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March 18, 2020
Perth, Australia: Kings Park

Russell writes…

Today was our one and only full day in Perth. Perth is the capital and largest city in the state of Western Australia. In fact, WA has 2.5 million people and 2 million of them live in Perth. We had been told that Perth rivals Sydney and Singapore, so our expectations were high. Following yesterday’s rain, we awoke to a beautiful sunny day.

After a slow morning and breakfast in the lobby, we finally set out after 10:00 am. We had two destinations today. First, we wanted to take the Art City Walking Trail that was rained out yesterday. Second, we wanted to visit Kings Park.

Kings Park is the centerpiece of Perth. At almost 1,000 acres, it is the largest city park anywhere in the world. It was also a very long way away from our hotel, but we were determined to get there on foot. We ended up taking half of the Art walk on the way there, and the other half on the way back.

Our walking route today (click for a larger view)

Perth has a gorgeous skyline

Perth has more than 200 public artworks, from statues to murals. A two-hour curated walk highlights 11 locations in the Central Business District. Gail is a huge fan of urban art, and she was enthralled by statues of kangaroos and aboriginal warriors, as well as by murals that covered entire buildings and city blocks.

The Art City Walking Trail, Part 1. “The Mob” – Kangaroos on the Terrace.

“Ascalon” is named after the lance of the legendary St. George. The sculpture depicts his cloak billowing around his lance after he has slain the dragon.

Our total walking distance to Kings Park was about three miles. We walked along the waterfront, alongside freeways and across an elevated bridge. Our final challenge was Jacob’s Ladder. First built in 1909, this “shortcut” to the park is a stairway of 242 concrete steps up the side of a hill. We rewarded ourselves with lunch at a restaurant in the park. (Russell ordered a “chili dog” and received a hot dog surrounded by jalapeños.)

A pedestrian bridge over the freeway

Jacob’s Ladder (which took us forever to find – it is tucked behind a hospital)

The view from the top of Jacob’s Ladder

Gail takes a break after climbing 242 steps

With only a few hours to spend at the park, we concentrated on the Botanic Garden. One recent addition to the garden is an elevated glass bridge in the treetops. Gail was apprehensive at the sound of this, but it turned out to be a very tame walkway.

Kings Park

The entrance to the Botanic Garden

Huge trees!

The elevated glass bridge in the treetop walkway

One of the reasons we walked all the way to Kings Park was that we knew we could take a return bus if we got too tired. Incredibly, Perth has free bus service throughout its Central Business District. (Perth also has free citywide Wi-Fi.) Outside the park, we hopped onto one of the free buses, but we only took it two blocks before we got off again.

We continued our Art walk. By chance, we stumbled upon Perth’s Chinatown. It was the funniest Chinatown we have ever seen. It was in the middle of nowhere. It consisted of two streets that were really more like dark alleys. And there was absolutely nobody there. Honestly, it looked like a backlot movie set.

The entrance to Chinatown!

Inside Chinatown

The Art City Walking Trail, Part 2. “Koorden” depicts six male Indigenous figures.

“Connectus” is an overhead ribbon that is illuminated at night

We finally made our way back to the hotel at 5:00 pm. Seven straight hours of walking! We took showers, ordered room service for dinner, and had a quiet evening.

Many of our fellow cruise passengers have already headed home. Most of the rest will depart tomorrow. We have heard several horror stories of flights being cancelled, and overall travel stress remains high. For now, we are keeping with our plan to stay in Western Australia for at least a little while longer.

For our friends and family back home: This is a reminder of what normal life looks like. No six-foot distance rule here!

Nevertheless, Australia is feeling the coronavirus outbreak. This is the Visitor Information at Kings Park

A shop sign

Another shop sign

This is the meat department at the Woolworth’s grocery store where we stocked up on supplies

The Worldtrippers: our adventure continues!

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