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Published: February 19th 2020
Tuesday 18th February, 2020
We arrived at the airport in good time and were thankfully directed to an assisted check in desk, so we didn't have to wrestle with the automatic check in (think my sticks were the clue for the staff around!). Our bags were within weight (phew!) and our wheelchairs duly arrived to take us through to the departure gate. All very low key on an internal flight it seems, they didn't even want the liquids out of the hand luggage. We had a bit a of a wait as we were really early but happy to be there and hang around.
It was raining as we left Melbourne and the clouds were a bit bumpy but we arrived an hour and a half later to blue skies in Sydney.
The assistance was very helpful again and took us as far as the taxis, jumping quite a long queue, for the ride into the city.
The hotel is right in the middle of the city and we were dropped off on the opposite side of the road as there is a cycle lane right in front of it. It was interesting manoeuvring our luggage across
this very busy road but Roger went to get help from the hotel staff. We checked in and collected some brochures to look at to decide what to do first.
We are lucky to have 2 nights here as the tour company made a mistake with the booking, initially it was only supposed to be 1 night after our extra week in Melbourne. So we have the afternoon and a whole day tomorrow as well as Thursday morning. A tour of Sydney harbour seems to be a must as several people had mentioned it. Roger went down to reception to see if they could help and came back to say we were being picked up very shortly for an early dinner cruise.
The taxi dropped us off very close to the King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour and I was relieved to see a taxi rank next to the entrance so wouldn't have too far to go to get a cab back. It was quite a big boat and lots of people boarding. We had a table next to the window altho weather was a bit gloomy now, no blue sky in sight.
Lots of different wines included in the
meal and we soon had a glass of fizz. The 3 course menu looked promising ( apart from tiramisu for dessert, but Roger was happy at the thought of 2!) We both chose the barramundi for the main course (sorry, forgot to take photos again).
The boat set off, making it's way out into the bay and heading for the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Despite a bit of a dirty window and grey skies some of the attached photos are ok. The cruise lasted an hour and a half and when we got back we found a bar on the wharf for a drink afterwards , as the sun set.
Day 8 - Wednesday 19th February, 2020
Today Roger’s main aim was to go up to the top of Sydney Tower Eye,( of course, v to those who know him....tallest, furthest, etc.etc.!) the tallest building in Sydney. It is 305 metres tall, built in 1981, with a 9 storey turret, that sits on top of a steel column, braced with laced cables. It has 360degree views that can stretch 70 km on a clear day. There is an observation deck with all the windows and
above is an open air section. You need special protective clothing and harnesses and be strapped to a ring going all the way round to venture outside. Roger didn’t, although would have liked to have done, as there were so many in the queues and only a limited no. could go out at a time. It was a clear day and the panorama was pretty spectacular, as you can see from some of the photos. There were a couple of cruise ships in the harbour but we couldn’t decide if ours was one or not. The Arcadia was due to spent a night in Sydney so should have been around i think. We spent a while up the top and then had some lunch in the centre below, on the way down.
The centre of the city is full of skyscrapers it was difficult to see the wood for the trees and so we decided to get the Hop on, Hop off bus out to Bondi Beach. It was an interesting ride through the suburbs and the property around Bondi area was very exclusive, million dollar and more! We got off the bus near the beach and Roger took a
walk along the prom while I found a bar and had a drink, before we caught the bus back to the city. The route took us via Rose Bay, where the float planes were based. Roger was very interested in these excursions but they were very expensive. The beach photos are of theses 2 areas. The sandy coloured building dates back to the 1850s , built as the gatehouse for Woollahra House, the big estate here. Later in the 1930s it was remodelled for police use and is kept as a monument today.
This route gave superb views back across the bay, and was one of the first areas settled In the colony. There are 586 different types of fish found in Sydney Harbour, more than all the fish found around the British Isles. It is the largest natural harbour in the world (the 2nd largest being on the south coast of Ireland at Cork I believe from our travels).
As the bus didn’t go anywhere near our hotel we got off at a point where we could find a taxi so Roger could go back and have a siesta. This evening we went back to King Street Wharf
for supper and a very lovely sunset across the bay. We couldn’t actually see it set due to the tall buildings around but the skyline was very clear as dusk fell. As it got dark the buildings began to light up and gave another perspective of the city.. ( Last photo).
Off to the ship tomorrow, no WiFi for a while. May be able to do something in Brisbane as my new mobile contract begins and I can ‘Go Roam’ in Australia!
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