Trip Start Jan 04, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sidney the largest city will appear off our bow today. Yesterday was Valentine's day and we had a big Formal Ball to attend, but in the afternoon we attended one of the many lectures and it was about the whaling industry in New Zealand. The lecturer was very formal and read from his notes while showing his slides, the only reason I mention it is he told a story . It was about a family named Donaldson who lived on the South Island on a river where they farmed and during the whale migration would hunt for whales. He said that a pod of Orcas, "killer whales" came up the river where they lived and some how got the Donaldsons to notice them and got them to follow them in their long boat into the ocean. They followed the pod and were lead to a migrating whale, which they attacked and killed. Then they dragged the carcass up the river where they moored the whales body and left. The pod of orcas were given first choice on eating the whale and they would only eat the lips and tongue and leave the rest for the Donaldson's . This story was replayed for many years until the pod of orcas all died, the lecturer said this was his only story of orcas helping people, and they would somehow recognize the Donaldson's and would not lead any other whalers over the years.

Our Valentine Ball was a very big event and the main lounge was completely transformed for the evening. Everyone dressed in their formal ware were dancing and enjoying the night away. The oldest couple married received a bottle of Champagne for being married 70 years and they looked great They were straight and he had a full head of hair as they danced time after time. They gave prizes for guessing the number of confetti in a glass and for people who were given certain card as we entered the room. We didn't win anything but it was fun to watch.
The ship arrives at 6am in the morning so doesn't leave much time for sleep.We caught the shuttle to Sydney and it brought us to the Marriott Hotel and some went in to use the internet while we walked to the circular quay to purchase a harbor cruise. We were taken to Fort Dennison which held prisoners in the early days, and now has a museum covering the prisoners coming to Australia and working off their sentence before they were set free. Next stop was Taranga Zoo, a zoo built on the side of a very large slope and you can take a tram to the top and walk through the exhibits going downhill all the time. That is the way we did it seven years ago, but we didn't get off the ferry this time We could see the intrepid walkers going across the top of the Harbor Bridge, for this they pay $350.00. The ferry next went to Shark Island, called appropriately enough because it is shaped like a shark. Surrounding Shark Island and on the mainland are beaches that have shark nets out to protect the bathers. Although they said that the last fatal shark attack in Sydney Harbor was in 1962 so I guess the shark nets work. Along the shore are many beautiful mansions and one was owned by Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, when they were married. Next stop was Watsons Bay home of Doyles famous seafood restaurant, and only a short walk to the Gap Park where you can see the large cliffs and the gap that the ships must pass through to enter or leave the Harbor. There was quiet a bit of climbing to see some of the sights but it was well worthwhile. We had bought a get on get off ferry ticket so our next ferry was different and he made another stop at Fort Denison then stopped at the Circular Quay.  Where we got off and walked to the Apple store to ask why I couldn’t use a thumb drive to get documents between our PC and the IPad. While walking we got a picture of the Sydney Tower where you can ride up to the top and eat if you wish.

We had never been to a Apple store before, but this one was a beautiful four story all glass building, and it was crowded with people on all levels. We asked a young lady as we entered who we had to talk with to answer my question, and we found out very quickly that the IPad will not accept a thumb drive so we could only transfer documents through I tunes and for word documents we would have to install word on the I Pad. That questioned answered we walked back to the Circular Quay, but the next ferry wasn’t until 45 minutes so we stopped at Rossini’s an Italian Restraint on the Quay and had a couple of beers. Then we jumped on the ferry and went to Darling Harbor, where we walked about three quarters of a mile to our ship. Totally exhausted we rested before diner and the night’s activity.

The following morning we had breakfast and headed back out on the shuttle to the city, where we headed to the Rocks, the site of Australia’s first European settlement. After exploring the laneways, pubs, and historical buildings, Mary Ann said her feet were bothering her because she was using open backed shoes to do all her exercising and walking. I had been massaging her feet but now it was not enough so off we went to buy sneakers.  We went back into the business section to look for a shoe store which was very easy except Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world so even payless was ridiculous high. So after about one hour of shopping, she got new sneakers. We made our way back to the shuttle stop we passed  the Cadmans Cottage which is one of Sydney’s oldest surviving  buildings. Constructed in 1816 as part of the Government Dockyard,  the pe0ple responsible for all Government boats lives here. The cottage was built for John Cadman who came to Sydney as a prisoner and became the Government Coxswain after his sentence was completed. He married a woman who was also transported to Sydney as a convict in the early 1800’s for stealing some flatware from her employer. She was much younger than her husband and they had two children.

 Catching the bus back to the ship we again rested before dinner. The diner was very good as usual; you really can eat your way into a larger size very quickly, so we try to exercise regularly. The entertainer that evening was a gentleman who entertained us on the QE2 seven years ago and he was just as good this time. Bill Thornton has had a rash for a number of months, and he saw a doctor before he left and the ships doctor as well, but he still has the rash and it was bothering him so he visited a Dermatologist in Sydney and he had to take two buses to get there, and he came away with four new prescriptions to take.

Today is a sea day and we went to the Gym had breakfast and did the laundry, now Mary Ann is at the hair dressers while I write the blog. Tomorrow  we arrive in Tasmania and this will be our first time, so we have a tour to the zoo and hopefully we will see the Tasmanian Devil.
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Rodger Bubb on

Sharon and I loved New Zelland when we went. It sounds like you had fun. Love the photos.

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