Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 13 Fremantle

After picking up our hire car (a black Mitsubishi Lancer) we checked out and headed for Fremantle. Our main aim today was to visit the highly recommended tourist attraction - Fremantle Prison.  We decided to take the "Doing Time"  tour which was conducted by a charming (probably ex prison warder) who quickly identified us as Victorians and then admonished us for the sale of Pentridge to developers.  Fremantle Prison is now a  Heritage Site.

The prison was built by imported British Convict labour in the 1850's and was decommissioned in 1991. The guide told lots of stories and anecdotes and inspired us to take a second tour 1.25 hours later called "Great Escapes".

Prison Warder Tour Guide hands Glen an ablution bucket!
So we had a day of sad stories and some heroic escapes which is not all bad. The best escape as told by our afternoon guide is of the 'Fenians' - Irish political prisoners whose escape was organised by outsiders but carefully orchestrated over a period of 18 months and saw the whole six prisoners escape using a horse and buggy, a rowboat and a whaling boat that took them to a heroes welcome in New York! (There has got to be a film made about that sometime!)

After our 2.5 hours at the gaol we then went down to Harbourside where we visited the Roundhouse which was Fremantle's first prison.

Roundhouse Prison in the background
Mid afternoon the skies opened with heavy thunderstorms and flash flooding which accompanied us on our drive south to Bunbury. We arrived at our motel at just on dark - ready to relax.

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