Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From bars to stars

Day 3 (Sat, 2 June 2012)

Early in the morning, we made a trip to Parap Markets to check out the weekend market scene. It's not very big but has your typical fresh fruit and vegetables, and arts and craft. Food stalls also dot the market and it would appear that it's a Saturday routine for many, having breakfast at the market.

We bought our Chinese rice boxes from one of the many Asian food stalls and sat down at one of the picnic tables for our brekkie.

Who says you can't have ice kachang for breakfast?

There were many stalls selling handicraft and local artworks. Rather pricey though.

After breakfast, we paid a visit to the nearby Fanny Bay Gaol. For about 100 years, it was the main jail in Darwin. It's now a museum and entry is free, which I thought was mighty generous.

When you first enter the premises, you see a large courtyard flanked by the main buildings.

This one of the two original main blocks with 16 stone cells. (In the absence of actual prisoners, Andre is my de facto demonstrator.)

Each cell has a narrow doorway, with a bed in one corner and a latrine and sink in the other.

A separate confinement wing with padded cells for the mentally disturbed was added to the facility later on...

... as well as an infirmary.

The most gruesome part of the jail though, has to be where the gallows are. Here's where hard core criminals were executed. In 1952, the final hangings were of two Romanian immigrants who were found guilty of murdering a local taxi driver.

Lesley-Anne attempted to infuse some art into this sombre place.
Time for something cheerier so we grabbed a quick lunch in the city centre and took a stroll by Cullen Bay, a place similar to Singapore's Keppel Bay where private boats are docked.

Yet another gorgeous beach.

That evening, we were in for a special treat. One of Darwin's most unique attractions is the Deckchair Cinema. Located on the Darwin Waterfront, this open air cinema is open every night during the dry season and screens a wide range of movies.

Saturday's programme is a double bill but we could only stay for the earlier 7.30pm show which was Hugo. The second movie was A Few Best Men, rated M15+.

The box office only opens at 6.30pm but there was already a snaking queue by 6.15pm.

Once inside, you can choose between the many deckchairs or sit at one of the tables behind if you're there to grab some dinner.

The movie is timed to begin at 7.30pm so that you can enjoy a leisurely meal or catch the typically beautiful Darwin sunset over the harbour before the screening. Snacks are sold at a fixed stall and you can get more substantial food from an external vendor that has a kiosk set up nightly.

Pick out a couple of cushions to make your seat more comfortable!

We picked the deckchairs at the front row.

Some families simply laid out blankets right up front and sprawled out on the grass. Watching a movie amidst the starlit sky - what could be more magical?

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