... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

Blast from the past: Fremantle, WA

Thursday, January 16, 2014

When we lived on Scarborough Beach, Will and I would spend some of our weekends in the historic port city of Fremantle.  It was only about a 20min drive away and its main street, South Terrace, was always bustling and vibrant in rain or shine.  We loved going to the markets, watching street performers, listening to live music, drinking locally brewed beer and eating awesome food.

South Terrace, Fremantle 2009
By Australian standard, Fremantle is an ancient city and is home to the oldest structure in Western Australia: the Round House, which was built as a jail (Aus spelling gaol) but because of its location by the waterfront, walled off perimeter and cannon facing out to sea, it always looked more like a battle fort to me:



Actually, most of Fremantle's buildings remain original convict-built structures, erected as early as 1829, with very little modernity added.  Will and I would enjoy the occasional historic tour of the city as I was fascinated with the houses.  Their vastly different architectural styles and the fact that despite withstanding time, standing strong after hundreds of years and despite outlasting the class-system; it's still obvious which houses were built for the poor and which were built for the wealthy: 

The homes of Freemantle, WA Australia

And the British architecture prevails all around the city, making it feel like you're on the set of a movie:



Our favourite historic tour however was that of the old prison, also built by convicts - for convicts. It was super informative, fun and eerie all at once. The evolution of the cells and daily routine of the prisoners blew my mind as it went through lots of changes over the centuries it was functional but retained the past such as: the isolation wards, torture wards, total darkness cells and is very intense!  I highly recommend this one to anyone interested in history.  The prison is so huge that it takes two tours to get to see it all.  One tour for the inside and one for the grounds.

Two things that stood out for me were: (1) it was the last prison in Australia to carry out capital punishment and the gallows are still there!! (2) when someone asked the tour guide about how the place is maintained now, he causally mentioned that one of the cell blocks is rented out as office space and another is used for hosting functions/ mainly birthday parties and weddings!! I just can't imagine writing or being in any way creative in a prison cell... but having a wedding there? That's just insane to me! (Notice in the pics below - the round tables on the ground floor of the cell block... imagine eating your wedding dinner there, YUCK!)



Fremantle is without a doubt one of my favourite historical towns in the world. Its sheer amount of original buildings that remain in full functioning order ring true the statement that things just aren't made like they used to be.


2 comments

  1. Love reading these Kez; great photos too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks bro! It's been nice walking down memory lane :) Love ya

    ReplyDelete

 

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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.

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