We are having a great few days in Sydney, staying at the Victoria Court again and having time to explore a bit further this time. We are also having fantastic weather which I understand from the "Sydney Morning Herald" is also the case in England - 20C in London, wow, that's wonderful, it's only been 25C here in Sydney!
Photos to follow as always but here's a quick rundown of our adventures here. We started off by making the most of our travel tickets (anywhere, anytime, trains, buses and ferries) and did ourselves a "harbour cruise" ending up at the wonderful and famous Sydney Aquarium where we found Nemo, and also saw some amazing swimming things. The dugongs (manatees) and the crocodile are big attractions there at the moment but we loved the fantastically coloured coral reef species of fishes, the rays and the amazing sea horse that looks like a spray of leaves (really). The little blue penguins were gorgeous (sorry Saz but I've taken a little video for you). All in all a good place to visit and worth the money although we were initially shocked at the cost! Tourists eh?
We've explored quite a lot of Sydney city including a lovely Chinese Garden where we had a nice cup of tea, the Observatory that made us feel we were in Greenwich (I'm sure it must have been designed to be similar), the Rocks area of the city which is like a village in itself with a lot of history, culture and cafes. Today we took the iconic Manly Ferry over to Manly (no, really?) and enjoyed some time sat watching all the busy people on the beach. The surf wasn't good but everyone was still finding things to do - including beach volleyball, power walking, running, various things on the water....nobody seemed to just be sitting or wandering although some were doing some serious sunbathing and everybody seemed to be out, including school children. I'm not sure anybody goes to work or school here actually, or maybe they do it when it's dark! It's no wonder people come here on holiday and decide to live here, it would be a great lifestyle especially for people who like the water.
Speaking of dark there was a great sunset last night with the sky ending up vivid orange at the bottom and purple above, stunning.
No photographic evidence of that as we were on the train. We had our big trip (2 hours each way on the train) out to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains yesterday. It had been recommended to us and, like so many things, it really deserved more than a day visit, it would be a stopover destination in itself. The mountains (not really very tall but extensive) appear blue because of the haze from the oils of the eucalyptus (gum) trees. We enjoyed mooching around the village of Leura (great autumn colour from lots of maples and acers), took a sightseeing bus trip so that we could view the highlights including the famous Three Sisters rock formation, and enjoyed a Devonshire Tea would you believe? A lovely day out and the trains were interesting too - they are double deckers, photo to follow for those of your who like things like that (Cyril, Wills...)
Our plans for the rest of our stay include Bondi Beach (has to be done eh?) and some seafood and hopefully a look at some Aboriginal artwork plus some more time on a ferry! Then it's on to Tokyo which I'm even more excited about. Love and hugs, will try for computer access again as soon as I can.