After an emotional farewell to Jono and Kate at Auckland airport we set off on our next flight to Sydney. We only had a few days it seemed criminal not stop at probably my favourite city in the world while we were round that way. It was James’ first time in Sydney so I was very excited for him to see everything – probably more so than he was actually! But we started off well as we were standing next to a famous couple (well I didn’t know who either of them were and James only recognised the guy at the time – Danny Cipriani – a rugby player or something? and his girlfriend who’s in the “where the bloody hell are you” Oz TV ads apparently) and then we got a free bus straight to our hostel as the trains weren’t running – magic!
It was a shame that we were there in the middle of their winter but to be honest, you never would have known as we were in sunglasses and T-shirts for pretty much the entire time. We started off by wandering down to Darling Harbour via an “urban stream, fancy fountains and all sorts and then pootled around, having coffee on the waterfront and admiring the boats & submarines at the maritime museum before heading around by ferry to Circular Quay for James’ first sight of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Luckily it was as great a sight as always and James was suitably impressed, as proven by the hundreds of photos we subsequently took!
That first day, whilst looking out over the Opera House from the Rocks (with an enormous P&O ferry in our way!) we got chatting to the loveliest of lovely ladies – Marina, a Sydney citizen (though originally from Mauritius) who then took it upon herself to show us a great place to eat and took us on our own private mini tour of Sydney on her lunch break which was just great! It really is people like her who make the world go round – so Marina, if you’re out there somewhere, thank you so much for being so lovely!
We had a lovely few days mooching around the city: did a fair bit of walking, we explored Paddington and Surry Hills, visited a couple of great galleries – learnt about the convict past and tried desperately not to spend all our money on the amazing Aboriginal art, lounged around by the Sydney boat show and discussed the merits of the boats on offer (me: colour, James: speed and gadgets), stared at the sharks and rays in the aquarium and generally drank a fair amount of good coffee.
And after all that, it retained it’s slot as probably my favourite city in the world.