Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Perth Day 3 - Queens Gardens, WACA, Gloucester Park

A Patchwork of Greens. Tourist Alert. The Hallowed Grounds of Pagan Religions.


Fraser Suites where we stayed is located in the East of Perth. It's literally the last (or should I say the 1st) commercial building on east end of Adelaide Terrace adjacent to the Swan River.

East Perth, WA, Australia
East Perth
(Click to enlarge)

While the easternmost building in the East Perth sounds far, because of its size, it's actually only 3 bus stops from the city centre. The easternmost point of the city is called - wait for it - Point Fraser. It's a pure coincidence, it has no relationship with Fraser Suites. Trust me, I know.

Coat of Arms of Perth City
This Coat of Arms of Perth City marks the city's boundary
locates only some 30 m from Fraser Suites

Immediately behind (or North of) Fraser Suites is the Queens Gardens. While the rains had stop and the sun peeped out, I decided to take a little trip around the back (of Fraser Suites). My 1st stop was the Queens Gardens.

Queens Gardens, Perth
Aerial view of Queens Garden as seen from my Fraser Suites' window
with the statue of Peter Pan in the middle

This green space has 2 claims to fame.

The 1st is the replica of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens in London. The statue stands in the middle of the park so it's no problem to spot.

Peter Pan statue in Queens Gardens

The 2nd is the park bench from the movie Notting Hill (1999). While there're many park benches in this garden, again this one isn't hard to spot. Just look for an odd-one-out park bench. If you don't like to play the game of "where's that park bench?" then take a walk towards a one and only small bridge. The anonymous donor bought this park bench to make a marriage propose to her girl. After being declined his proposal, he decided to donate the park bench to the city, and so it's ended up here. I guess real life ending is different from the movie ending.

Park Bench from Notting Hill
This park bench from Notting Hill has the following inscription on it,
"For June who loved this garden from Joseph who always sat beside her"

Others seem to catch on the idea, one of the existing park bench has a metal plague that has some lovey-dovey message.

(Click to enlarge)

I imagine, given time, all park benches here would carry messages, if the park manager is going along with it.

The Gardens is quite peaceful, and because of its ponds, many water birds made their homes here, including a few black swans (which by the way appear on the Coat of Arms of the city of Perth), and others. The most numerous of which - populating most lakes and ponds of Australia - are the common moorhens (they live up to the name).

Common moorhen of Australia
The reeds are usually planted in the gardens to attract waterbirds like the common moorhens.
without the reeds, the moorhens can't build nest, and so they won't make this place their homes.

When I approached a group of them floating on the pond on their behinds, the nearest one would usually squawk in panic, warning the rest of its mates and relatives the impending threat of a giant (relatively speaking) tourist carrying a camera (in short, a tourist alert).

Originally, I meant to visit East Perth Cemetery (yes, I like to visit cemetery just for the hell of it). When I got there about 4:15 pm, it had closed for the day at 4 pm. I should have known, this is Perth.

So I decided to visit the 2 huge cathedrals between the cemetery and Queens Gardens. Of course, you folks know that I'm referring to WACA and Gloucester Park (Gloucester is pronounced like "Glauster". I learnt that when I stayed in London in an area called Gloucester Road. Nobody understood me when I pronounced it as "Gloochester").

Since cricket and horse racing are 2 of Aussie religions, then these hallowed grounds would appropriately be called cathedrals. They're a more popular religions judging from Sunday attendance in these venues comparing to the Christian churches.

WACA, West Austalian Cricket Association
WACA - view from Barry Shepherd entrance

Of course, one religion that drives many Australia to these religious denominations, which it shares with the ancient Egyptians. I'm talking about the pagan religion of sun worshiping. And this one religion is responsible for creating various denomination of outdoor sports from sunbathing, horse racing to cricket.

Gloucester Park, Perth, WA, Australia
Gloucester Park

This Gloucester Park does harness racing instead of the usual racing where jockeys ride on the horses' backs. They sit in a harness not too dissimilar to the chariots in Ben Hur, except they're made from light weight carbon fibre.

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