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Published: March 3rd 2014
March Sydney, Australia
Another time change last night (I think that’s 17 so far) sees us reaching one of our favourite cities. This is the first time we have arrived by sea, so we were both up at 6 am (me on deck for the first hour) to see the whole transit into the harbour. Unfortunately the weather did not want to play ball and it was quite squally and cool as we passed ‘The Heads’ and made our way towards Sydney.
March is Australia’s first day of Autumn and I suppose the weather reflected that, to us it was a nice warm morning with some warm rain. We had arrived on Mardi Gras weekend and we had been warned that the ship was to be decorated with banners etc, what we got was a huge banner running the length of the ship with ‘Happy Mardi Gras’ on it and above the games deck a transvestite (dressed as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) sat in a stiletto shoe singing away. The whole thing being filmed from helicopters that were buzzing around the ship.
Then it was a
great approach to the berthing point at the Ocean Passenger Terminal on Circular Quay. As we are on the port side o the ship our view was the iconic opera house with the whole of the very busy boat ferry terminal that makes up the Quay.
Sydney was first discovered in 1770 by guess who, Captain Cook and we probably all know that it was settled later by the First Convict Fleet (1788) at Sydney Cove as a penal colony. However, we must not forget that Australia’s Aboriginal people had inhabited the lands for generations before and like New Zealand’s Maoris their cultures should be embraced.
Sydney is consistently voted as the world’s favourite tourist destination and the people that live here (Sydneysiders) believe in one of loveliest cites on earth. It has a natural deepwater harbour it is has become a cosmopolitan metropolis and gateway to Australia.
As we have spent a couple of weeks in Sydney over the past few years we had not organised any trips but we were going to chill round the harbour and do some shopping (when the rain eased).
have met on board were going on trips, as we are here for two days you are spoilt for choice. Sydney has 115 museums, 75 theatres, 49 galleries, loads of shopping areas, over 2000 parks and gardens. Above all its has the famous ‘Coat Hanger’ (Sydney Harbour Bridge) where you can watch people climb (or do it yourself) and the Sydney Opera House, probably one of the most iconic buildings in the world and all we had to was walk onto our balcony and it was there!! How crazy is that!
Our first port of call when we got off was to Jacksons on George (St) for free wifi, we use to come here for breakfast but it’s a good Irish pub/restaurant as well, most guests would have gone to Starbucks etc for their wifi. Anyway the next hour or so was spent checking the shops in the Rocks, at weekends they have the markets, not just for tourists, it’s where the locals shop.
We were meeting Emily (a friend’s daughter for lunch) so we didn’t venture too far from the Quay and the met her near the Opera House for a catch up.
She lives North of Sydney so came in to meet us. The rain really didn’t stop most of the day.
Sunday was another wet day with some dry spells. This was a bit of the boring stuff; off o the local supermarket would you believe for things like deodorant etc before heading for shopping in the Rocks. At this stage the rain was incessant, the only good thing it was warm, in fact very humid.
By the way this is what is called a changeover day of guests, 1100 off, 1100 on, with apparently over 200 non English speaking Japanese amongst them. Life on board may never be the same!!
Sailaway was not till 9pm, so we had plenty of time to work up an appetite. It was lovely to see Sydney again and sailing at night away from the Quay with its backdrop of the bridge and opera house was pretty special.
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