Well, we're home.
Did I like Sydney?
I LOVED it.
Obviously it helped that we were with great friends and the weather was glorious, but I thought Sydney was just beautiful.
We arrived early enough in the day that we could head off to explore pretty much immediately.
We could see the bridge from our hotel, and if we walked for a nanosecond we could see the Opera house. It was everything I hoped it would be. And I managed to get a photo of the white building with blue sky behind it. This had been in my head that if I could just take one photo of that I would be a happy bunny!
( now, obviously I took about a gazillion photos of the Opera House, but these are my favourites)
The first thing we did was get on the Manly Ferry and head to the north. You get a stunning view of the bridge and the opera house from the ferry and we weren't disappointed.
We arrived at Manly and wandered through the town part until we came to the beach then we walked round the headland a bit to Shelly Beach, where some of us went for a swim. The water was a little bracing without a wetsuit, but it was lovely.
I loved that dotted along the shore are swimming pools - salt water ones - and almost part of the sea, but just made to be safe.
We saw this cormorant on the walk round, he was so tame, just sitting there, drying out, about 1m off the path.
There are lovely sculptures along the way.
We stopped off at one of the cafes along the beach and had some yummy squid, but not too much as we were heading somewhere rather amazingly special for dinner...
And that was Quay, right on the water. ( Any Australia Masterchef fans will know all about this restaurant as it and Peter Gilmore featured a lot) Suffice to say it didn't disappoint and the whole night will go down as one of the best culinary experiences I've ever had.
Terrible photo, but Look! Opera House in the background.
First day over, and so to bed.
Next day we decided to hire a car so we could cover as much ground as possible. First stop was the Fish market. Very exciting. I've never seen such a collection of freshly caught fish.
Next stop... Bondi!
I've heard about Bondi Beach since...forever. And I have to say I wasn't disappointed. It is immaculately kept, not a speck of litter to be seen anywhere. Supposedly it's normally packed, but when we were there it was glorious and almost empty. There were a few surfers out and a few families sitting about but really it was so quiet.
Look at the colour of that sky!
So I was gradually checking off my list of Sydney ( touristy) must do's, and having a ball.
Next Stop - Clovelly. There is a swimming 'pool' here that we had to try out. It's carved out of the sea, but sort of flattened out and has proper sides to it. Chris and I went in and I have to admit to it being so cold it took my breath away, but after a bit of swimming around it was ok. What was lovely was that the water is chrystal clear ( very unlike Paihia where I usually swim) and while you're swimming you can see lots of tropically fish. It takes your mind off being tired and is simply beautiful.
This is where we were staying, right on the water. Glorious sunsets.
We had to do the tourist thing and take the monorail!
All too soon it was over and we had to fly home.
It was the best holiday, I assume Lloyd's dental course was good as well !