Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sydney Trip

What a busy day...we got up at 5:30 to catch the early train into Sydney. Having rushed out of the house half dressed and still eating cereal we arrived at the train station only to be told that there was a bus service instead because of work on the line. It meant a two hour exciting journey on a double-decker train was going to take three sticky hours on a bus. No thanks, I don't think so! We decided to drive down instead and we got there in under 2 hours. It's fantastic to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge again, the kids love it too.

Rather than drive straight into the city, we parked a few miles out and decided to take a ferry across into the main harbour, right next to the Opera House. It was only about a 5 minute crossing but well worth it.

One of the main reasons for the trip to Sydney was to let the kids see Santa. We were recommended to go to a store called David Jones, and so withn a quick 10 minute hike we were there. It was magical, a proper grotto complete with carousels, talking trees (!), fairies, lucky dips and the obligatory 1 hour queue...It turned out very well, Santa looked the part as he was very jolly, fat and a classic Aussie accent. He was very funny and I even got a chance to sit on his knee too...

We then spent a few hours walking around the centre of the city. It really is a fantastic place, fairly easy to walk around with loads of street entertainers, classy shops and restaurants, arcades, parks and the constant view of the monorail overhead. For those newbies like us there are City Rangers in every street who are people that you can ask directions. We went to a brilliant old building, called the Queen Victoria Building, often called the QVB. It's over 150 years old, which is old for Sydney, and is breathtaking inside. It is just huge, with 4 stories with balconies on each level so that you can see other levels at all times. With its large open central that is used this time of year to place the biggest Christmas tree we've ever seen - it covers all floors with the star in the roof.

From QVB, we walked to a place called Darling Harbour. It's just around the corner from the main harbour, and it has a very relaxed and chic feel to it. We had lunch outside then took the kids to a great park, complete with sand pits and waterways to splash in.

By the time we got back to the ferry for the trip back to the car our feet were aching and Gareth was in such a deep sleep that he completely missed the return trip on the sea.

It's always a sign of a good day when the kids sleep on the way home and crawl into bed once we open the front door. To top it all, Gina has just finished cooking me a steak dinner and I can hear the wine being opened....... I'll raise a glass to you all, Iechyd Da!

3 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. City Rangers are known as traffic wardens in Blighty. Not so nice if you get on their wrong side.

  2. That Santa must be very clever, he has a Welsh accent here in Wales, I bet he has an Irish accent in Ireland and now he can speak with an Australian accent. Seems like you all had a great time.

  3. So you take a trip to Sydney and that night roits break out. Sounds a bit suspicious to me!!!

    It looks fantastic over there and I'm extremely jealous.