Thursday, December 27, 2007

26 Dec 07 - Day 10 (Sapporo)

Did the final packing and went for breakfast. Departed at 7.45am to Curb Market where BIL bought lots of seafood that includes two hairy crabs, some fresh scallops, some kelp products, a box of sea urchins, etc and I bought some frozen scallops, some dried scallops, some dried kelp, etc. After that, we headed to the airport to take the domestic flight to Kansai and transited to SQ flight which landed in Singapore around 10.10pm.

Look at those big crabs

Other fresh seafood

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

25 Dec 07 (Christmas Day) - Day 9 (Sapporo)

Only left for breakfast about 9+am. Then walked to the shopping centers at the South, Odori Park area. The departmental stores sell mostly winter clothing so nothing to buy. Checked out their supermarket and they sell a lot of interesting pastries and snacks. Bought two boxes of snacks to bring back Singapore while BIL bought mochi cream to share. Walked along the street shops and sis checked out their ankle boots while BIL brought the kids to game shops. Came after, walked to Ramen Alley and ate in a ramen shop. It was really nice and cozy to eat in a small warm shop out of the cold street.

Then walked back to the hotel to rest. Sis and I then walked to Daimaru at the North where people said the Burberry products were cheaper but we bought nothing and ended up spending most of the time in an accessory shop where sis bought a ring. Headed back to the hotel to wash up and then went for the Christmas Dinner. Finally dinner ended around 8+pm, collected our clothing and headed out to Odori Park to see the Christmas lightings and went up the TV Tower. It was snowing heavily compared to the other days of my stay and the feel of Christmas was really strong.

Sapporo's TV Tower taken from Odori Park

Streets of Sapporo from the TV Tower

Christmas Lightings in Odori Park

Christmas Lightings in Odori Park

Monday, December 24, 2007

24 Dec 07 (Christmas Eve; Holiday in-lieu for Emperor’s Birthday) - Day 8 (Sapporo)

Got up early coz need to set off early today at 7.45am. Ate little coz dare not overeat and ended the breakfast with an ice cream cone. Returned to the room and brought the luggage down to the coach. Left for Hell Valley, took photos and bought some souvenirs. Then moved on to Shiraoi Ainu Village. We were early and the stalls we needed to pass by on way to the village weren’t opened yet except for 1 or 2 nearest to the village. Saw the 白色恋人 chocolate biscuits and some nice woodcarvings that the Ainu people were famous for and thought I would get them after the show on the way out. The show lasted half an hour and one of the musical instruments caught my attention and thought I could get that as souvenir.

Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

A villager performing

Big Statue of Ainu Chief in Shiraoi Ainu Village

Came out to walk around the village, took photos. Unfortunately we took too long inside the village and so went we realized that the people on our coach were not around, we hurried out and they were already getting ready to leave. So didn’t manage to look around the stalls and BIL grabbed three boxes of the chocolate and I grabbed two wooden owl mobile phone accessories. Journey to Otaru was about 1.5 hour. Ate seafood BBQ at a restaurant and basically I eat and the rest cook coz I wasn’t able to reach the cooking things. Done with that and walked over to the streets where we were given 2 hours to shop.

Otaru Canal

Suzuki San brought us to the Otaru Orgel Doh Musical Box Museum first and we quickly made our purchases though I would have liked to stay longer to examine the different types of musical boxes and products. Bought three merry-go-rounds, a pocket watch, an egg musical box and a pinky ring. Looking at the time, I didn’t have the time to visit the café recommended by Suzuki San where the customers get to bring home the coffee cup after they finish their coffee. Went to the chocolate shop to buy chocolates but dare not get a lot coz afraid it would melt when I bring back to Singapore so only bought the sandwich biscuits. Then to the other cream puff shop where we bought a cake and cookies.

Rickshw in Otaru

Then crossed over to the glass/crystal shop and bought a pinky ring and a pair of earrings. The range of the glass ware was a disappointment coz mostly sake bottles and cups. BIL brought the kids to eat the 5-flavored soft cream (lavender, melon, orange, strawberry and chocolate) while sis and I shopped on own. Bought two pendants for myself and a friend and sis bought a bracelet for her MIL in another glass shop before looking for BIL and the kids. Found them and BIL also bought crystals but those were imported from Sweden. Shared the soft cream with Ry and then returned to the coach.

Proceeded to Sapporo and went to Airo, a shopping center to shop for another 2.5 hours. This was something extra from the program. Sis and I bought a pair of boots each for 9800 yen each pair. Can't buy other clothes coz mostly winter wear. Around 6.30pm, we walked over to the Sapporo Beer Museum next door for buffet dinner which all enjoyed before heading to the Sapporo Grand Hotel for the night. The coach toured around the city before taking us back and we saw the Christmas lightings.

Settled down and I went out on my own to the place where the Christmas lightings were and took some pictures of the lightings in the Odori Park and also the TV Tower. Walked back to the hotel and popped into Lawson, a convenient store, opposite our hotel to get a bottle of hot chocolate and an anti-skid attachment. Got back, the kids were in my room and Ry finished up the whole bottle of the hot chocolate. Sis brought them over to the room and then called to ask me over to settle some accounts and also packed my purchases.

Sapporo's TV Tower

Christmas Lightings in Odori Park

Christmas Lightings in Odori Park

Sunday, December 23, 2007

23 Dec 07 (Japan's Emperor's Birthday) - Day 7 (Noboribetsu)

Today is Japan's Emperor's Birthday and so is a public holiday. Woke up at the usual time of 6.20am, washed up, packed up, breakfast at “Crescent” Hall, returned to the room for final packing, headed to the lobby, checked out, boarded the coach and took a 30-40min ride to Lake Toya. Took pictures, bought souvenirs and took a gondola to Mount Usu to view Lake Toya and Mount Showa Shinzan.

Lake Toya

Mount Showa Shinzan

Swans near Mount Showa Shinzan

Ate lunch at a restaurant nearby, bought candy from shop, boarded coach and headed to Noboribetsu Bear Ranch where we saw duck race and big brown bears. Fed the bears and they were really big and tall. Bought souvenir coin and had no time to get other souvenirs. Headed to Noboribetsu Mahoroba Hotel for the night. Settled down, had dinner at 6.15am and again was Japanese course meal where we had to sit on tatami. Walked around the hotel and returned to the room to rest. Wanted to go to the hot spring but no courage to go alone. Sigh… Hope there will be a next time.

Many big bears

See how big and tall the bear is

Saturday, December 22, 2007

22 Dec 07 - Day 6 (Rusutsu)

Went for breakfast around 7+am at Oktober Fest, done by 8am, returned to room, changed into ski attire and went to the ski locker to change into the boots as well as take our gears. The lady coach took the other family kids while the male coach took our family. All went up to “White Lover” and the coach took pictures for us. Kids, BIL and I went down on our own while the coach guide sis down. We went up and down the course a few times. It was fun once we get the hang of it and I was skiing much faster and turn better than the day before. But snow was thick today and so the slope was a bit lumpy. At one point in time, I think I was over confident and I fell down but that was only one time. BIL fell and I felt proud that I was able to help him up. Sis stopped after 1-hour coz was tired. Coach taught the kids new stunts and I went on my own with BIL coz we wanted to go slow.

Sis trying out on her own

All of us on the top of White Lover

Stopped at 11am but the kids wanted to follow the coach to ski and so they went with him while BIL went on his own. Initially he said to go one last round but he got addicted and in the end went a few more after I stopped. Went to change out of the ski boots before coming out again. Sis told me that BIL wasn’t back yet from his first round and she got a bit worried. Finally BIL came back and he said he went for a few rounds just that sis didn’t see him. Helped sis with her gear while she walked slowly back to the locker room. Took the monorail to another Tower for lunch and then to the dog-sled place but the dogs were unwell and so got to cancel the activity. Nevertheless, we walked to the place where the dogs were and took some pictures. Played with the snow around there and Lyn almost took my right eye out with a twig by accident but no one noticed that.

Ry and Lyn playing playing with snow

Returned to the room, the kids wanted to go to the wave pool so sis brought them while BIL did the laundry and I stayed in the room to pack my luggage, bathe and go to the ski locker room to collect the yellow bags used to put the ski attires. Walked around the shops along the way, put a 100-yen coin to turn for a 扭蛋 with a collar pin inside and then put in one of the yellow bags before going back to the room. Meng, the Singapore tour guide, called to say that we actually needed to return the attire by 5pm and it was already 5+pm so brought sis and mine down to return while she looked for BIL in the laundry room. Bumped into BIL at the lobby, handed the two bags to Meng and went up to help BIL with the rest.

On the way to dinner, I realized that I forgot to take out my 扭蛋 from the yellow bag and so I lost the collar pin as well as the 100-yen. Went to the Japanese BBQ restaurant that BIL wanted to try the day before and it was outside the Resort in the parking area. Fortunately I wore a fleece jacket and sis brought her down jacket but her down jacket ended up letting the kids wore, one wore the inner, the other wore the outer and so she left with none except for a thin tee and a cotton pullover. The restaurant stinks of BBQ smell and at the end of the dinner, all of us were like BBQ human. Returned to the Resort, took some pictures outside and at the merry-go-round. Kids then went to the game center and I headed back to the room.

Outside Rusutsu at night

Merry-go-round in Rusutsu

Friday, December 21, 2007

21 Dec 07 - Day 5 (Rusutsu)

Got changed and went to “Crescent” Hall for buffet breakfast. When we were about to finish our food, the coach and his family sat behind us and the first thing he asked was if sis would be joining today’s lesson and so sis said yes. Done with eating, went to the room to change into the skiing attire and then to the locker room to put on the boots and take out the gear.

Went out, the kids and BIL with the other family kids went to the mountain with the lady coach, leaving the youngest boy of the other family, sis and me with the male coach. The dad and mum of the other family didn’t join the lesson today. The male coach told me that after a few tries; I would follow his daughter up to the mountain to join the rest. Went up with them and they went to the “White Lover”. The top part was a bit steep and I didn’t know how to control the ski to move across the slope but in the end, I was able to barely make it. The kids went down first on the coach cue and when it came to my turn, I panic and fell. She helped me up and the next phase, I fell again. Then she decided to go behind me to guide me down. One part of the slope was gradual and so was able to do on my own and so followed her trail to practice

Ry and Lyn

Went up again and she automatically came to my aid and half way down the slope, her dad came and told her to take the kids and BIL leaving me for him to coach. Fortunately, I got the hang of the turning from his daughter and advice from BIL so was able to enjoy more during the ski down. Even when I went slightly faster, I was able to control without falling. Went in to change out of the boots after lesson and ate at Oktober Fest for lunch. After that decided to try snow mobile and BIL went back to the room to get scarves while the rest of us walked around. We took the granola to the other side of the Resort.

Yuko San, the female instructor, guiding me down the slope

The instructor took sis, I took Lyne while BIL took Ry. Snow mobile was really fun coz able to speed and feel the thrill of driving without worrying about the traffic. Half way through, we stopped to take pictures and then the instructor got the kids to ride with him one by one in the front seat and letting them tried driving the snow mobile. Ended the activity in 20min and headed back to the Resort. Had hot chocolate in the canteen before returning to the room. It was snowing heavily so psycho sis to go out with me coz the kids went back to the room on their own. So in the end, sis went out with me and got BIL to bring the things back. Played in the snow like kids, took pictures and then headed back to rest. Sis washed up and went over to look after the kids while BIL went to wash clothes using the coin laundry and I took my shower.

Me still in Ski Attire

Then sis called to say that I could go for a walk around the Resort and called her in the room in about an hour. Did as told and bought some items. Borrowed the phone from the travel desk and sis said BIL hadn’t returned. Looked for him and he said another half hour to go so returned to the room to inform sis and waited BIL to return. He came back around 8+pm and we went to the “Crescent” Hall for dinner. Done by 9.30pm and returned to the room.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

20 Dec 07 - Day 4 (Rusutsu)

Up early for breakfast and then have our first skiing lesson at 9.30am. Ate at Oktober Fest and then to the ski locker room to wear our boots. The boots were tight around the calf area and it was already the last buckle so had to endure the pain. The morning 2-hour lesson was hot and tired coz of the sun and skiing in Rusutsu was tougher than in Snow City in Singapore. The other family skied before and so picked up very fast. Kids learnt very fast too and so in the end only left sis and me. The instructor’s daughter named Yuko, a licensed instructor, took the rest up the West Mountain via the ski chair while the male instructor stayed back to coach sis and me. Towards the end of the lesson, he brought sis and me up the mountain as well and tried out the course called Family. It was really tough coz one part of the slope was quite steep and I couldn't stop and sped all the way down till I fell to a stop.


Finally the lesson was over and we met up with BIL and the kids for lunch at Burger Daniel Eating at Daniel’s Street in the Resort. Had wanted to eat but not appetite coz was tired, thirsty and afraid of the afternoon lesson. BIL told us of his “accident” during lunch and he said that he fell straight into the bushes/trees and the snow while going down the slope. According to him, it was impossible to move coz the branches were stuck to him and his skis stuck in the snow. He was deep in the snow that he had to wait for the lady coach to help him take off his skis and then pull him out of the snow. Sis didn’t go for the afternoon lesson coz she had backache and so I went with the rest.

The afternoon was mainly practicing on the slope and then took the ski chair up to the mountain. Tried another route called “White Lover” and it was slightly easier than the other one coz not so steep. The rest of the group went with the lady coach while BIL and I followed the male coach. Learnt turning and we had difficulty with that. Bumped into the rest towards the end of the lesson and Ryan kept getting us to go to the Family. I was so tired and hence most of the time, I kept falling down and the coach had to pull me up. Think towards the end, the time was running out and the coach guided me down back to the starting point. Went to change out of the boots and I couldn't find sis. So helped the kids to change out of their boots and out of their gears. Then sis came and we headed to the room to change and wash up.

After that, went to the indoor wave pool, the water was warm. There was a slide and the kids got me to go with them, as sis and BIL weren’t in yet. The slide was actually quite high and fun but think as age catches up, my guts got smaller. After one try, I refused to go again. Soaked in the water most of the time with sis, telling her about the afternoon lesson while BIL go to the slide with the kids. Sis spent her afternoon in the room to rest and I was telling her that I seriously considered not going for the next day’s lesson. As the towels and clothes were in the lockers, BIL and I had to run from the pool down to the next level where the lockers were to get towels and it was freaking cold. Dried myself, got change and BIL brought the towels to sis and the kids.

After that, headed back to the room to bathe and then to a Japanese restaurant called “Sekka Tei” for dinner. It was set course, the adults had the three different sets while the kids opted for the same kid’s meal. Food was plenty and we couldn't finish. Returned to the room, sis washed clothes and I settled myself to sleep about 10+pm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

19 Dec 07 - Day 3 (Rusutsu)

Got up the next morning, ate breakfast and set off to Rusutsu Ski Resort at 8.45pm. It was a 3.5-hour journey and the kids behind my seat were rowdy. Had a break after 1 hour at a supermarket and bought a box of melon flavored gummy chocolate.

Continued to Rusutsu and the tour guide, Suzuki San, tried to entertain us a little with storytelling, folding origami and offering snacks. Reached Rusutsu about 1+pm, checked in and went to a restaurant called “Oktober Fest” for lunch before heading to the room to settle down and going out to the outside of the hotel to play with snow and take pictures. All of us really had fun in the snow that we didn’t feel the coldness.

Returned inside around 3+pm to clean up before meeting the ski instructor at 4.30pm. Tried on the ski attire and the boots and then the night was spent exploring the interior of the resort and had dinner in an Italian restaurant called “Costa Terazza”.

Rusutsu Resort

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

18 Dec 07 - Day 2 (Hakodate)

Soon the phone in the room rang and it was the 7am morning call. About 8am, finally we set off to the restaurant for breakfast. Only had less than an hour to eat and we ate in a private room where we had to take off our boots. Ate cooked salmon, cooked eel, mini sausage, potatoes, fried veg sticks, egg roll etc and had a cup of yogurt and like SWT said, it tasted really great.

Set off at 9am to the Hakodate Morning Market where they sell seafood, especially squids. Had squid soft cream and shared with Lyn, the rest of them just had a taste of it. Couldn't find the squid cookies and walked around the market. BIL bought some products and tasted food like BBQ scallops and sea urchins. Then left for a walk around Motomachi at the foot of Mount Hakodate before heading to another hotel for Western course lunch. Ate quickly and went outside to walk around and took pictures. After that, we went to Onuma Park, a marsh swamp. Took some pictures and BIL suggested going for the speedboat. The view from the speedboat was great and after that, we returned to shore and played with snow. Then headed to the kelp factory where I bought some kelp snacks and a bar of kelp chocolate.

Lots of fresh seafood

Lots of crabs

BBQ Scallops

Trees in Motomachi

Walk around Motomachi at the foot of Mount Hakodate

Left for Bay Area and walked around the warehouses there. The place was similar to Fremantle Market with shops in warehouses near the sea. Bought a pinky ring and some candies in a couple of the shops. Then stayed to watch the lighting up of the giant Christmas tree imported from Canada and the fireworks before returning to our hotel for a Japanese course dinner where we had to sit on tatami. The meal was sumptuous and the kids drank a lot of fruit cocktails where they were mildly alcoholic. After eating, returned to the room, I went to try the open-air bath before going for shower. The feeling was indescribable. The first step out to the open-air was cold but after going into the hot bath, it was warm. Though the face was exposed, the heat from the hot bath warmed the face even in open-air. The only thing was that there was a roof and so couldn't feel the snow on my face even in the hot bath, something that SWT had experienced before and told me to try.

Lighting up of the giant Christmas tree imported from Canada

Fireworks at Bay Area

Sumptuous dinner

Monday, December 17, 2007

17 Dec 07 - Day 1 (Hakodate)

Gathered at the Terminal 2, checked in and boarded the plane around 12+am where the plane took off around 1.10am. Got off the plane at Kansai Airport in Osaka around 8+am, checked out and checked in the luggages. Then went to the public toilet to change into our long johns and pullovers before wandering around the airport and ate lunch at the food court. Boarded the domestic flight to Hakodate around 11.50am and arrived at the Hakodate Airport around 1+pm.

It was snowing and we put on our jackets and quickly went out to the coach. Went to The Trappistine Convent, which was built in 1898 first, took pictures and bought a key ring and a walnut mobile phone accessory as souvenirs before going to a shop nearby to eat the soft cream. Then we went to Goryokaku Tower where we could see the star shaped fort built in 1857. Took some pictures, collected some ink stamps and bought some souvenirs there and BIL bought some chocolate to eat.

Virgin Mary in The Trappistine Convent built in 1898 in Hakodate, our first stop upon arrival

Star Shaped Fort

The next stop was Mount Hakodate and we had to take a granola up to the top where we could get what they called the “million dollar night view” which also topped the best 3 night views in the world. It was only around 5+pm Japan time but felt like 8+pm coz the sky was dark. It was enjoyable coz the view was magnificent. Took some pictures, looked around despite of the cold and then retreated indoor. There were some ink stamps but there wasn’t any paper around to collect those stamps. Went on to get souvenirs, bought two items and only to find out that there was a machine that could make souvenir coins for 500 yen. I didn’t have loose change and Ry lent me the money. Then headed to the restaurant for an all-crab dinner. Didn’t manage to finish all the food coz was eating the kids’ share as well. Drank a bit of sake and then headed to Yunokawa Prince Hotel for the night. Almost slipped and fell while on the way out from the restaurant to the coach.

Taken from Goryokaku Tower in Hakodate on 17 Dec 2007, our second stop upon arrival. Overseeing the star-shaped fort build in 1857

Most of the things seen and experienced were much like what SWT had told me. The hotel room was like those that we seen in traditional Japanese drama series, small and tiny. Ours came with a private open-air bath but sis and I didn’t try.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

20 Jun 07 - Day 11 (Hay Street Mall & Murray Street Mall)

Left the apartment about 9+am on my own to explore Perth City. Took the Red Cat Service, a free bus service around the Perth City, and alighted near the shopping area. Spent the next few hours walking around the area, going into shops to look at the clothes and stuff. Got to see the London Court and it would really be an enjoyment to be able to sip coffee and eat breakfast there in the morning. The clothes in the shops were mostly those of the baby doll, baggy type and usually worn with another top inside. The coat, sweater, pullover sweatshirts and knitted wear were very nice but not practical to wear in Singapore so could only see but not buy.

Messaged sis about 11+am asking if they would be going to the shopping area and she replied to say they were just about to go out and arranged to meet me at the junction of Hay Street and Barrack Street, opposite MacDonald at 12 noon. So I started to make my way there slowly and closed to 12 noon, sis messaged again to say that they had arrived and that BIL wanted to go to the shop called Opal Exploration and that they would wait for me in front of the shop, Java Juice, below that opal shop. Found them and we went up to the opal shop and BIL bought a bracelet for his mum, a bracelet and a ring for my sis, a pendent for Lyn and me each. Those things cost him A$2200 of which A$200 is claimable from the airport. While waiting for him to make payment, I looked around the things at the counter and saw some key chains, opal chips and pendants in a small glass bowl. Out of curiosity, I asked the lady how much the pendant cost and she said about A$3 and she said she could give me one for free without much hesitation. Felt very happy about it and then we moved on to have lunch at a food court near the area. After eating, we took the Blue Cat Service to get to the Swan Bell Tower and I bought more souvenirs there.

Exterior of Swan Bell Tower

Birds in open field near Swan River

By the time we were done, it was 3+pm and we took a slow walk back to Saville. About 6pm, we ordered room service which they delivered the food after 45min. I had Apple Tart with Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream and Roasted Potatoes, BIL ate some chicken thingy, sis had pasta, and the kids ate pizza. Left for the airport around 10.30pm and we had some trouble checking in our luggage coz one of them was overweight by 2 kg and so BIL had to take out some stuff. Without recalling that liquid stuff cannot be brought up to the plane, he chose to take out his three bottles of olive oil. It was after they had checked in the luggage that I remembered it and asked sis about it. The counter lady said maybe the counter on the other side of the airport could help package them so that we could check them in but when we checked with that counter, we were told that they don’t have that service and that we either think of a way to check those in or discard them which means throwing away A$100+.

So in the end, BIL put the box of olive oil into Lyn’s knapsack and I gave him the extra number lock that I had brought along so that he could check in those three bottles of olive oil. By the time we reached the gate for the boarding, it was about 12 midnight, most of the shops were close and we had to board the plane at 12.30am. Quickly did the last minute shopping and bought two more sleeveless t-shirts. Boarded the plane and watched two movies in a row, Wild Hogs and A Night In The Museum while eating supper. After the second show ended, I took a short nap. After one hour, we had reached Singapore at 5.50am.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

19 Jun 07 - Day 10 (Caversham Wildlife Park)

By the time we left for Swan Valley, it was already 10am. Got to Caversham Wildlife Park about 11am, the kids played at the playground in Whiteman’s Park while sis and BIL went to the information office to find out about the entrance to Caversham Wildlife Park. Went to get tickets and spent the next few hours in the park. Saw many animals and birds from different parts of Austalia, wombats, wallaby, kangaroos, koala, etc. Spent the longest time in the kangaroo enclosure feeding them and stroking them. Some of them were bigger than those we saw at the Redgate Farmstay. About 1pm, we went for the “Meet a Wombat” session. We got to touch the wombat’s belly and the kids got to take photos with it. Went to the Koala enclosure and saw a couple of big ones sleeping, a 10-month old running about on the tree and one with a 5-month old in her arms. We left shortly coz sis and the kids were hungry.

A kangaroo with a joey in pouch in Caversham Wildlife Park in Swan Valley

Wallabies in Caversham Wildlife Park in Swan Valley

Ate late lunch at the café at the entrance of the Caversham Wildlife Park about 2+pm before going into the souvenir shop to look around. Left around 3+pm and BIL wanted to go to the MR Chocolate Company again to get a two more packets of chocolates for the groomer and also the kids’ tuition teacher, Mrs Han. So drove there and Ry and I followed him into the shop to eat the dark chocolates from the bowl. Headed back to Perth City at 4pm and drove to Hertz to return the car by 5pm. Then walked around the Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall before eating in a Korean restaurant. Holiday ending soon and I would be going back home tomorrow.

Front view of Margaret River Chocolate Factory in Swan Valley

Monday, June 18, 2007

18 Jun 07 - Day 9 (Bunbury & Mandurah)

Left for Bunbury about 9+am and got there about 11+am. Visited the Dolphin Discovery Center, a non-profit center set up to educate people all about dolphins, especially the bottlenose around Koombana Bay. Watched an 18min video on dolphin before getting some souvenirs from the shop. Then walked around the interactive zone at the beach and we were quite lucky to sight a couple of dolphins. Spent a while on the beach before moving off. Intended to head straight to Mandurah for the Canal Cruise but we made a wrong turn and got to an area with some food places. As the kids were hungry so decided to eat lunch there before moving off. Most of the restaurants were closed so ate at a Turkish restaurant that was opened. Left for Mandurah about 2pm and thought we could make it for the 3pm cruise, which was the last cruise for the day but we only got there about 3.15pm. Walked around the Mandurah Visitor Center area and BIL bought dinner from a Cicerello's branch there to eat in our apartment. The boss was a Chinese and he even gave us a plate of fried squid with chips to eat and said it was on the house while waiting for our food.

Area near the Mandurah Visitor Center

Cicerello's in Mandurah

"Fine" Dining in Saville - Cicerello's Meal

Sunday, June 17, 2007

17 Jun 07 - Day 8 (AQWA & Swan Valley)

By the time we set off for Aquarium of Western Australia also known as AQWA, it was closed to 10am. BIL wanted to do coastal drive and we stopped at the “Street Dog Beach” to walk around the beach and looked at the sea views. As the name implies, there were lots of people bringing their dogs there for walk and play. There were big dogs and small dogs running on the beach and some swam in the water and some played with each other. Set off again and reached AQWA shortly. Bought tickets and walked around the place. It was similar to our Underwater World in Sentosa but this has more marine fishes that were in Australia region. Saw a big, big stingray of about 3+m from tip to tip and sharks and there were divers feeding the fishes. Ate lunch at the café in AQWA about 12+pm and bought some souvenirs before watching the seal training outdoor, followed by a walk around the stingray section.

Dogs playing in the water

Dogs running around at Street Dog Beach

Left AQWA about 2.15pm to go to the Margaret River Chocolate Company in Swan Valley. Reached there about 3pm and there were many people there. The children were the happiest there coz they got to eat lots of chocolates there. Once you enter the place, there were three big bowls with three types of chocolate, dark, milk, white, for tasting. Took a handful of dark chocolates to eat while walking around the place to see the various products. There were so many chocolate products, chocolate bars, truffles, rocky road, jams, sauces, massage oil, bath salt, soap, mugs, wine glasses, t-shirts, etc. Ate rum and raisin ice cream cone at the café there before shopping for chocolates. Then we moved on to Mondo Nougat which was on the next street. Finally made our way back to Perth City about 4+pm and reached there around 6+pm. Bought KFC back to the apartment to eat as dinner.


"Fine" Dining in Saville - KFC Meal