Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Twip - Part IV; Swan(less) Valley

Perth Update!

Back to the land down-under.. I could definitely get used to the way of life there, except the part where the shops close at 1700hrs (ridiculous I know).. but other than that bit, it’s really quite easy to understand why so many Singaporeans move over to stay in aus.. for that matter, just driving around is an awfully therapeutic experience.. no HDBs, no honking, inconsiderate, inpatient Singaporean drivers, no hustle-bustle of the city life.. just cruise along enjoying the view, with the cool wind blowing thru your hair and their own radio station Coast FM 97.3 playing softly in the back.. it cures any form of headache, anxiety or stress.. ahh… =)

Anyway, so after a few missed turns thanks to the Reid Highway linking to the Tonkin Highway in some tactical, inconspicuous, sneaky way.. we finally managed to find our way to get to Swan Valley.. Yet another highlight of the trip.. or twip in this case.. =P

So the story goes that Swan Valley’s quite infamous for it’s wines and chocolates and local produce and everything aussie.. it’s pretty much the place to go to, for trying their local stuff.. I haven’t been to a winery before, so it’s really quite an experience.. and yes, much to my dismay.. there are no swans in Swan Valley. wth? Hah..

view from the Swan Valley Visitor Info Centre..

It’s one thing to see pictures of the rows and rows of grapevines in magazines, and it’s a completely different thing to stand amidst them.. it’s really quite a humbling experience.. the land in aussie is like HUGE.. so these wineries are needless to say, gi-normous. One of the things that strike me on this trip is how hard-pressed we are for land here in Singapore. Everything goes upwards, from HDBs to parking lots, everything goes up. But in aussie.. there’s just so much space.. no wonder ppl like it there..

Sandalford Wines.. nice place, nice wines.. =)

the wines are quite cool.. for a lovely and silky smooth bottle of red, it costs 20bucks, and given that the exchange rate is practically 1:1, it’s quite a steal.. something that good in Singapore would cost quite abit.. given that it’s taxed so crazily.. definitely easy to turn alcoholic there.. haha.

One of the other places we went to at swan valley was the Margaret River Chocolate Factory (think Charlie’s Chocolate Factory) and Oggies Ice Creamery.. both are good, and memorable.. the choc factory’s quite cool.. delightfully smooth chocolate, and you can even try the samples there.. and when they say that Singaporeans are kiasu for free things, it’s really a stereotype.. standing around the ‘free samples’ bowl.. you see ang mohs and the likes grabbing the samples by the handfuls (and those are HUGE palms mind you) when it’s clearly stated to restrict urself to a spoonful only.. so think again, when you say Singaporeans are kiasu.. it probably applies to the human race as a whole.. =P

Chocolates and Ice-cream! My 2 indulgences.. =)

Then of course, after mucking around the Swan Valley region, we winded up at some Swan River place.. it’s one of the quieter spots which I really like. It’s simply nice and scenic.. no one around to bother you.. just stop your car, hop off and take in the view. Pleasant and relaxing.. quiet enough to just sit and be happy.. =) and I also found out that the bbq pits available (which can be found from parks to beaches) are free for all to use. These electric pits.. just turn them on and you're good to go.. just clean up after yourself. How nice.. no booking fees, no stupid paperwork/admin.. gotta love it!

tried to capture the whole view of where we were..

love this pic! new wallpaper.. hah..

as you can tell, I’m pretty thankful I got my polarizing filter.. nice deep blue skies.. can’t imagine having to take my pictures without it.. I’d kick myself silly.. =)

so as you can see, it’s not THAT hard to like perth.. just a few minutes after touching down and I’m in love with it already.. needless to say, the crazy company over at duncraig definitely sealed the deal.. haha.. it might just feel a little less magical without the ppl around.. then of course, there’re other things that happened like Fremantle and of course, dear Joel’s wedding.. which is probably the ultimate highlight of the trip.. hah..

..shall save that for the next time though.. =) so much for now..

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