Australia is so far away, that by the time we got there we had lost track of which day and what time it was! A couple of days in Sydney was insufficient to do it justice. The first afternoon was lost with a little nap to recover from jet lag, which lasted rather a long time. Our hotel was near Dowling harbour, so we managed a stroll round in the evening, admiring the sights and absorbing the atmosphere.
The next day, after breakfast in the hotel, we went on a coach trip round Sydney to see sights. This was very relaxing and enjoyable as there was interesting commentary and stops for photos -the Opera House was as impressive in real life as in its numerous pictures. The main stop was Bondai beach where we had time to have an ice cream overlooking the sea; sparkling in the sunshine, with splendid crashing waves. Then back to the hotel fora rest, but unfortunately fell asleep and we were too late to do the harbour trip as planned. We went to a maritime museum instead, which was very interesting. We needed to find somewhere to eat in the evening, so went back down to the harbour again, but everywhere was very busy and expensive. We managed to get a bar meal at a reasonable price, and watched diners in the adjacent main restaurant eating strange concoctions – arms, legs and tentacles piled high. We had plastic plates, knives and forks and tomato sauce sachets, but at least recognised fish and chips which tasted good!
The next day we transferred to our cruise ship after breakfast. We got there too early, so sat on quay watching the busy harbour in the bright sunshine. White ibis strutted around and the mauve flowers of jacaranda trees contrasted with the blue glassed buildings. I think this was intentional to give us chill out time before going aboard, which took two hours, through various security features, check in procedures and immigration.
We finally set sail, gliding past the opera house and under the Sydney harbour bridge, resplendent in the late afternoon sun.
A very brief taste of Australia and Sydney, which made me feel sad- it was so far away, I would have loved to return and spend more time there.