Woo-Hoo Western Australia

July 17 , 2013 – on the airplane back to Melbourne

After a good night’s sleep in Miss Maud’s Swedish Hotel, we headed to Miss Maud’s Swedish Restaurant where we enjoyed Miss Maud’s Swedish Smorgasbord , breakfast style. This meal was included in our hotel rate and we sampled many of the offerings-a wide variety of fruits, cereal, yogurt, a variety of breads, meats and cheeses, pastries and hot food – eggs (2 kinds), sausage, bacon, baked beans, tomatoes, French toast and pancakes. I may have forgotten something’s, but you get the idea! Lots of food, more than we normally have for breakfast, and all very tasty!

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We had about 6 hours to check out some of the sights in Perth and as a result of my research I knew that I wanted to go to the Perth Mint and to the Swan Bells Bell Tower. We walked to the Bell Tower to confirm that the demonstration time was 11:30 AM and the walked to the Mint. We got there just in time to join a tour. The Perth Mint no longer produces coins for currency, but it did for a long time. Today it mints collector coins and bullion for investors. The museum has millions of dollars of gold on display in gold bars, coins and nuggets. We got to see a demo of a gold pour and that was impressive! Mining is still a very important part of the AU economy, especially in Western Australia. I saw this in Kalgoorlie on my train trip and the tour of the mint completed the gold cycle for me.

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We then walked back to the Bell Tower, after a quick stop at our car to get another layer for me. The wind off the river still had a cool bite to it!

The Bell Tower is a recognizable landmark for Perth and it houses 16 large bells from St. Martins in the Field in England. These bells were saved from the melting pot by a local businessman who exchanged the bells for tin and copper with the English folks, who wanted to cast a new set of bells. The bells are housed in a beautiful building down by the edge of the Swan River and on Wednesdays there is a demonstration of bells. We arrived in time to do a quick tour of the 6 levels of the building before returning to the first level for the demonstration. We were most surprised to find that the demonstration included a chance for us to ring these historic bells! We entered a room where 16 ropes hung down from the ceiling. A woman, who was one of the official bell ringers told us about the bells and then invited the group to step up to a rope to have a try at ringing a bell. Jim and I jumped up at this chance! The woman then gave us instructions in how to get the large bell moving and how to make it chime. We all were successful and the rang our bells as a group-what a beautiful carillon sound we made! After the demonstration, we climbed up to level 4 where these big bells were mounted and watched them move as the next group got a chance to ring them! The largest bell weighted over 1200 kilos! These were not the hand bells I am used to ringing! Think of the bells that might be rung to let the community know it was time to come to church! This was all great fun and very educational and included lots more involvement than we expected from the demonstration! Jim wanted me to let you know that the bell he rang was cast in 1751! We completed our tour with a visit to Level 6, which was an outdoor platform, 24 meters above the ground. We got beautiful views of the city in all directions. We felt like we were quite high up and then we realized that if we were climbing the Diamond Tree from yesterday, we would have only been halfway to the top! Yikes!

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We then walked back to the Bell Tower, after a quick stop at our car to get another layer for me. The wind off the river still had a cool bite to it!

The Bell Tower is a recognizable landmark for Perth and it houses 16 large bells from St. Martins in the Field in England. These bells were saved from the melting pot by a local businessman who exchanged the bells for tin and copper with the English folks, who wanted to cast a new set of bells. The bells are housed in a beautiful building down by the edge of the Swan River and on Wednesdays there is a demonstration of bells. We arrived in time to do a quick tour of the 6 levels of the building before returning to the first level for the demonstration. We were most surprised to find that the demonstration included a chance for us to ring these historic bells! We entered a room where 16 ropes hung down from the ceiling. A woman, who was one of the official bell ringers told us about the bells and then invited the group to step up to a rope to have a try at ringing a bell. Jim and I jumped up at this chance! The woman then gave us instructions in how to get the large bell moving and how to make it chime. We all were successful and the rang our bells as a group-what a beautiful carillon sound we made! After the demonstration, we climbed up to level 4 where these big bells were mounted and watched them move as the next group got a chance to ring them! The largest bell weighted over 1200 kilos! These were not the hand bells I am used to ringing! Think of the bells that might be rung to let the community know it was time to come to church! This was all great fun and very educational and included lots more involvement than we expected from the demonstration! Jim wanted me to let you know that the bell he rang was cast in 1751! We completed our tour with a visit to Level 6, which was an outdoor platform, 24 meters above the ground. We got beautiful views of the city in all directions. We felt like we were quite high up and then we realized that if we were climbing the Diamond Tree from yesterday, we would have only been halfway to the top! Yikes!

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I love this photo of a painting called Superknit 2. Before I even saw the title of the work, I knew those were knit stitches!

By now our Miss Maud’s breakfast had worn off so we went in search of some lunch. We walked west to the Northbridge area where we found a cafe where we had some sandwiches.

Our tour of Perth ended at the car park where we had to pay $34.80 for 24 hours of parking! We drove to the airport, dropped off the rental car, with 1300 more kilometers on it and then waited for our flight.

Since I started writing this on the plane I have had a glass of wine and a nice pasta dinner. I will post this when we get home and I have some Internet.

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Our trip to Perth and Western Australia has been a great success. The experiences we had and sights we saw made it a very worthwhile trip. And I loved my train journey across this fair land! Although I must say, after being gone for 9 days, I am looking forward to a quiet day in the apartment, catching up on things and making weekend plans!

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3 comments on “Woo-Hoo Western Australia

  1. Roger Flint says:

    The bells you rang we’re most probably cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. This was established in 1570. They cast the Libery Bell which was shipped to America in1752.

    • marjirob says:

      Roger, right you are! The bells were suspended from supports that were labeled “Whitechapel”. I know that name from ringing handbells. Hope you and Mary are well. Thanks for reading!

  2. Chris Schaefer says:

    Jim ‘Quasimodo’ Robinson. Has a certain ‘ring’ to it!

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