please.

Anonymous said...

i LOVE the colour of the water in west australia.

defiantely try to find the underground bar that used to be a jail and have a cider inside a cell.

worldsfastestginge :)

Sez said...

@Nick - I am terrified of letting you down! ;-)

@WFG - Cider doesn't really seem to be done here, I haven't been able to find any yet. Oh well, it'll have to be me ole mate Cpt Morgan instead! I'll have a look out for the bar.