Down Under

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We know you've had to wait a while for this next entry, but we had to wait longer to get here after planning this visit 3 years ago!. And the thing is, you're going to have quite a few Aussie entries to read over the next few weeks because we want lots of pins on our travel map, which means an entry for each one. So enjoy!

We spent almost three weeks in and around Sydney, which is one of the best looking cities we've seen. The iconic sights of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House really do make it special. For us, maybe only Cape Town beats it for the best view as we think the backdrop of Table Mountain is simply the best it can get.

We stayed with our friend Sonia who lives in Kellyville which is about a 40 minute drive out of the city. We know Sonia from the 18 months she lived in Staines a few years ago and we were children's leaders together at church. We hadn't seen Sonia for at least two years but after she picked us up from the airport it seemed like only yesterday that we had last chatted, which was a nice feeling.

By walking, using the local bus and Sonia's car, we managed to see most of the city and the surrounding coastline. Saying that, the coastline of New South Wales is big, very big so we saw some of it over a few days. One part worth a mention, called the Grand Pacific Drive is full of amazing scenery of cliff tops and beaches which reminded us of the North Devon coastline back home. Except at the time it seemed better because we were in Australia in the sunshine, and everything seems better when you're on holiday! Don't worry we haven't committed to emigrating - yet.

In Sydney we wandered through the Rocks harbour area taking in the local markets, cafe's and shops and the really good close up views of the Harbour Bridge. We had breakfast at Bondi Beach with Sonia and took the ferry to Manly beach one day. In the CBD we went window shopping in the Queen Victoria Building which is a pretty, old colonial building. We spent an evening at the observatory where we peered through telescopes in between cloud breaks and we saw the stars of the southern skies, including the Southern Cross, Beetle Juice, and the planets of Mars and Venus. Getting up close to the Opera House doesn't make it look better in our opinion, distance definitely enhances it's beauty as you see it in context of the harbour around it. The Blue Mountains around Sydney get their name from the haze caused by the sap given off from the gum trees (i think that's true as I remember reading it somewhere) and we spent a great day in Leura with Sonia and Glenn (Sonia's Fiance)seeing this area.

Sonia and Glenn took us to see the entertaining but slightly bizare game of Aussie Rules football to watch the Sydney Swans thrash the side of Port Adelaide. It's a game of four 20 minute quarters which lasts three hours! It's a game where instead of a normal kick to start the game the ref bounces the ball as hard as he can on the floor or throws it backwards which looks quite ridiculous. Saying that, it's a fast paced game to watch and good fun and we really enjoyed the experience and even watched a second match a few weeks later, so we must have really liked it.

After we had been in Sydney for two weeks, Tracey our friend from home arrived for a holiday. She also knows Sonia well so we planned to travel with her for a while and then meet up again with Sonia in Cairns a few weeks later when she had her holiday time off. We spent a few days in Sydney with Tracey where she treated us to the amazing experience of climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's a 2 hour climb over all and the views from the top are amazing with a 360 degree view 134 metres above the harbour - and it was a clear sunny day.

The other thing worth mentioning is our visit to Summer Bay (a.k.a. Palm Beach) for the benefit of Tracey who is a huge Home and Away fan. Actually it was a nice beach and they weren't filming so it worked out fine for us as strict non watchers of Aussie TV soaps.

Sydney is a relaxed city and we had a relaxed time there where we really appreciated using Sonia's house as a base to explore the area. And of course we enjoyed a 'barbie' or two.
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--x--danni--x-- on

wow this is amazing fantastic picture of the beach u guys should like i dunno do photography ive noticed your photos have grown increasingly impressive!!!

sonias got a fiance :D:D:D:D:D knew it wouldn't be long congrattsss (tho it was probs like 4 months ago or somethin like dat but shhh)

i love you guys soooo mcuh

miss ya



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