Before going into today’s updates – a couple of “housekeeping” points on yesterday’s post:
Firstly, some disappointment was expressed that I did not include any photographs of our first day in Sydney, especially of Lorna’s new shoes. So I have corrected that in today’s instalment.
Secondly, I knew it was a mistake to mention my knees. If you are reading this mum, my knees are fine – seriously.
Anyway, back on to Saturday in Sydney. I wouldn’t want anyone thinking this trip is all about enjoyment. There is some serious research going on as well. Our day began with a scientific experiment into whether the water goes down plugholes clockwise or anti-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.
The results were inconclusive; firstly because we couldn’t work out how the plug worked, and then we couldn’t remember which way the water goes down in the Northern hemisphere, rendering immediate comparison difficult.
Our work for the day concluded, we decided to take in the sights proper.
First project:- a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Familiar, the World over as a symbol of Sydney, the bridge is an iconic link between the North and South shores of Sydney Harbour. According to Trip Advisor, the number one tourist attraction in Sydney is a walk across the spans at the top of the bridge. Yeah right! And my name is George Clooney.
Have you seen how high it is? Worse – participants have to wear pocket-less blue and grey boiler suits, so as not to distract the drivers on the bridge and to stop small change raining on to traffic below. Well, Lorna just wouldn’t wear a boiler suit, so that walk is not going to happen.
No doubt, Rambo dad is up there right now though, suggesting a bungee jump to his kids. They are welcome to that one. For the less brave, there is a climb up a lookout on the bridge to a relatively lower altittude, but there are 200 stairs involved and we are not at all brave. Moreover, we are limiting our stair climbing count for the next couple of days.
So, we just walked back across the bridge. The walk there and back is pleasant in itself, with excellent views of the City’s landmarks.
Back on terra firma, we strolled into the historic Rocks section of the City. Saturday is market day and the old narrow streets were crowded with stalls and locals and tourists alike. Crowds would normally be a turnoff for us, but there was a very easy -going atmosphere about the place and plenty of entertainment from street artists, including a very good singer/guitar player whose cd we bought as a souvenir.
Stocking up on some more, very sophisticated and EXPENSIVE souvenirs for family and friends, (I am still on the lookout for a didgeridoo key ring and Paul Hogan T-Shirt), we moved on to the central business district, with its mix of heritage buildings and modern skyscrapers.
They have blended the old and the new here very well. As with all cities though, there is the occasional (modern) building that is completely incongruous. Sydney has a mini equivalent (in terms of architectural merit) of London’s Barbican. In this case, a grey concrete carbuncle, slap in the middle of the Heritage area. I am with Prince Charles on that one.
Lorna having now recovered from her PTSD (post train stress disorder), retail therapy was not required today, so we could bypass the shops and head straight to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
You have to love it here. In this park, they encourage you to walk on the grass (yes – you see signs inviting you to do so) and to touch the trees. The gardens are massive and very well kept. They even have picnic rugs staked out in the shade of trees ready for visitor use. Wonderful. If you fancy a trip there in the evening, there is an open air cinema as well.
Lorna wanted to stay a while longer and put on offer in for the Governor’s House at the edge of the gardens, but we had to move on. Lunch by the waterfront was calling.
An excellent Lunch was followed by the all important pool and snooze time before dinner at the Shangri La.
I would call this a perfect day.