Saturday, May 24, 2008

Welcome to Perth!

Perth is an insanely clean city. The cleanliness starts at the airport and never seemed to end. That was the impression I had of the city in the midst of Karen and I trying to get back on schedule. As you know from the previous post, Australian Travel, we missed our flight. Everything worked out except for the minor detail that we were supposed to meet the rest of the team at the Perth airport to head to the Stadium to get our credentials. Oh yeah and there was the tiny detail of the room being in Karen's name so they couldn't check in without her.

The two of us caught a cab and rushed to Challenge Stadium with no idea how to find anyone else. Karen had international texting added to her phone, but it wasn't working. Thanks, Sprint! There was no way for us to contact anyone else. As with everything else thus far, God worked it all out.

As we pull into the Stadium, I happened to glance around and who should be standing at the shuttle stop? You got it. The rest of the team. Everybody was there waiting to get the shuttle to the hotel. Karen yelled out the window to catch their attention.

We still had to get our credentials. Jenni ran over to show us where to go in hopes that we'd be finished in the next few minutes to catch the shuttle with everyone else. No such luck. The Aussies are really nice. They're also really chatty. Needless to say, we missed that shuttle.

Lea and Dawn caught it, but left Sylvia behind with Jenni's bags to wait for us. The next shuttle wasn't due for an hour so Jenni and I made the most of it.

This is the sign at the entry. You can see the stadium in the distance.

The other side of the sign with less shadow.

This sculpture is part of the fountain at the entrance.

Jenni seated at the fountain in front of the stadium.

This is the view looking away from the stadium.

So from just these few pictures you can see what I mean about the city. Incredibly clean.

After our mini photo shoot, we headed back to Karen and Sylvia who were trying to figure out how to get to the hotel without waiting for the next shuttle. Jenni, who is simply brilliant, thought to get a map of Perth from the airport so we put our heads together to piece together a travel plan.

We hopped on the next bus with all of our luggage (which caused the bus to leave some folks behind...) and headed off to the train station where we were told we'd be able to take the train to downtown Perth. After only one bus and a train, we'd finally made it into Perth.

Karen made the executive decision to send Jenni and I to the info desk at the train station to figure out where we needed to go from there. After being assured that the next bus we needed would stop, "right over there," Jenni and I headed back upstairs to relay this delightful news to Karen and Sylvia.

Unfortunately, "right over there" never seemed to materialize as we traipsed through the train station, across a glassed in walkway, around a mall (yes, a mall) and back down to the street with all of our luggage. We'd covered two levels of the same block nearly in its entirety.

Down at the street again, we looked up to see the bus stop...on the level we'd just left. With no clear direction regarding how to get back up there, we set off down the block then up a steep hill to the sign. Thankfully, the bus arrived within three minutes and we were able to take a load off for a moment.

Now that we'd found the bus, getting to our hotel was embarrassingly easy. In fact, it stopped right in front of our home for the week. Go figure.

So a mere two and half hours after leaving Challenge Stadium we finally made it to our destination. Thankfully, we were far from disappointed with the Mounts Bay Waters Apartments Hotel.

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