Tag Archives: Manly

It was a Manly kind of a day….

The moment we stepped out of the hotel this morning, we just knew what sort of a day it was going to be…..a very hot one! Most certainly, I would never normally complain but we needed to do a good bit of walking, Carolyn was in some discomfort with the results of yesterday’s sun and Ann was all geared up to go and climb the Bridge. Carolyn and I played our part in Ann’s heroic walk by accompanying her to the starting point and then legging it back to the Quay to wait 3.5 hours for her return. (I will let Ann provide the details of her climb). But how good were we?


Time was not wasted and we busied ourselves with checking ferry times and prices for an afternoon trip to Manly (as well as drinking several cold beverages). We purchased Opal cards (the equivalent of the London Oyster cards) and, by the time Ann came back, we were ready to hop aboard the ferry. Riding the ferries is one of my favourite things to do in Sydney, and Manly was always, for me, a better place to watch the surf than it’s more famous cousin, Bondi.

Our luck was in and the surf was up. Surfers and kayakers braved the rolling waves (not always with success) and families and young people, along with those not quite so young, enjoyed the magnificent spectacle. Of course, the ocean cannot be tamed and seeing the spills was just as exciting as seeing a roller bring a surfer in to shore. But Ann and I could resist no more, so off with the shoes and in for a paddle. Big waves can catch out paddlers too and I was soon a bit wetter than intended!!


The evening ferry ride back was glorious. The late sun created a hazy skyscraper backdrop, the harbour sparkled, the bridge dominated the seascape and the sails of the Opera House positively gleamed. What a fabulous trip.

Tomorrow we are going on a ‘bear’ hunt…only koalas!!!

Carolyn’s Curios & Musical Notes

Banjo Paterson’s lyrics for Waltzing Matilda have been my earworm of the day. Regrettably, it seems, they came out of my mouth a few times resulting in looks of consternation and verbal rebukes from Kath. Fortunately, Ann was Bridge walking during this period or it would have been even worse for me.

I recognise that (a) I’m not always the most sensible carer of myself; (b) excess UV rays from a bright summer sun, say in Australia, is likely, very quickly, to burn! Hmm! One day, perhaps, I will have more understanding and consideration for my body. So, today, I wore a long sleeved top which helped… a little!

Elsewhere you will read of Ann’s Bridge walking exploits but Kath and I were not totally idle and our activities included discussing (one-sidedly) food and manners with an Australian White Ibis which is one of several round the harbour at Circular Quay (which isn’t circular!)1DB96F01-B394-4EF0-85F7-6C044086FE83

After visiting Bondi at the weekend, Manly Beach seemed even better. The waves were higher but the shopping, guru Guide, Kath, assured us, had moved downmarket. It didn’t spoil the day in any way and the ferry ride using our new Opal Cards gave some great views and fresh air.


We saw the signs, heard the megaphone warning but no music and no sighting of… SHARK!

We saw the signs, heard the megaphone warning but no music and no sighting of… SHARK!
No sharks but… there were, though, two suspicious looking, non-Manly paddlers,

There were, though, two suspicious looking, non-Manly paddlers,

Our hotel, named ‘Amora’, ensured that my journey back up in the lift tonight was accompanied, Dean Martin style, by a rendition of Amore. Rebuked, once more, I was – albeit, justly deserved.

A9B38B29-5817-4EEF-B9C9-DD81F04CE2E2#justathought Manly, like so many towns, has lots of shops where the type of shop is preceded in the title by the town. So, Manly Beach, Manly Burgers and Kebabs etc. But, what of Manly Fashion for a women’s clothes shop?!


Ann’s Bridge too far? No, just far enough! 

Would you like to do the Bridge Climb whilst we’re in Sydney, asked Carolyn? After some prevarication about the challenge and the cost, I decided that this was a one-off opportunity and not to be missed. Therefore, at the appointed hour I presented myself at Bridge Climb Sydney to be given necessary instructions, breathalysed and kitted out in the most amazing selection of gear, all of which is attached to the well designed suit by clips, everything from a handkerchief to your headphones! The most important attachment is the slider which keeps climber attached to the actual bridge at all times. After practising the climb on a short flight of steps, our guide takes us out into the open for the experience of the holiday.


The climbing doesn’t prove very difficult and, despite the hot sun, there’s quite a breeze at the top of the bridge. What is so awesome are the views of Sydney laid out beneath you. The Opera House is a stand out landmark but our guide points out many others, including the Anzac Bridge, the new cruise terminal, and Fort Denison or Pinchgut Island – so named because when the prisons were full, convicts were sent to the island and given no food or water …with inevitable results. (Not always proud to be British!) The Governor General’s residence isn’t too shabby either! We are given lots of interesting facts and figures about the construction of the bridge – most of the steel came from Middlesbrough (Proud to be British!) and the huge rivets were actually made up on the Bridge which is 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level.

The other really awesome thing about the day is not just the bridge and the view but the fact that it’s another challenge to tick off!

(Editor’s Note: One of Ann’s musical favourites, Bruce Springsteen, has climbed the bridge as has Paul McCartney a week or so ago. Many others including… an escaped kangaroo last week!!!)


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.