Category Archives: Sydney

Sydney, “Don’t go changing…” Onwards to Melbourne.


Our departure from Sydney felt quite sad but was clearly exciting as we were joining MS Noordam en route for Melbourne, Tasmania and New Zealand. We enjoyed the smoothest and most stress-free embarkation ever previously known and rushed to unpack, get our bearings (locate important points like food and drink) before taking part in the ubiquitous safety drill. They are quite strict on board Holland America ships. If you don’t take part, you can’t sail. Aye, aye Cap’n! But a stiff breeze blew up and off we went, under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, followed closely by the Opera House before waving to all the little bays and reaching a very strong swell; a clear indication we were turning into the ocean.

A lazy day at sea followed and I think we were all grateful to relax after our hectic few days, ease the muscles and catch up on some sleep. I still love being rocked to sleep by the motion of the ocean! Of course, we took part in ship board offerings but there was no pressure to be or to do.

Today dawned with a beautiful blue sky full of promise for a hot day in Melbourne. And, so it was. 27 degrees, hot sun and a fabulous day in one of Australia’s beautiful cities. It is very different to Sydney with much evidence through its majestic buildings of its colonial past. Museums chronicle its growth and origins whilst embracing the multiple cultures which make up its present.

Riding the free trams (complete with helpful commentary) was both informative and fun. Sights peaked out from lush foliage – how wonderful to be here in mid summer – and we were happy to soak up the information about where we could go if we were here for longer. We had to make do with a walk besides the Yarra River, the tram ride and a dive into some of the intriguing alleyways in search of a snack in the shade. An excellent day out…..Tasmania tomorrow.

Carolyn’s Curios & Curiosities

Sydney always brings to mind – for me – the Tetley Tea men of TV advert fame. “Don’t go changing…” is one of the classics but, of course, Sydney, Australia is changing. It’s history is relatively brief in European terms but it is rich in culture both Aboriginal and, more latterly, settlers, immigrants and, as some think the derivation of ‘Pommies’, the prisoners of mother England, i.e. the sometimes minor criminals who were transported half way round the world. After penal labour, they could earn their freedom in the New World. Times have changed and are changing. Sydney is impressive. Vibrant, youthful, developing and, whilst we were there, hot!

But, we sailed away. Under the majestically impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge, watching, again, where Ann walked above, glancing for a final time, perhaps, at the Opera House, we sailed into the sunset bound for a day at sea and then to Melbourne.

Days at sea are an opportunity to catch up with chores and sleep! We sampled B.B. King’s Blues Club on our first night aboard and watched the ‘main entertainment’ show in the theatre last evening. More than reasonable quality but my preference is for live instruments as well as vocals. Also, a preference for beat, brash and bawdy.

Melbourne (remembering to shorten the final vowel to ‘…burn’) is another proud city. Proud of its past, secure in its present and confident of its future. Public sculpture celebrates the city’s eventful history and graffiti from the recent Equal Marriage referendum, together with a huge billboard reminding us of refugees and our responsibilities, bear testament to a social conscience. Its ‘gold rush’ days are celebrated with a gold topped skyscraper.

We rode one of the historic trams around the city centre which, as Kath indicated, was free. A clever way to encourage use of public transport as you are signposted to other (paid) trams crossing the city. Apparently, Melbourne is the city with the best and largest tramway system in the world. A pity we were only here for one day.


“We ain’t afraid of no bears……”

I said that today we were going on a bear hunt (excellent book which my grandchildren love), because Ann wanted to come face to face with a koala. And why wouldn’t she? Of course, Carolyn wouldn’t go along with the story because koalas are marsupials and not bears. Whatever!!


So, “We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo”, except there are two. One required a ferry ride and the other a walk to Darling Harbour. Of course we walked…my legs are already short so why wouldn’t we go for further wear and tear? Said zoo offered a controlled walk around (just follow the path) and was simply showing Australia’s indigenous animals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and….marsupials. We ambled around, although I ran through the butterfly section as I cannot bear anything flying around me.

Various animals (in fact, most of them) completely ignored the visitors. Even the ‘Roos failed to hop over and, ever thankful for small mercies, the massive crocodile didn’t snap out of his trance-like state in his pond. Aptly named Rocky, he is a mean looking old boy. Finally, we got to the koalas and what were they doing? Sleeping in their trees. Anyway, cameras were poked in their general direction, one decided to eat his way through the leaves of his tree, whilst the others curled themselves up, oblivious to the keepers, visitors, noises, etc. Still, we had achieved our goal and Ann has seen koala bears (sorry, Carolyn).

We then happened upon the most amazing eatery in the midst of towering office blocks. Simply called ‘The Canteen’ it offered food from stall after stall, each with a particular theme. Between the three of us we chose an amazing salad, a panini with more filling than you can imagine, and roast beef on a bed of pasta. All excellent and we grabbed a small table and marvelled at the youth of our fellow diners. I suppose they are used to the tourists joining them.

We then elected to go off to do separate things. Ann wanted to explore the botanical gardens behind the Opera House, whilst Carolyn and I wanted to play hopping on and off ferries. We actually called in at Manly again for a last look at the surf and enjoyed a very exciting ride back as the ferry dipped and rolled in the large sea swell.

As tonight was our last evening in Sydney, we once again walked down to the harbour for dinner and, for me, a bottle of Dirty Granny cider. Our main aim was to see the city lights. Beautiful. Sadly for me, it is time to say goodbye as we join our cruise ship tomorrow and set forth on the next leg of our amazing tour Down Under.

Carolyn’s Curios & Curiosities

After seeing a significant number of artefacts in local tourist shops made out of ‘Kangaroo Scrotums’, all I could wonder was whether the plural should have been ‘Scrota’. Apparently, both are acceptable according to the OED et al. Although, Henry V also came to mind with “…balls, my Liege”! Aussies, eh?!

As Kath remarked, today has involved walking – quite a bit of it – again! However, despite our hotel being uphill (and steep albeit short) from Circular Quays, we ambled and breathed.

There are, of course, different views about zoos. In the centre of a city, the one we saw wasn’t a safari park by any means but the animals appeared to be very healthy and the zoo staff knowledgeable and caring. Koalas, Kangaroos and Cassowary, I’d seen but my favourite named animal was the Quokka followed by the Spotted-tailed Quoll.

Our afternoon trip to Manly emphasised how small our world really is. As a couple walked past, their accent indicated their likely derivation from the UK. “Whereabouts in the UK are you from?”, I ventured. It transpired they were from the next village to where Ann was born and brought up in Gloucestershire! Small world!

With its aboriginal heritage and immigrant development, names of towns and districts seem to be either copied from the UK or variants of aboriginal words. ‘Woolloomooloo’ is a district of Sydney and we were told on our guided bus tour that it means small kangaroo. Needless to say, I had to research it and, apparently, it is actually derived from the name of the first homestead in the area, Wolloomooloo House, built by the first landowner John Palmer. There is debate as to how Palmer came up with the name with different Aboriginal words being suggested. Anthropologist J.D. McCarthy wrote in ‘NSW Aboriginal Places Names’, in 1946, that Woolloomooloo could be derived from either Wallamullah, meaning place of plenty or Wallabahmullah, meaning a young black kangaroo.
In 1852, the traveller Col. G.C. Mundy wrote that the name came from Wala-mala, meaning an Aboriginal burial ground. It has also been suggested that the name means field of blood, due to the alleged Aboriginal tribal fights that took place in the area, or that it is from the pronunciation by Aborigines of windmill, from the one that existed on Darlinghurst ridge until the 1850s.

So, there!

We now set off to board the MS Noordam and look forward to many more sights, smells and sounds which will include the music in B.B. King’s Jazz Club on the ship. The music to date has comprised of buskers by the Quay – classical pianist, guitarist and Irish hatted accordionist. The guitarist was inventive and excellent with a superb rendition of Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’. Great memories to take with us.

Ann’s additions

After a morning of Australian fauna, I followed this, to complete the picture, by an afternoon of Australian flora at the Royal Botanic Garden. It’s a refreshing walk right around the Opera House and along Farm Cove to Mrs Macquaries Point and ‘Chair’. It’s a rock formation, named after, Elizabeth, the wife of a former Governor, and an excellent photo opportunity – were it not for all those pesky tourists!

The gardens themselves are extensive and peaceful, especially the pond with, what I believe to be, lotus.
Many other garden flowers are such as you might find in England but taller and, therefore, more impressive. Most native trees are very tall, and many exceptionally old, but difficult to photograph successfully with an iPhone. This particular example of labelling had been commandeered by an avian occupant of the park! We visitors made the most of the photo opportunity!

A gentle stroll back to our hotel completed the afternoon and my Fitbit was pleased to report over 2,000 calories used! Result!

Do you come from a land down under?

Had I discovered Australia soon enough, I could well have been tempted to live there, but the thought of leaving your nearest and dearest about 11,000 miles away and taking 24 hours to get here, perhaps ought to be sufficiently off-putting. The flight via Abu Dhabi was fine. Well, as fine as sitting in economy can be, considering… the delightful travel stockings still permitted your ankles to ooze out of your shoes and your bum refusing to release its muscles (what muscles?) and allow normal feeling to be resumed. However, the taxi drive from the airport was speedy and greeting Sydney felt like a homecoming as, once again, I was the kid who had all the sweets.

My friends hadn’t enjoyed the Aussie experience before and were magnificent about the joys of jet lag. It is such a bitch! Although we arrived late evening after a minimum amount of sleep on the flight, we all felt the wonders of stomachs being in a different time zone to your head and sleep being a reluctant bed fellow – even in a luxury hotel with sublime mattresses. If I am not selling it well, forgive me. I am feeling better now, ready to eat at approximately the appropriate time but still somewhat keen to kip in my cornflakes. Carolyn and Ann remain stoically determined to overcome all sleeping/sleepless issues and we are living it up in Sydney.

Yesterday, for our first day at large, we settled to sightseeing the old fashioned way – on foot. Ann is a very keen walker whereas Carolyn and I are fit enough to do it but not quite ‘enthusiasts’. But with great abandon we set off to check out Circular Quay and make sure that the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House were where I left them last. We admired the berth of a Celebrity cruise ship (presumably where ours will arrive on Thursday) and wandered off around the waterfront in search of breakfast. We first happened upon a Sunday market at The Rocks, found refreshment in an Irish hostelry and proceeded to climb heaven knows how many steps to reach the Harbour Bridge, whereupon we walked across it. This activity is not to be confused with the ‘Bridge climb’ which I did on a previous visit and which Ann has now booked to do on Tuesday, but is the free opportunity to pose on top of Sydney’s magnificent Harbour and think how wonderful life is and how lucky we are for the opportunity. Well, something like that. More walking followed, back around The Rocks, sustained by an Aussie beer, lunch, another loop around Circular Quay and at this point I gave in, let the jet lag in and went back to the hotel for a snooze. We did get to see Roger Federer win the Aussie Open in real time. Fabulous tennis.

Yesterday, I wore out my legs but today we took the easy way via a sightseeing trip on board The Big Bus. It is far too far to walk to Bondi Beach and at least we got to cover the rest of the city in relative comfort from the top of an open bus. Ah, did I mention it was hot and sunny? The last time Carolyn and I did an open topped bus tour was in New York when we got soaking wet; today, we got rather warm and a bit pink!! We hopped on and off the bus, as per recommendations, and particularly wanted to see the rollers and the surfers at Bondi. The surf was less dramatic than I had previously seen but the young and beautiful people appeared untroubled and still turned up, their surf boards being the “must have” accessory. Even without waves, the skatepark exercised balance and agility.  It’s been a truly wonderful day and, Sydney, you capture my heart every time!!

Carolyn’s Curios & Musical Notes

Disappointed… no-one has yet greeted us with “G’day” or called us “Sheilas”. We have, however, discovered that our “How are you doing?” is replaced here by “How are you going?” As Ann would say about the Aussies (and the Americans!), “We gave them English and look what they did to it?!” Part of the commentary on the bus tour today also reminded us that about 20% of Australians are direct descendants from our transported convicts. #justsaying

Kath began with Men at Work’s “Down Under” – we’re not from this land down under and not at work! The song begins…

“Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said
Do you come from a land down under?”

Visions from childhood of being upside down and falling off the planet down here are long gone. However, my usually excellent sense of direction, it seems, is merely based on the Sun as I am struggling with remembering that, at noon here, the Sun is at due North rather than South. I’ll adjust, I’m sure.

As it’s my first visit to the Southern Hemisphere, I was prepared for most things. We flew from wet Manchester and landed half a world away effectively spending a day of our lives in the air. Having some inkling of how to deal best with time zone adjustment and jet lag, having failing to sleep at all on the plane, I wanted to stay up until ‘normal’ bedtime and begin the next day as if it was the usual. It has, for me, seemed to have worked. So, off we went.

Yesterday was a bit of ‘pottering’, aka walking over 10k steps and several flights of stairs, together with the Sydney Harbour Bridge (just the pavement walkway!). A beer and an ice cream helped the unaccustomed heat.

Today, we decided to do the Big Bus Tour and memories of New York’s torrential rain downpour was replaced by early gentle sunbeams which became red hot lasers by 4.30 pm as two of us ultimately began to sizzle and fry. Flaming pink is not a good look for the skin. And,… hmm, it’s tender!

The bus tour was good but the recorded commentary, although informative, was punctuated between segments with music. Regrettably, there were four tracks cycled over… and over… and over! We’ll come to Ann’s and Kath’s ‘favourite’ in a moment but Down Under (Men at Work), It’s a long way to the top (AC/DC) and Treaty (Yothu Yindi) exemplified Australian music. Kylie and Olivia Newton-John were mentioned in the commentary but not in the repetitious tape which was added to by the “unofficial national anthem” (according to Wikipedia!) of Waltzing Matilda which rapidly became for us Piggin’ Waltzing Matilda and we were resolute in resisting the singer’s “All together now..” for the repeated final verse. Nope!

I was concerned at the outset that ‘Waltzing Matilda’ wasn’t a waltz but in 4/4 time but that was the least of the issues!

Of course, this bush ballad wasn’t intended as other than about a sheep stealing itinerant who was chased, fearing capture and imprisonment, committed suicide and his ghost still haunts the area. Uplifting, eh?

The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot (‘waltzing’: derived from the German auf der Walz) with one’s belongings in a “matilda” (swag) slung over one’s back.

One of my two favourite punctuation signs (interrobang) is used as the logo for the State Library.
A final note was a pleasant sign I spotted for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and simply said, “Literacy is freedom”

A final note was a pleasant sign I spotted for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and simply said, “Literacy is freedom” and one of my two favourite punctuation signs (interrobang) is used as the logo for the State Library.

Sydney is a truly impressive, vibrant and laid-back city. The next few days look promising!

Ann’s absent answers

Why, if I don’t enjoy flying, do I prefer sitting in a window seat?

Why, when I try to settle down to sleep on a long flight does the Captain turn on the ‘Seatbelt’ sign and turbulence commences?

Why, does an urban area have roadworks in proportion to the size of its population?

Why, when a great photo opportunity occurs do structures block a split second later?

Last day in Sydney… time to say goodbye… for this trip!

When I flew in early from Melbourne this morning I just knew I had to get the most out of my final full day in Sydney.  I took the train from the airport (the fastest route as I am now using public transport like a local) and dropped off my bag at the hotel.  Then I made for the top of Sydney’s tallest building (the Skytower) for an aerial view of the city and its spectacular harbour.

Not quite the top of the world but the tallest building in Sydney!
Not quite the top of the world but the tallest building in Sydney!

At the foot of the tower building is a very exclusive shopping centre where they have very cleverly fixed the escalators so that you need to walk past at least four or five shops to reach the next level.

I had no problem whatsoever passing Prada, Jimmy Choo or Gucci but Chanel caught me unawares with some stunning window displays and then there were the handbag shops….!  $5,000 didn’t seem to be an unusual price for anything!!!  Needless to say, I reached the Skytower ticket office unencumbered by purchases. Then it was into the 4D cinema to take a very unusual flight across and sail around Sydney.  The 4D effect came as an addition to the 3D through the coloured glasses.  It began with vibration through your feet, getting sprayed (literally) when you appeared to be in a sailing boat and a fine mist which provided the smell of the sea.  Impressive.  Then it was up to the top of the tower to step out and look down on one of the world’s most iconic views… although other tall buildings have taken part of the view of the bridge and confined the Opera House to being framed at the end of a street! It was a great experience but….nowhere near as much fun as being out on the water.  Decision made and down to the ferries.

As in London, the new buildings have dwarfed some of the city's heritage
As in London, the new buildings have dwarfed some of the city’s heritage
Fabulous harbour views
Fabulous harbour views
A different view of the Opera House
A different view of the Opera House

Having missed breakfast, a fruit smoothie felt like a good mid-morning option, and where do they do the best ones?  In Manly.  Therefore, the first ferry ride was to Manly, pick up said smoothie (a ‘Very Berry’), a quick wander to the beach to check that the surf was still in good order, which it was, and head back on the next boat.

Back on the water
Back on the water

The breeze in the harbour was wonderful and took the edge of the scorching sun, so long walks were not really a sensible option.  Everyone was out on the water as it was a public holiday.

Back at Circular Key, a Seacat was just about to leave for Rose Bay, Double Bay and Watsons Bay.  Having gone ashore at Watsons Bay to explore, I found the next ferry out was not for another hour and by then it was lunch time.  Fish and chips sounded a good idea (again) and the restaurant here came highly recommended by my son.  Thanks, James, a good call.

You can't see this and not say, "Wow!"
You can’t see this and not say, “Wow!”
All sorts of boats were out
All sorts of boats were out
Team Australia looked very impressive
Team Australia looked very impressive
At the Maritime Museum
At the Maritime Museum

The hub for all the ferries is Circular Quay and as I stepped off the Seacat there was another ferry just in and going to Darling Harbour, which I did want to explore properly.  Sitting at the top of the boat, right at the back, provided a little shade and some cool breezes and I was cool enough (!!) to have a wander around the Maritime Museum.  Then it was back once again to my starting point, just about done and ever so slightly ‘done in’.

I think my one regret is that again I have drawn a blank with a ticket for the Opera House.  Next time, I will book online and well in advance.  So, with the light fading, I have been back to my hotel and am ready to set off once more for a final look at Sydney by night.  I have done as much as it is possible to do within my limited time and, as on my previous visit, I have absolutely loved all things Australian.  But now it is time to go home and I am really excited by the prospect.  I will take off from here tomorrow afternoon and some 26 hours later (well, there is a refuelling stop in Singapore), I will reach Heathrow.  It’s only a day!!

Once again, I have been humbled by the experiences and opportunities I have had during the past 7 weeks.  (I know, it is a long time and I have travelled thousands of miles!).  But home is where I now really do want to be and I totally promise not to bore my friends and family with the photos… there are far too many and they can just look at the ones on the blog.  Thank you to all who have followed my adventures but it is worth repeating that this particular medium was simply my means of capturing my visits and tours so that I would not forget.  However, I really do need to say a very special thank you to my great friend, Carolyn, who allowed me to avoid all the frustrations of posting on a slow network by simply sending her the words and the photographs which she uploaded for me.  She has been a fantastic editor, used some techniques which are totally new to me and made the blog look great.  Huge thank yous and a definite ‘gold star’ award.

So, that’s it!  Travels done (for a week or two at least!) and now it’s back to the real world.

Goodnight Sydney....and Goodbye
Goodnight Sydney….and Goodbye

Day 2 in Sydney

How good to live in one of these apartments!
How good to live in one of these apartments!

I was off to a flying start and, although yesterday’s violent storm had gone, the air remained humid and it was very much a day for a slower pace.  However,… I wandered across to the outdoor cafe across from my hotel and was delighted with the fresh orange juice, the toasted ham and cheese croissant and the two cups of ‘flat white’.  Ahh…. great coffee – how I have missed you!  People on their way to work came and enjoyed a variety of different options, which all looked excellent.  I can so easily understand why people love living here in this relaxed open air environment and people went to work with a smile.  A bus passed by declaring “Smile, you’re in Sydney” and who wouldn’t?

Paddle surfing
Paddle surfing
At Palm Beach - this is the sort of beach the Aussies really like
At Palm Beach – this is the sort of beach the Aussies really like
The beach may be deserted but they still have lifeguards
The beach may be deserted but they still have lifeguards

Having walked down to the Harbour to purchase my $22 “all day – go anywhere on any transport ticket”, I was flabbergasted to find that the guy in the kiosk not only remembered me, but recalled that I had bought a ticket for Manly yesterday.  I didn’t think I was that memorable!  He had all sorts of recommendations for my day (for a lady enjoying her own company!).  These were in addition to the ones I had planned, so I found myself first of all on a 40 mile bus ride to the north beaches to see what Aussies really like.

Palm Beach was almost deserted (apart from its two steadfast lifeguards) and I could see the attraction.  Miles of sand and some quite good surf with a couple of bars and a surf shop for completeness.  I could have hopped off at any number of similar beaches and harbours, but would have to save these for another time.

Crossing the Harbour Bridge
Crossing the Harbour Bridge
I have climbed it, crossed it by road and taken the ferry under it!
I have climbed it, crossed it by road and taken the ferry under it!

Then it was back to the train (an incredible piece of transport with 3 decks).  Why on earth do we not think of doing this sort of thing.  My station was right by the ferries, so, without further ado, I was off to Darling Harbour.  Having gone over the Harbour Bridge in the bus an hour or two previously, the ferry took me underneath it this time.  From Darling Harbour, it was time to walk and take in even more of this vibrant city on foot, via The Rocks and various significant buildings.  A bit like London, some of the modern tower buildings have sprung up around the historic ones to the point of almost swamping them.  A quick stop by my hotel to ask the receptionist for some help with the printing of boarding cards for my flights to and from Melbourne and a check-in with the concierge to see if he had any luck with getting me a ticket for tonight’s performance of The Magic Flute at the Opera House.  No luck so far but I have not given up in spite of refusing to pay the top price of $359.

Lunch happened rather late for me (5 pm) and in short order I was surrounded by guys exiting their offices and stopping for a beer.  Good natured ribbing followed because I was on my own and “a Pom” at that!!  They wanted to tell me all about the last Ashes Tour but still feel the pain of Johnny Wilkinson’s boot and say that he will never be welcome in Australia again!  I didn’t think their suggestion that I bring back lots of t-shirts celebrating their cricketing whitewash would be well received!  Sport is taken very seriously here and losing is extremely painful for them, so they only joke about their victories.

The Fun Fair across the harbour
The Fun Fair across the harbour
One more check-in with the concierge before I give up on the opera.  It doesn’t really matter as I need to leave the hotel tomorrow morning at 06:30 to catch the flight to Melbourne.  I can always try again when I come back to Sydney on Monday.  Who knows, it might be the performance of Carmen then, but either would be fine by me.


No matter where I go (and I have certainly been to a few places in the world in the last year or so), the place which holds a very special place in my heart is Sydney.  I wondered if the magic would still be there this year, but watching dawn break, seeing the sun come up over the Opera House and turn the Harbour Bridge to gold, I was once again totally captivated.





The Bridge turned golden by the dawn

Saying goodbye to the floating palace which is Queen Victoria, and which had been my home for the past six weeks, mattered not a jot.  I wanted to plant my feet firmly on the quayside and once again enjoy this wonderful city.

The city begins to wake…

Disembarkation and the transfer to my hotel were speedy and smooth and I was off like a greyhound out of the traps and back down to the harbour.  How strange was that?  After longing to get ashore, I was back on a boat again in no time, but this time it was the Ferry to Manly.  Last year I had paid it a very quick visit but had promised myself a very happy return were I to ever come back.  Manly was full of tourists heading for the beach and surfboard carrying young men and girls with just one thought – to get straight into the blue/green water and the pounding surf.  Not so dramatic as Bondi Beach but its golden sands were just as much a draw as the waves.

Queen Victoria docked between the bridge and the Opera House

I hadn’t come to swim this time and enjoyed a leisurely wander, stopping for a coffee in a pavement cafe along the way.  I had no need to check my watch and for the first time in weeks, I had no concern about missing the ship’s departure.  I settled at another cafe by the beach and did what most people do when they come here….I ordered fish and chips and a cold beer!  Forget the lobster, the steaks and all the fabulous food I have been served on the cruise…this was the real deal!

Yachts galore
Although I had been sitting in the shade, the temperature was increasing and late afternoon I reluctantly dragged myself away and bagged a seat at the top of the ferry in the breeze.  The harbour was a mass of yachting activity with some keenly fought racing going on.  Finally, I had a second chance at a sail into Sydney Harbour, which I had missed seeing in the darkness of our very early morning arrival on Queen Victoria.  It most certainly didn’t disappoint and, once again, I saw the Opera House from just about every angle.
But the clouds were gathering as we landed and with a final wave to Queen Victoria, I decided to make a quick dash to the hotel.  Not a minute too soon.  Thunder rolled, lightning flashed and the rain came down in a solid wall.  Well, Sydney, what else can you show me?  Last year when I left you we sailed into a hurricane.  Let’s hope the storm does not come back tomorrow and I can enjoy another full day taking in the sights.