This evening I head back to Scotland.  I have had a wonderful time in Australia with my family and of course I'll be so sad to leave, but I'm heading home which is always welcome.  I know there will be Stevan, 2 dogs and 5 hens that will be pleased to have me home.

Yesterday Sheena and I took a mini-cruise down the Swan River to Fremantle, which Sheena knows well as she works at Notre Dame university as a lecturer.  It was another beautiful, sunny day, and the captain of the ferry kept ups entertained for the nearly 2 hour journey down the river with information about the various areas we were passing.  Although I nearly didn't manage to contain myself when he described Perth as being named after a "small little town in Scotland"!   He also described James Stirling as being English ..... it took all my willpower to not yell at him that he was, in fact, Scottish.

Before leaving Perth on the boat, we stopped to admire the beautiful Bell Tower which has been constructed to hold bells donated to Perth by St Martin in the Field in London.

The surrounding landscaping makes this a very restful spot to sit and enjoy some people watching:

From the boat you get fantastic views of the city, although unfortunately it was a little hazy on the day we went.  I was astounded by one fact that we were given and that is that in the city of Perth and the surrounding suburbs there are 1.6 million people.  In the WHOLE of Western Australia, including Perth,  there are 2 million people.

Fremantle is a lovely town.  It reminds me very much of Cape Town, with similar style buildings and the harbour and water front.  There is a beautiful and very moving Fishermen's Memorial in Fremantle harbour, by local sculptor Greg James.

This type of art and sculpture is very much to my taste, and I loved it.  The picture below doesn't do justice to the attention to detail in the fish that he is holding in his hands, where there was great definition in the gills, close to his hand where he is holding the fish.  Just beautiful.

There has also been quite a bit of eating while I've been in Perth, and we had what was my introduction to Vietnamese food at Cafe 55 in Fremantle.  As you can see I didn't like it at all .........:

[caption id="attachment_5826" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The remains of my Bun Bi Cha Gio[/caption]

I think I've probably tasted the best and any other Vietnamese restaurant I go to will have a hard job coming up to the standard of this little cafe tucked into the busy street in Fremantle.  It was absolutely heaving with people when we arrived, and it was noisy and loud, and wonderful.  If you find yourself in Fremantle, go here!

This morning I got in one last beach walk with Bob and Sheena, and paddled in the Indian Ocean.  It is a long way home, but I'm taking home many happy memories of my trip to Australia.