Thursday, 3 December 2009

Australian travellogue: Albany

1-2 Nov 2009. Albany (population, 2006 census: 25,196) has the distinction of being the oldest permanently settled town in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by some two years. It was founded in 1827 as a military outpost as part of a plan to forestall French ambition in the region. The area was initially named Frederickstown but in 1831 the settlement was renamed with the rather posh, English-sounding name of Albany. Today, the town is a tourist base to explore the south west of the state and also well regarded for its own natural beauty and preservation of heritage.

So much for this short, summarised history of Albany. Because of its long history, it has lots of old heritage buildings.

For example, we couldn't help but notice the Town Hall building (above) strategically located on the right side of York Street when we motored into the town.

Okay, so this is the Uniting Church (above), which is smack in the centre of York Street. By the way, when we were in Albany, the weather was so cold that we wrapped up in layers of clothing. At this church, we tried to sneak in basically for a look but more to find a brief respite from the cold air. However, we saw a service going on and thought it better than to interrupt the people.

So on we plodded across the road to the other church: the St Johns Church of England (above). Now, this one, we could go in and I must say that it was pretty. I loved the stained glass windows.

An historic building (above) along Stirling Terrace. However, it no longer houses the post office. Instead, on the other side of the building (below), it says the Albany regional centre for the University of Western Australia.

But among all the buildings we visited, this particular one (below) at the corner of Stirling Terrace and York Street stood out. For a moment, it reminded us of Cameron Highlands. We admired it from a distance and we admired it up close. It practically screamed at us to go inside. Where we were concerned, it was almost "home". It was our most popular destination in Albany.

We visited it several times within a short span of three hours: when we arrived in York Street in the morning, before and after we went to Mt Clarence and then, for the last time, before we finally left Albany. And this was the reason why this building was so popular with us...

Yes, it was the quaintest public toilet in Albany, so much more homely and comfortable than the other public toilet that we found behind the Town Hall building.

Next: Natural Bridge and The Gap
Previous: Mt Clarence's war memorial

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