(Freo visit, June 2007)
The Freo Markets are Freo. No visit to Freo is complete without a wander through them. They were built in 1897 as a market and have been a market ever since. The building's a nice old bit of Federation Romanesque (circa 1890-c.1915) and is on the National Trust and Heritage list.
Up the front, near the South Terrace entrances, they're a lot more touristy than I remember them. Bright things with koalas and kangaroos on them snag the tourist's eye and wallet, hot pancakes and chicken sticks and dropped icecream perfume the air.
But up the back under the tarp it's still the same, slapdash stalls with cheap belts and ugg boots, corner stalls overflowing with farm-fresh fruit and veg, signs spelt in migrant English and Italian grandmothers weighing your zucchini and translating the price out loud. Excellent stuff.
Repro architecture on South Terrace Fremantle, across from the Markets and echoing the Markets' 19th century red and white.
Nicely done but definitely fake. There was a car-yard or something on this site when I was a wee thing.
Busker at Freo Markets. I love a good bit of piping and this guy was not bad at all. Took his undies off and flashed us as he piped. Nice arse but it was blowing a cruel wind so there was little else to be seen.
Sword-swallower/fire-eater busking outside the Markets on the Sail & Anchor corner. He's not 20 feet tall, he's just standing on a pole.
Here here's waving the sword about and exhorting the crowd to chuck money towards his funeral fund if he stuffs it up.
And down it goes. Nothing went wrong but he got money anyways.
The tattoo on his chest is of ribs and sternum. On his back he had a spine and shoulder blades. Looked pretty cool.
"1897" the date plaque on the Markets says and there's some Latin under the swans. Didn't translate it but such wording is usually along the lines of "as good as any in the eastern states or Pommyland".