I have to say, Fremantle is somehow the reason why I decided to ask for a 4 month unpaid leave this year. 10 years back, I had an unforgettable time in Fremantle and Australia and when I left my hostmum Mary, I promised her to be back one day, the sooner the better. However, life is busy in making plans and it took me 10 years to get back. Everything I did before or after my time in Fremantle like my trips in Europe or Asia was actually planned on top, as Fremantle and Mary were top priority to be seen this year.
After the first two amazing trips in Australia to see the secrets of Esperance and Perth-Broome it was time to settle - at least for 5 days and I could not imagine a better place than Mary's in Bicton, which is about 10 minutes away from Fremantle (Freo).
Coming from Broome, we headed to the rental car station to get our car for the next days. It took me a while to get used to drive on the left side and to the automated gear handling but we made it to Bicton - first at the wrong number we were shocked about seeing the house in a bad condition and nobody was around - but after a call with Mary we figured out that we had to drive 30 numbers further down the street and could finally meet her - phew :). It was very lovely to see her again, the house didn't change much, my room didn't change much and the garden was still a beautiful place, seeing roses, a huge lemontree with tons of lemons - it really felt like coming home away from home.
But the next day we packed our daypack already, it was time to go to Rottnest Island, a must-do when in Fremantle or Perth and honestly, I could go there several times. You can also spend a night (or more) on the island, but you can cover the entire island on a day trip too - best way is by bicycle, there are no motorized cars allowed on the island and it is fun to ride along.
When we got there, we have seen soon the first Quokkas, which are famous for Rottnest (Rotto) too. We had to face some wind challenges as it was pretty windy on the bike and had some orientation issues as well but we enjoyed riding a long beautiful beaches, the water was again spectacular, just still too cold to swim in. And - as a couple told us, we have seen the first wild snake since we're in Australia too. It was a lovely day, although some thunderstorms were forecasted in the later afternoon, we made it back home safely for some yum tomato pesto spaghetti and a watermelon salad.
The day after belonged all to Freo. We checked out the must-do's and sees - enjoying the famous Cappuccino Strip, doing some shopping at the famous market which is really cool! Where else can you get a picture of your own iris? The roundhouse got a visit as well, the harbour and a beer at little creatures couldn't be missed ( I spent a lot of time there after school in 2008), some gelati had to be tried and at the end we made it to the prison but didn't go into the museum as we were a bit late already. Back home some yum shepardspie and apple crumble was awaiting us. Awwww I love it so much!
On the next day we decided to check out some wildlife and visiting the Caversham Wildlifepark I've been 10 years back. Only difference: This time I had a car and it was way faster than by public transport :) (took us approx. 45 minutes). I like the family owned park, it looks like they look well after the animals and although you can get pictures during a certain timeframe with the most famous for Australia (kangaroo anytime, koala, wombat, snakes etc), it looks that they treat the animals well and they can still enjoy some kind of wildlife.
Back home we had a lovely fish & chips dinner where we got more than we were able to eat :)
Next day the weather was not too well unfortunately. We checked out the East Fremantle Festival at George Street and just entered a café when it was pouring down - crazy! 5 minutes later the rain was over and we checked out the different stalls. However, the weather didn't look to get better but this is not a problem, we can still do some shopping :) We went to the Boragoon Garden City Mall which was not too far away and a cool mall with many different shops. But as we couldn't shop too much - considering our almost-exploding bags - we decided to go spontaneously to the Cinema next door to watch "The Bohemian Rapsody". It's such a cool movie (especially when you like the music of Queen - wondering who doesn't) and back home we did some cooking. Mary meanwhile got a lovely rose to plant - it's called "Best Friends" and she will name it after Eliane and me <3 and we enjoyed a fun video call with José, a Brazil guy who was staying with Mary 10 years back too and is living in Brazil with his own little family - I hope he will make it back to Fremantle one day too!
And so the last day was suddenly here. We went to Penguin Island I was there 10 years back as well, unfortunately we could not walk to the island that time on the sandbank as it was too cold and the current to strong, but nonetheless it was a lovely walk around the island and seeing some penguins at the sanctuary where they care after the little ones until they can be released into the wild again.
On the way back we stopped at the famous Cottesloe Beach, but it was too windy for a swim (where is this famous hot weather please??) and so we went to Vans Sidewalk Café for a snack and got lost on a colf course :) before we had a lovely last dinner with Fritatta and the best Pavlova in the world coming from Mary.
Thank you again my love for welcoming us so warmly and we could feel like home. I really hope to be back one day (and this time I wouldn't wait another 10 years) to see you again. As much as I love the hello-agains, I hate the goodbyes but we had to move on the next very early morning - our flight was calling to Adelaide where the next trip started soon.....