Sydney-Saturday into Sunday

Dinner on Saturday evening, was at the  Altitude restaurant on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La hotel.  We had a window seat, with a superb aerial view of the harbour. I reckon we were at about the same height as the thrill seekers on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Only, we were considerably more comfortable, eating a fine dinner, and not dressed in blue and grey boiler suits.

Unfortunately, the restaurant is so popular, that we could only book an early bird special sitting at 6:15 pm, and therefore missed seeing the view after sunset.  Even so, if you take a look at the photos below, you can see just how stunning the Bay Area is.

In terms of aerial views,  I don’t think you can beat the view from the sea planes that criss -cross the harbour throughout the day.  They look really impressive, almost like relics from the pioneering age of aviation, as they swoop in low over the city and just above the two flags on top of the bridge.  We have booked to take a trip on one of them next Tuesday.

Sunday morning was going to be hot. We knew as much when we woke up, and opened our bedroom blackout curtain to a blinding ball of sunlight, low to the East. This would be a good day for an early morning jog.

Unless running to catch a late connection for a flight, or perhaps evacuating a building on fire, I don’t generally like to go jogging with Lorna.  Lorna is about 3 or 4 times faster than I am, and the humiliation of trying to keep up, or not look so pathetic by comparison, is damaging to my already fragile ego. So I run alone. I need to keep in shape in case we have a late connection on the way home.

Lorna went to the gym for a high intensity workout and I went for a medium to low intensity run around Circular Quay, out to the Opera House and on to the Royal Botanic Gardens. It was 7:00 am, and it was already hot, but there were scores of joggers out. Far more than you would see at this time of day in Castel, where we live. Admittedly, it is Winter back home, and the horizontal rain and numbing gale force Westerlies are not to everyone’s taste, but even so. 

After breakfast, we headed out for another walk- this time to the West of the bridge and out up to the Sydney observatory for another panoramic view. Heading back into the city, we took a call from Cafe Sydney, where we were to have lunch.  I thought they might be ringing to re- confirm our reservation, but no, they were ringing to warn us that there was a high uv index level today and we would be sitting outside.  We needed to take precautions.

We have never heard a warning like that from an eatery, so thought it should be taken seriously . Cafe Sydney is a smart institution with a dress code.  Lorna had bought a Crocodile Dundee hat up in Scenic World, and I had a beach bum surfer hat, but we felt we might not be appropriately dressed, wearing them at lunch. As luck would have it, we were soon to pass Hatworld,  a shop which sells …… hats.  We bought some very fitting and sober headgear, and felt suitably prepared.

In the event, most of the outside area of the restaurant was shaded under awnings.  There was just a small patch, in the far corner of the balcony, bathed in intense sunlight.  That was to be where I was sitting.  Whilst the cool and cosmopolitan glitterati of Sydney, including Lorna, enjoyed a cool, sophisticated Sunday lunch by the waterfront, there was one eccentric Brit rigged up like  Lawrence of Arabia in the hot corner.

Having been here a week now, I can see why they call us poms.  I put on factor 50 every day but still look like a very ripe tomato. Life can be unfair like that.  Lorna can spend all day in the sun, reaching a shade of deepest darkest saddle leather.  The best I can manage is digestive biscuit.

After lunch, it was back to the hotel for some welcome shade in my case, and some more sun and pool time for Lorna.

Having fine dined out for two nights in a row, and having enjoyed a very nice, albeit hot, lunch, we popped out for an early, informal Italian supper to close the day.


View from Sydney Observatory

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