Getting to Know Perth- A Walking Tour

There are many different ways to learn about a city.  Sometimes you need a local guide to talk about why certain things are the way they are and to point out places or things that you might otherwise overlook.  Ryan and I decided to try out a local tour that seemed interesting and it turned out to be well worth our time and money.  If you come and visit us, we’ll probably send you on this tour too. (Check it out: Oh Hey WA!)  It was a great way to see the heart of the city, hear about local history, art, food and the future of what’s happening as well.

From the oldest building in Perth to the current revitalization of buildings in the city.  We were introduced to all the basics and then some.  This tour answered some of the questions I had about spaces I was seeing in the city as well as asked me to look up, down and around some corners that I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

The street art in Perth is pretty amazing, especially if you know where to look.  And when the tour guide mentioned two different pizza places in the city, she had Ryan’s attention.  One spot even has half priced pizzas on Wednesdays.  I know where we’re eating soon!

We also were introduced to some of the buildings and art installations that light up in the city.  This has inspired us to take more evening walks.  I’m hoping that those walks will lead us to a couple of the cool bars that our guide also mentioned.  Evidently there use to be no nightlife in the city but recently bars and restaurants have been opening up and making their mark.  After 5 o’clock there is a reason to be downtown now.

One thing I have noticed before was the mix of old and new in the city.  This tour just emphasized that this juxtaposition is the result of a lot of intentional work and planning.  And of course, I loved being introduced to some of the Noongar (aboriginal art) that can also be found around the city.  This was a wonderful way to spend our morning and now we have even more ideas of how to explore and enjoy this great city.

Finding Father Damien

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.47.27 AMRyan and I spent Saturday exploring the town of Leuven, Belgium.  We had a few ideas of what we were going to do, including beginning the Belgian waffle tour (I’ll have some pictures in a couple days highlighted on my Instagram @joycandee this week during #foodweek).  And we also wanted to see the Leuven Botanical Garden along with some beautiful architecture.  At some point, while heading towards the Botanical Garden we walked by an unremarkable church.  Ryan asked if I wanted to check it out and I wasn’t super interested but we figured it wouldn’t hurt to just walk inside.  I’m so glad we took those few extra steps.  Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.44.03 AMNot only did we find beautiful stained glass windows (taken from Ryan’s Instagram @lpturntable) but we found the crypt and story of Father Damien, a catholic priest who spent his life ministering to lepers on Molokai in Hawaii, eventually contracting the disease himself and dying there on the island.Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.45.40 AMThis church was more modern and clean but lit beautifully through the stained glass windows.  However, our eyes were specifically drawn to Father Damien’s story which is pictured and written along the walls.  Ryan and I were familiar with his life, had even heard his ministry referred to during our lessons the week before.  However, we had no idea that he was Belgian, was born nearby and had lived in Leuven before moving to Hawaii.Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.45.14 AMI’m so thankful for being able to take time, explore and discover new things.  Ryan and I had a great day in Leuven but the highlight for me was this unassuming, ordinary on the outside church.  I appreciate being reminded of Father Damien’s story and being able to see it from a different perspective, seeing his grave but being thankful for his life and ministry.