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Published: April 14th 2014
Quick update from Sydney after a couple of systems glitches (so no photos at the moment) and of course our great escape from Cyclone Ita. You probably saw it on the news, it was pretty bad over the Solomon Islands before hitting the coast north of Port Douglas although thankfully it quickly lost energy as it passed over land. The airport closed at midnight on the Friday so we probably could have got out on schedule but it was too close to call…..and also the weather was pretty foul so far better to head back to Sydney.
On Friday morning we had the usual sporty start to the day with a mini tennis tournament taking place between the Colemans and the Colfers (Colemans still ahead as I write mainly due to various injuries limiting the Colfer team) and the ladies off on their running circuit in downtown Wahroonga.
The Coleman's then headed off on the train to the middle of Sydney where we had a fantastic afternoon exploring the heart of the city down by the water front. After a spot of lunch we wandered up to the Opera House which
really is a beautiful building from which ever angle you approach it. Designed by a Swede, it was conceived in 1959, but took until 1976 to complete. As we wandered around the front of the building we saw a massive cruise ship come under the harbour bridge on its way out of the harbour……you know they must fit through but it always looks as if they might knock the top of the funnel off as they pass underneath. We could also see the various groups of people climbing the up the bridge to the top, which as you can imagine 3 of us said wow and one nearly fainted at the thought…more on this later
We then wandered back along the waterfront via the inevitable ice cream stop towards an area called The Rocks which sits underneath the south side of the Harbour Bridge. This the oldest area of Sydney and was were the convicts were housed when the migration first started and then became a haven for sailors before the whole area was wiped out by the Plague…..guess what it is now a beautifully restored area with lots of bars and restaurants amongst the
historic buildings and a great place to wander around and pick up s bit of history.
To complete our journey for the day we decided to climb up onto the Harbour Bridge road and then make the crossing by foot to the train station at the other side. We were afforded fantastic views of the Sydney skyline at dusk as we wandered across the pedestrian pathway along with commuters, runners and other tourists. I also suffered a crushed hand as Michele yet again demonstrated her fear of heights…may be we will give that walk over the top of the structure a miss this time.
We then headed back to Wahroonga for the evening. By this time Tom was back from his Army training expedition with tales of setting up camp over a funnel web spiders nest, boys suffering from hypothermia and one boy being bitten by a brown snake (trust me you don't mess with those)…..makes Alex's trip to the Lake District sound like a walk in the park.
Saturday morning we again planned to see more of the sights in Sydney. After breakfast the big boys (Chris / Derek and
David) headed off into town to Darling Harbour to visit the National Maritime Museum which was full of history about Australia's seagoing history including a fascinating section around the 100,000 Barnado kids and other orphans who were forcefully migrated to Oz and Canada in the 20th century from Britain on the promise of a better life but in reality were used as farm labour.
After that we met up with Rochelle, Michele and the kids and took the ferry out to the seaside resort of Manly which sits on the northern side of the harbour. Manly has a magnificent surf side beach and we had a wonderful lunch in a restaurant overlooking the surfers tackling some pretty impressive rollers. After lunch we wandered down onto the beach and played beach volleyball for an hour or so before the rain set in….we then wandered back through the town and everyone headed back home via the ferry whislt David set off to walk around the headland before meeting back at Chez Colfers for pizza and movie night.
The beach life in Sydney is fantastic and we can't wait to visit one of the other locations before
we head out of town.
Sunday we all agreed should be a chill day and so after a spot of tennis we ventured out to the local Westfield!! at nearby Hornsby where the kids and mums went off shopping and then we all met up to have another sporting challenge on the ten pin bowling alley. In the evening we cooked in and then settled in to watch the Liverpool vs Man City game which was live but obviously started at 10.30 at night. During the day Chris had a tough time with a tooth infection causing him major problems and him ending up requiring emergency medical treatment…..however as we speak he is back home and hopefully on the mend.
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