on September 12, 2010
We decided to take the Captain Cook Swan River Cruise to Freemantle. The boat left at 9.45 and proceeded at a sedate pace along the river towards Freemantle. There was complimentary tea and coffee and other snacks and drinks for sale. The commentary was quite interesting but there was nothing particularly remarkable along the journey. It was very pleasant seeing all the yacht clubs, scenery and wealthy people’s house but there was no one thing that stood out. The price of the trip was $49 Australian per adult which was not too bad as it did take over an hour each way and included snacks and the guided commentary on the boat.We arrived in Freemantle at about 11am and walked round the corner towards where we thought the free CAT bus went. Just as we were going through the car park we noticed a couple of young lads handing out free ice creams – a promotion for Peter’s ice creams which were very nice and refreshing and all the better for being free.We waited a long 15minutes for the CAT bus which we had planned to use for the entire circuit. Once we were on the bus we realised that really the longer circuit was unnecessary as most of the places of interest were just nearby. We hopped off and wandered along the Cappuccino Strip towards the Freemantle markets. The cappuccino strip is a road full of cafes there are so many that you are spoiled for choice but having enjoyed our freebie coffee on the boat we decided we didn’t need another so we went into the market. It was very pleasant inside with ethnic clothes and jewellery, lots of fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, various stalls with different foods and you could even sit and have a beer. We bought a small backpack as ours had just broken then some fruit for our breakfasts and some Indian savoury snacks for our meal in the evening.After this we thought we would make our way down to the Esplanade area where all the seafood restaurants are. It was pretty hot by now so we took a short cut across the park rather than walk all around on the road. The esplanade area was very busy and there were a number of different restaurants to choose from and we plumped for Cicerello’s which claimed to be the first and the best.There was quite a extensive menu choice from simple fish and chips to mussel and crab in chilli and tomato sauce (my choice) and my husband had a barramundi with chips and salad –he also had quite a bit of my meal too which was delicious but rather messy to eat despite the nut crackers, small pointy fork and bib that I was given. We enjoyed our meal with a Cascade beer. It took me ages to eat my meal despite all the help and I admit I did leave some too but it was a full on eating experience rather than just a meal. You could eat outside under brollies or inside under fans and we chose the latter. Three huge marine fish tanks separated the diners from the queue to order food. They were amazing, one had small colourful reef fish like Nemo and his friends, and the other two had manta rays and some small slightly mottled sharks with slightly bigger fish. Children were fascinated and many parents and older children spent time wandering up and down with little ones admiring the contents of these tanks.When you went into the restaurant there was a queue which you joined and ordered your food. They gave you a bell and your receipt and you went to sit at a table to await your order. When the bell buzzed you went up to the collection point to collect it. It worked very well and was an interesting change to water service and also saved the usual need to tip.After out meal we walked back to the jetty area and went into the Shed Markets. This was obviously for tourists waiting for their boats to go as everything was very expensive. I had a soft serve cone and it was $3.50 and my husband has a small bottle of iced tea for the same price. The size of bottle would have been £1.00 at most back home. The cruise back to Perth included complimentary wine tasting as well as tea or coffee. No contest here we opted to sample some of Western Australia’s wines. There was a choice of about 4 whites, 4 reds and arose. I only tried the white sauvignon – several times and it was very good. Others said the red cabernet sauvignon was excellent but I’m not a red wine fan as it gives me sinus problems. This was an added bonus and made the journey go very quickly. We joined another English couple who we had sat next to on our way to Freemantle and had an enjoyable conversation with our wine and Ritz crackers and we chose to sit inside in the air conditioning as we had got quite hot walking around Freemantle.This was a lovely way to spend a day from Perth. It was an interesting experience and not too strenuous despite the fact we did walk quite a way. We got the chance to see another town in Western Australia besides Perth. The boat ‘cruise’ was relaxing and we particularly enjoyed the wine tasting on the way back.
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