We arrived at the airport for our flight to Sydney nice and early and had a lovely smooth flight with just a brief delay. The descent into Sydney was spectacular, we flew over the harbour with amazing ariel views of the bridge and opera house and the miles and miles of water. Just stunning.
Our hotel was the Marriott in Circular Quay and it was just a perfect location. It was just 5 mins stroll to the ferrys etc and was top notch quality inside too. We'd paid extra for harbour views and weren't disapointed. Both our rooms had amazing views of the opera house.
After checking in, we had a bit of a wander around circular quay and over to the Opera House. It was pretty windy that day - as you will see from the photos, but it wasn't cold at all. After a bite to eat, Mike took the girls back to the hotel for a swim and Mum and Dad and I popped out to the tourist info and picked up a load of brochures to help us plan our week. We also bought weekly passes that covered us for use of all the buses, trains and ferrys. Becuase we were staying so centrally, there just didn't seem any point in paying to use tourist buses etc. As they say - when in Sydney - take the ferry :-).
Our first evening was planned for us already, we had arranged to meet up with Lynsey and Kenny who moved here 7 years ago. Lynsey is the daughter of Alan and Irene (Mum and Dad's friends). We met them at Darling Harbour in the Pontoon Bar and then went on to have a lovely meal with them. Poor Becca fell asleep on my lap part way through the night, but it was lovely to catch up with Lynsey as I hadn't seen her for years and years (although Mum and Dad were at her and Kenny's wedding in Thailand 2 years ago).
Day 2 in Sydney and the sun was shining. We took the ferry to Manly and wandered down the main stret (The Corso) and along to the beach where we watched the sand sculptures, surfers and beach volleyball. We also took a wander to find the hostel I'd stayed in when in Manly 14 years ago and was shocked to find it about to be demolished - another few days and we'd have missed it! Next stop was lunch then a walk to the neighbouring suburb of Fairlight where I lived in a flat once. It was a much longer walk than I remembered it and it was a hot afternoon so half way along, Dad stopped for s seat withthe girls and Mum, Mike and I continued on. I had told them that one of the things I remembered of that street were the numbers of spiders in the gardens and it hadn't changed a bit - we must have seen hundred and hundreds - and that's just the obvious ones !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That evening, we had dinner in the posh Rocks area overlooking the Opera House. It's gotta be done :-)))
Next day we took the ferry to Luna Park which is a fairground which sits almost under the Harbour Bridge and which is a Sydney institution which dates back to about 1935 (that's a long time in Australian history). We rode the big wheel and the carousel and Mike and I went on a crazy ride which almost made us sick (another thing which needs to be done). Dad then took Becca on the Wild Mouse ride!!!!!!!!!!!! We took the official photo of it in which she looks terrified but in fact, she came off it screaming at how much fun it was - I suspect we've a budding adrenaline junkie on our hands there lol. To round the trip off Mike and I were scared wittless on the Prison Break ride lol. That night we met up with Josie for a meal after which Mum and Dad took the girls home and we went off for a few drinks with Jo. We hadn't planned on a late night as it was midweek but the lure of the champagne cocktails was too much and I think it was about 1.30 when we got in. I don't know about Josie, but I certainly didn't feel too great the next morning. It was great catching up with Josie, but I forgot to get a photo :-(.
Well, you can't go to Sydney and not visit Bondi Beach so that's what we did next. We used the local bus and enjoyed the sights enroute. Arriving at the beach, Mike and Ellie walked along the shore line and the rest of us followedthe promenade. At the other end, the girls both went swimming in the open air pool and thouroughly enjoyed it. That night, we had a trip booked on the Sydney Showboat. What a great night we had. The boat toured the harbour for around 2 and a half hours while we ate a lovely meal and were then entertained by a troupe of dancing girls and a singer. We all had a fantastic night that night. Well worth every cent.
Next morning was another glorous day and we visited Sydney Wildlife World. We saw all manner of Australian wildlife and Mum and Ellie cuddled (well, stroked) a koala :-). That evening we took the ferry across the harbour to meet up with Andy and Paula and had a few drinks at Andy's place followed by dinner at the Oaks.
Our last day in Sydney was a beauty - Australia Day. Sydney Harbour was packed solid for the ferry and tall ship races and we thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere (and the sun lol). Sadly we had to come home though and we caught our flight around 9pm. What an excellent holiday.