After a long six hour flight across the continent, I arrived in Perth well after midnight last night. This morning when I woke the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the air was as dry as crackling autumn leaves. It was just perfect to be out exploring Perth (well, taking some photos between business meetings).
I love the crazy creative side of Perth. For a city that’s built on the back of heavy haulage, shipping and mining, it’s refreshing to see creativity at almost every turn. And for me, it always starts immediately I walk out of my hotel with the crazy Irish pub sign. Then there’s the countless statues and sculptures that adorn the city’s streets. There’s everything from people of historical significance and the kangaroos outside Council House to the whimsical paper airplanes down at the East Perth end of The Terrace. But for me, the thing I actually like the most is the alleyway art that has been placed in some strategic locations. It’s actually one of my favourite forms of art. While I don’t condone graffiti, I do enjoy a well painted wall mural; it can transform a scary alleyway into a bright, accessible space (that’s the criminologist in me talking).
I also love Perth’s eclectic mix of old and new buildings. This is a city where solid, almost imperialistic sandstone buildings sit comfortably side-by-side with defiant and angular modern designs, such as the Perth Arena. While many cities combine these modern and traditional structures, I think Perth’s relative youth and spacious layout allow them to be combined on a far grander scale than in some more cramped cities.
Another thing I love about Perth is the food and beverage scene. Sure, it’s hideously expensive compared with the other Australian capitals (except perhaps Hobart, which is also overpriced) but it’s still fabulous. I found a great spot to stop for lunch today. It was a brilliant tea shop in Subiaco. Tea is one of the great luxuries in my life. I love it all: herbal, green, white, black and fruit. There is nothing better than finding a tea house that actually had loose leaf tea and a menu from which to select them. Today I chose a black tea with mango and ginger infusions. It was the perfect refreshment for the 32’C (90’F) heat in which I was walking around in trousers, shirt, tie and jacket.
Second only to my love of wall art is my love of all things quirky. Again, I don’t condone graffiti but you’ve got to admit this addition to the sign is pretty funny.
A walk along the Swan River past the Bell Tower completed my day. Sure, I had spent most of my time rushing from one meeting to the next but I’m fortunate to see the beauty in the world around me. So I could make the most of my day in the Western Australian capital, Perth.
Total: I walked 5km over the course of the day