The Boats of Freo

Fremantle was my first stop on the West Coast of Australia. And it indeed is right on the coast, just steps from the ocean. The Indian Ocean! I departed from the lovely train station and began my wandering.

Being a Saturday, there were a few markets on. Fremantle has a fairly famous market for the region, and it lived up to expectation. Lots of food was consumed. But there were more than just the main market to explore, so I wandered through others, such as this one in the Docks area.

Unfortunately by the afternoon the weather had taken a turn for the worse. I sought shelter in the Western Australian Maritime Museum.

A large, airy place with lots of space…and perhaps a bit of interesting information, but overall quite bland actually. I did find it interesting to see where the fighting kangaroo mascot came from:

It is part of this ship’s legacy – the winner of the America’s Cup, a contest of sailing yachts. The America’s Cup is the oldest active trophy in international sports, but a pretty obscure one to most countries. Started back in the 1850s, the America’s Cup is a race between two yachts from different countries. For over 100 years the United States held and successfully defended the Cup. It wasn’t until 1983 when Australia sent this boat, Australia II, to the races (best of 7) that someone managed to unseat the Americans. Their mascot was the boxing Kangaroo and the race and win a big part of Australian sporting history.

Upstairs held a bit more interesting exhibits, focusing on the war (WWII) and Western Australia’s involvement. I didn’t realize that places like Fremantle actually became major naval bases for the US and Australians, but they did!

They even had a submarine still on display. Having already seen the inside of a sub a few times I opted to save my money, but it’s still neat to walk one from end to end.

And that was about it for the Museum. Not much too it really, I still spent a few decent hours but was left wanting more. I’d set about exploring Fremantle’s stellar coastline the next day.

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