Saturday, May 23, 2015

Perth Adventures: Fremantle, not to be confused with Freemantle

It was road trip day - our 3 hour drive to the Margaret River where we would spend the next two days of our trip. We were counting on the weather so we could use the convertible and today Mother Nature complied. It was chilly but we were able to put the top down and hit the open road.

We were headed to Fremantle where we planned to stop and tour the prison there and have lunch. So, I dutifully plugged in Freemantle into the GPS and off we went. Did you catch that? Freemantle, not Fremantle. And yes, Freemantle is on the complete other side of Australia in the wrong direction! Luckily, we noticed about 20 minutes into the drive so didn't take too long to get going in the right direction.

The drive was beautiful - rolling green hills, lots of cattle, sheep and occasional Emu. We only saw one kangaroo though and unfortunately, dead along the side of the road. Soon we were in Fremantle and pulled into the Prison parking lot.

We took the Prison tour and had a great guy named Bret who made the tour interesting with enough humor to keep it from getting too depressing. Yes, they are criminals, but the living conditions were still pretty brutal, which is the reason the prison was eventually shut down. It's now a protected heritage site.
The grassy area was all vegetable garden in the first years of the prison until they found pot growing amongst the vegetables and replaced everything with grass.

This courtyard is where prisoners with no job at the prison had to spend their days. The roof was added later.
This is the original cell. The first prisoners were shipped from England to provide manual labor to the Australian colony. They worked 16 hour days so really only needed their cells to sleep. When they stopped using the prisons as labor, they needed to make the cells bigger as they would spend so much more time in them.

The photo below shows one of the aboriginal paintings in the man's cell. In the last year or so the prison was open, they allowed the prisoners to paint. There is even an art gallery on the premise now with the artwork from those prisoners - many of whom are still alive and some even free.
 Brian was chosen to help demonstrate the whipping post. Does our guide look a tad gleeful to you?

Lucky he didn't choose any volunteers in this area.

After the tour, we headed to the pier to find some lunch. Not too bad, but the seagulls were awful! One of the nasty birds had one of Brian's scallops before he could even set his tray down.

 The guilty party. Too bad we couldn't ship him off to the prison!

And on full stomachs, we got back in the car and headed the rest of the way to Margaret River.

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