Friday, October 12, 2007

Harbour Cruise and So Much More! Sydney, Australia: Oct 5th

It was the most gorgeous day with brilliant skies and 23 degree temps …. Centigrade!! We hoped aboard the buses, once again, with 300 of our traveling friends for a bus tour of Sydney,. We saw the botanical gardens, old English quarters, Mrs. McQuarie's seat, gorgeous cliffs overlooking the many inlets of the bay. The highlight for many of us was Bondi Beach. It was a fabulous surfing and swimming beach within the city limits. It had beautiful white sands, turquoise water, and great waves. The best part is it was free to all! We frolicked in the waves and would have loved to go for a swim but alas it was back to the bus and on to the harbour lunch cruise aboard the Captain Cook Cruise Lines. As we waited on line still with our 300 friends, a large Captain Cook boat came into the dock, took one look at us and headed out again. Before long, another CCCL came into the dock. This ship was twice as big. We all loaded up and enjoyed a lovely lunch while taking in the Sydney from the prospective of the water looking back at the city. Magnificent! We learned that the harbour is the second largest in the world. Homes on the bay went from millions to tens of millions. It was all so beautiful that we did not want it to end. In fact, it didn’t for five of us (Pam, Ann Marie, Penny, Jim, and Linda). They made a pit stop and when they came out of the bathroom to a surprise. The crew thought the boat was empty. The boat departed the dock. We were stowaways on Sydney Harbour for another cruise. What luck!!

That afternoon was filled with discovery for all of us. Shopping, walking, picture taking. In the evening everyone set off in a different direction. Jeanne and Glenna went to Australia’s oldest pub called the Lord Nelson’s Pub. Girls, can you fill us in on the details? Red and Mary Alice went to the Sydney Tower. It was an incredible experience. They got there at 5:30pm and were seated by the window. The sunset and panoramic view that unfolded during their almost 2 hour rotation was truly “over-the-top”. Carol, Louise, and Laura went to the Aquarium and were amazed by the number of sharks. Roberta was off for an evening with Kate, her son’s girlfriend who is studying in Sydney. Trish, Elaine, Cheryl, Ann-Marie, Mary Ellen, Paula, Linda, and Pam took the monorail and checked out Chinatown. We found it hard to choose from the many restaurants but when we did we got a good chuckle. The hostess, excited by a table of nine diners physically picked up and made some other diners who were eating move to another table so we could have a big table. We sat down, ordered, and ate in 20 minutes flat! (Linda says only 10 minutes, you know how she likes to exaggerate!)

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