Today was the first day that I have experienced really bad weather in Australia; it was pretty tame by English standards but a shock to my system since I have happily become accustomed to sun and heat! So a bit of a sluggish start to get out in the rain...although I did get to use my UGGs, even though it's not that fashionable to wear them out over here!
I went back into Circular Quay to finish off the other sights I missed out yesterday, so I started at the Justice and Police Musuem which was interesting, and had an exhibition on Sydney Pubs before ducking into Customs House to catch up on UK news by reading the Times. eeeeerm - Ecuador bus crash?! and now I have to take Costa Rican buses?! ....fingers crossed!
I've got quite into seeing cultural and educational sights(and also the free things!), so my next stops included the Museum of Sydney and the State Library which had a photography and history exhibit on. Thankfully I could understand more here than the contemporary art yesterday! Next I passed through Hyde Park to the Anzac Memorial - it's quite a big deal here since Anzac day is next week. I couldn't find Chinatown(!) so I just meandered back through George St, which is the main shopping area and where the Queen Victoria Building is(nice architecture) to Circular Quay to catch a ferrry to Manly since I could actually see the sky now...
Manly is really nice! And it was definitely worth taking the ferry coz I got some way better views of the bridge and opera house. Manly was quite quiet compared to Sydney, and a nice retreat although it was bigger than I expected. Main highlight here was seeing some proper surfers out on the waves - to be honest they just reminded me of little seals and they looked really impressive - many more tricks than down in Polzeath! However, I came away with one thought in particular - how can they say golf is a silly sport compared to this?!
John and Shelley were free today and we decided to make the most of my last day here; after breakfast we headed out to Bronte beach to walk along the coast to Bondi. There were even more nutters out here because a surf comp was going on, and loads of people training for marathons or just out practising whatever sport took their fancy...the beaches were pretty but quite rocky. Once we got to Bondi we passed the dude who has somehow built a hut into the cliffs and refuses to move away, a local legend! and also the lifeguards from Bondi Rescue (an Oz tv show)...Next we went to the Paddington Markets, which are the most popular in Sydney on a saturday. it's home to an array of clothes, accessories, jewellry and other Oz artefacts including some nice wooden boards and my surprise purchase!
I don't know how, but we got some last minute tickets to see the matinee of Swan Lake at the Opera House - best seats in the house! It was a fantastic production, and I appreciated the whole thing a lot more being older..the costumes were incredible and the music was sufficiently haunting at the right moments and I got even more out of the performance having done the tour beforehand! Definitely the main highlight of many from Sydney!
Later on I flew to Melbourne and met up with the Tehs - very nice house and already have plans to see the Fairy penguins on Phillip Island!