Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Perth Wrap-Up

Day 10 of Western Australia was a quickie as our flight was mid-afternoon.  We started with breakfast at one of the local chain restaurants:  Dome.

Dome was a cross between Starbucks and IHOP.  Use your imagination.  Next we went for a walk around the CBD.  We planned on going to see the Swan Bells, but the admission fee was a bit exorbitant.  Instead, we settled for a lucky shag…

We went back to Kings Park to see the other side of it (the park is massive and we only saw a small bit the previous day).  We did one of the bushland walks and then climbed up the appropriately-named DNA Tower.

We were on our way to the airport when we decided to pop into another local chain restaurant that we had seen everywhere in the region:  Chicken Treat.

Chicken Treat was reminiscent of KFC.  Well, reminiscent of KFC according to Cade and Karen.  I’ve never been to KFC because I’m not poor.  But I have an idea in my head of what KFC must be like and I think Chicken Treat was probably a small step or two up.

Western Australia makes an amazing vacation destination.  I loved pretty much everything about it.  In some ways it reminded me of the Pacific Northwest.  The small towns along the southern coast were a bit dreary and rainy, with lots of greenery – just like small towns you’d encounter in rural Washington or British Columbia.  Perth was laid out similar to Portland or Seattle or Vancouver – not quite a grid system but it was easily navigable.  The little neighbourhoods tucked away in random parts of the city also reminded me of that region.  Obviously, the hot sunny weather in Perth is a bit better than the weather you’d find in Portland or Seattle or Vancouver…

Perth seems a bit more American than Sydney does – which is strange since Perth is as far away as you can get from the United States without being stuck in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  The mall we went to on the first day felt very American – maybe because of all the fat people.  All of the local tacky chain restaurants felt very American.  Perth actually has a visible population of African people – which seems American in an odd way.  You’d be hard pressed to find a person of African descent in Sydney , but you didn’t have to look too hard in Perth (maybe because Perth is a lot closer to Africa?)  Overall, there was just something about it that seemed a bit more like home than Sydney does.

It’s hard to compare a city of 1.7 million people to one with 4.5 million people, but I’m going to take a stab at it.  Compared to Sydney, Perth is laid-out better and has less traffic.  The beaches are WAY better than Sydney beaches – they are bigger, longer, and less crowded, the sand is whiter, and the water is clearer.  The neighborhoods are just as nice as Sydney’s, and there are plenty of good brunch places.  What surprised me the most was the gay scene in Perth.  Maybe it’s because we weren’t expecting too much, but we all had an absolute blast out on the town.  The first club we went too was massive – two big dance floors (one indoors, one outdoors) each with their own DJ playing different types of music.  It was crowded but not to the point where it became uncomfortable, and more importantly, it wasn’t pretentious.  Sydney bars (gay or straight) are generally either too crowded or too pretentious – or both.  The second club we went to wasn’t as awesome as the first, but it was still a breath of fresh air compared to the clubs in Sydney.

I wouldn’t mind living in Perth one day… but not until someone opens up a decent Mexican restaurant there.

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