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Tribulations of a swiss guy From solo to family travel, or things that happen when you meet the right person on the road. And how we're transmitting the travel bug to our children.

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AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 19 September 2007 | Views [705] | Comments [1]

Perth Skyline

Perth Skyline

If the Ambassador adventure is now over, my trip altogether had not reached its end yet. After six weeks behind the wheel and more than 7‘200 km, I have reached my first Australian metropolitan area. With little more than a million and a half inhabitants, Perth MetroArea is home to 3 out of 4 western Australians. The remaining 500’000 populate the biggest state in Australia. With over 2.5 million km2, it is more than seven time the size of Germany! It helps understand a bit more the feeling of emptiness I had throughout WA.

 

Perth and its surrounding neighborhoods are built along the beautiful Swan River. At its mouth lies probably the most famous of them, Fremantle. It has been the port of entry for many immigrants, starting with the convicts used as cheap labor for the struggling Swan River colony back in the 1850’s. Waves of immigration - mostly from Europe, thanks to the infamous White Australia Policies - have given a very multicultural taste to the area. The most heavily represented, or perhaps the most visible, are the Italians, with heaps of businesses bearing Italian names. In a funny way, it felt almost like home, since Switzerland also had a big wave of Italian immigrants, and I grew up with many of them. Following WWII, Australia implemented the “populate or perish policy”. Boatloads after boatloads of Europeans arrived in the fifties, giving several other layers to the population. And in the seventies, the White Australia policy was finally abandoned, opening the gate to Asian war refugees, and giving the final touch to a very colorful society.

 

Out of the dozen days I have spent in and around Perth, the days of sunshine can be counted easily on the fingers of a single hand unfortunately. But fortunately, the area boasts many magnificent museums, like the Maritime Museum in Fremantle, or the Western Australian Museum in Perth. Countless hours exploring them helped me understand more about this part of the world, about what I had seen along the road. And also sheltered me from the rain. From the early explorers and their ship(wreck)s, to the aboriginal culture, or the European colonization, all those visits made the whole Australian experience more complete to me.

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Tags: ambassador van, sightseeing

Comments

1

Hey Steph, I've been reading your stories with great interest, keep up the good work! Glad you had fun with 'the van', and hope you have as much fun in South America!

Cheers,

  stowaway Sep 21, 2007 10:52 AM

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