Saturday, June 15, 2013

Road Trip to Albany

This past week D and I drove down to Albany on a Honey Mission. I'm a firm believer in the power of honey to cure many ills, and Western Australian honey is definitely among the best in the whole world. Plus, it's just the best to buy things from adorable backyard shops, particularly if they have chickens next door and a "self-serve" station for when they're closed! 

The other goal of this trip was to really get in some good practice driving the car. D has been teaching me how to drive manual! YOU GUYS I fully drove manual from stop to first to second to third to fourth to fifth gear going 100 km/hr (62 mph, which is a little under the top speed limit) ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD. Considering how much I dislike driving in general, this was a pretty big deal for me.

I drove on the highway for an entire hour!
Next on the To Do list was WHALE WORLD. Whale World is part happy fun kiddie stuff like this awesome playground:

Talk about a whale tail....

Back behind this whale was a sandbox in the shape of a squid!

But the real Whale World is gruesome, graphic whale butchering. Humpback, Southern Right, and Sperm whales all migrate past the coast of Albany, and so eventually a whaling station was built and ships chugged out to the edge of the continental shelf and dragged back hundreds, maybe thousands, of bodies each year. The station has been transformed into a museum, complete with theaters inside the silos that once stored whale blubber (and still faintly smell rancid):

That whole thing got filled up with whale blubber. And there's two more of them.

There's also a beached whaling ship, one of the actual boats they used at the whaling station:
I found it hilarious that the harpoon is aimed at the whale tail swingset.

Our favorite bit though was the bone building.

That archway? Those are the jawbones of a Blue whale.

This is only a pygmy Blue whale and it was thiiiiiiiiiiis big!!
 We had just enough daylight left to visit the Natural Bridge and look at the geology.

Yay rocks!

I definitely don't want to fall right now.
Turns out it's surprisingly difficult to explain how granite forms to someone who's never learned anything about geology before.

The last thing we did on our trip was visit the old Fort, a remnant of when Australia was afraid that Russia was going to invade their shores (no joke). This was BY FAR the BEST fort I've ever visited though, because not only did they have big giant guns, but the GUNS STILL MOVE AROUND. You can turn the wheels and aim it!!! Plus, there were no supervising adults around, so we played on this thing for like an hour.
D was channeling Dr. Strangelove.

However, *I* was thinking of Tank Girl when she finds her tank.
One might think that we were being a bit dangerous playing on these big guns over concrete pits. However, it turns out that the walking trail is what we should've feared:

Alas, the big kid named D managed to stub his toe on a rusty piece of metal stuck in the ground and tear off half his toenail. Ewwwwww.

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